Donald Trump really has made America great again.
He has made television news great again, like an addictive reality TV show that shocks you more every day. He has made newspapers great again, prompting award-winning investigative journalism and creating news so outrageous that even The New York Times had to put his raunchy exploits on its front page, printing expletives that would make the Gray Lady blush. He has made Faceplant greatly interesting again, maybe for the first time. He has made greatly clear the reasons we do not like alt-right comedians, by exposing in high relief their hateful, sophomoric humor aimed at women and minorities. Trump has even made tired, progressive liberal comedians greatly funny again: Everything Trump says can be spun into comedic gold without changing a word.
Oh, I will miss Donald Trump bigly.
Did I just say that?
You have to admit that his candidacy has brought new vibrancy, excitement and unpredictability to what usually is a quadrennial snooze fest — a somnolent visit with Willie Wonk and his Chalkboard Factory. I am talking to you, Albert Gore, and you, Mitt Romney, and especially you, John Kerry. No, Trump is not your grandfather’s Eisenhower. But then he probably won’t be your president either, which, I think, we all can agree is a good thing. A crucial thing.
So by Nov. 9, I predict, we as a nation will not trumpet the end of the election season and fall back into our kitten-video lives. We will birth this new president and then face the boring realities of workaday policy, not vitriolic politics. And then, I predict, we will suffer a Trump postpartum depression of yuge proportions. Oh sure, Trump will try to linger, ever edging along on piggy toes and lurching his be-suited, orange body toward the klieg lights. But unless he does something really odd — and I mean, what could be left? — the media hopefully will ignore him into Sarah Palin-level obscurity.
Unfortunately, I am not so sure they can do that, both out of necessity — profit — and their lack of a replacement who is nearly as interesting.
Just look at the numbers: The Atlantic reported in June that CNN’s and cable news’ fortunes have risen, with primetime viewership for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News up by 8 percent in 2015. Profits rocketed by a fifth for CNN and Fox. “Trump may be destroying U.S. democratic norms, but he appears, for the moment, to be one big beautiful orange life raft for the flagging cable news business,” Derek Thompson wrote.
Did you read that? “One big beautiful orange life raft.” What a great line.
We in the media will miss such opportunities to use, ahem — colorful language to describe a candidate. The Kevlar Don has made it great again to do that. His candidacy and penchant for hyperbole and lies have given the media new license to call bullshit in print and on air, whereas before, we were more circumspect about using the words “lie” and “bullshit.” Not only did the New York Times have the balls to put “pussy” on its front page, but historically conservative, Republican-leaning newspapers, including The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Dallas Morning News and Arizona Republic, endorsed a Democrat. Trump has made newspaper endorsements great again.
He also has ruined Faceplant for the future by making it so greatly amusing. Between the memes showing Trump in all manner of embarrassment and the arguments with friends and family members that devolve into expletives and evocations of Hitler and orange snack food, the morning intake of Faceplant posts is better than a caffeine suppository. How many fingertip callouses have been earned defending one’s views on hombre or walls or… grabbing pussy? Or, conversely, perhaps Trump has made your Faceplant feed great again by convincing you to throw blocks, hit the hide button and, finally, winnow your list of friends to the people you actually know and who are, hmmm — friends.
And if you think that is funny — Trump has single-handedly made “Saturday Night Live” great again. Well, he has made the first 10 minutes funny, anyway. He is like a shot of adrenaline for this sclerotic, old gasbag of a show. How we will miss Alec Baldwin’s masterful take on The Donald.
Finally, Trump has made America great again by blowing up the GOP, which, by the way, does not stand for Great Old Party. Now, maybe, it can get back to its Abe Lincoln roots, and slip off the manacles of obstructionism, religiosity and morality. Now, that would be great again.