In last night’s Super Tuesday primary (Part II), Donald Trump all but clinched the GOP nomination. He knocked out Marco Rubio and took a commanding lead in the delegate count. Somehow, a man who managed only to win in his own home state, John Kasich, has become the only real threat to Trump, in spite of being behind by 500 delegates (Kasich’s threat is media driven and will last only until the next primary).
None of the controversy over violence and Donald Trump’s rallies has slowed his momentum with voters. John Oliver’s hit piece didn’t erode support. The mounting lies, the NYTimes profile with his butler, and the insane number of contradictions and lies coming out of his campaign has not slowed him. Within the Republican party, he is Teflon. Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee. We will have to endure that.
The amount of airtime he is going to get on television is not going to stop, either. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton and Chris Matthews got caught on a hot mic during a commercial break, and what Chris Matthews said during an unguarded moment explains exactly why Trump is so popular, even among progressives:
“Man, you guys can’t stop covering him,” Clinton said. “I mean, he’s a dangerous presence. And, you know, it’s just like candy by the bushel.”
“[We] dip into ‘em, we dip out of ‘em, and we have a progressive audience, obviously,” Matthews replied, referencing MSNBC’s coverage of Trump. “Nobody can tell what works, what people want to watch.”
“Yeah, people must think they want to watch him,” Clinton said of Trump.
“You can laugh at him,” Matthews quipped of the outspoken billionaire.
It’s true. I have no idea why conservatives watch Trump, but most of us watch him because we either want to see him fall on his ass (even though falling on his ass has not hurt his campaign) or to laugh at him.
As Seth Meyers explained on Monday night, that’s exactly what we should be doing. In a lengthy eight-minute takedown of Donald Trump on the violence at his rallies, Seth Meyers cited this quote from Trump at a New Hampshire rally: “A lot of people have laughed at me over the years … now they’re not laughing so much.”
Meyers concluded, “That’s his goal. To not be laughed at, which is why we can’t stop.”
“It is possible to take him seriously and also remember he’s a clown. Yes, he’s a dangerous clown. He’s a clown with a knife, but at the end of the day he’s still a fucking clown.”
Making fun of Donald Trump, Meyers stated, hurts him a lot more than calling him a racist or a fascist, because laughing at him hurts his ego.
So that’s what we have to continue doing. Yes, we should take the threat of a Trump presidency seriously. Yes, that should scare the shit out of us. But we can’t stop laughing at him, because nothing bothers a bully more than to have his bullying tactics neutralized by ego-killing mockery. Trump is a racist and a fascist, but most of all, he is a joke.