Written by Hannah Dunleavy

In The News

Donkeys and Elephants

Two huge entries into the Republican Primary – Jeb Bush and Donald Trump – have amped up the interest in the US presidential race. Be afraid, says Hannah Dunleavy, be very afraid.

Bush dynasty Russian dolls

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Well, he didn’t disappoint, did he? After 20-ish years of dancing around the idea of running for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump opened with a launch event so densely packed with stuff going on it was like an episode of Arrested Development. Or the footage of Kennedy being shot. You can just keep watching it and see something different every time.

There was Trump riding down the escalator of Trump Tower with his thumbs in the air. There was Trump talking about Trump in the third person. There were playground taunts for past and present candidates. There was the implication that the Mexicans coming to the US are rapists. There was whooping and raucous agreement. There was a use of Rockin’ in the Free World so inappropriate you could almost hear Neil Young’s balls retracting into his body.

“Trump, who believes global warming is a hoax and injections cause autism, unveiled some policies which include building a wall between the US and Mexico and getting Mexico to pay for it.”

Like some fluff-haired Maester Qyburn (or Dr Frankenstein if you’re old school), the proud leader of the ‘birther movement’ promised to resurrect the “sadly dead” American Dream and bring it back “bigger, better and stronger than ever before.”

The wind turbine hater is, if he says so himself, “the most successful person ever to run for the presidency – by far.” He clearly equates money to success, but I should point out he’s succeeded elsewhere, such as having the name Trump and making it the least laughable thing about him.

The billionaire, who called the US a “brand”, has decided to make his wealth his calling card. It’s a fundamental mistake to assume that excessive wealth means you could hold on to power. If it did, the US election would be held over here. And I’d be too busy pushing out my 16th kid to give two craps about it.

Illustration of Donald Trump with his hair being blown by a fan

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Trump has, he pointed out, “a Gucci store that’s worth more than Romney.” Maybe statements like this will make some people vote for him. Me? I’d need to know something a bit more solid. Like who has a bigger cock. Or whose Dad would win in a fight.

Trump’s so proud of his bank balance – $8.4bn (£OMG) – he printed it out and waved it around. The last time an old duffer got that excited over a piece of paper, fascists overran Europe. Is all I’m saying.

Trump, who believes global warming is a hoax and injections cause autism, unveiled some policies which include building a wall between the US and Mexico (it is an Arrested Development episode) and getting Mexico to pay for it. Yep, that’s going to happen.

He also called for a radical reduction on education spending, saying, “People are tired of spending more money on education per capita than any other country.”

I mean seriously, are they still educating the next generation? Don’t they know enough already? I suppose the good news after a few years of cruddy spending on education; no one’s going to be able to work out what you tax them anyway. Win/win.

In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump made a number of inexplicable (factually and grammatically) claims such as: “There’s no one bigger or better at the military than me.” He claimed to have a plan to defeat ISIS, which will absolutely, definitely work. But he wouldn’t share as that would give the game away. It’s a brilliant media strategy but maybe not so great if he gets the job. I suspect, based on the Mexican wall strategy, he’s going to tell them to shoot themselves.

“Trump clearly equates money to success, but I should point out he’s succeeded elsewhere, such as having the name Trump and making it the least laughable thing about him.”

All of this distracted somewhat from the other big launch of the fortnight – Jeb Bush. Yes, the Russian doll that is that particular political dynasty has opened up to reveal a potential third Bush president. If there’s someone else hiding inside this one, I DON’T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT.

Jeb’s sticking with his long-standing logo and slogan – Jeb! – which makes him look like a Legz Akimbo production. He’s a former Governor of Florida, which technically means he’s already won one presidential election. Boom! Jeb!

He’s immediately become the front runner – which any Eurovision winner will tell you is the gift of being on late in the bill – and he’s benefitting from a system that’s more about who your friends are – which any Eurovision winner will tell you…

With one more announcement due today from Bobby Jindal – more on that next time – and only Scott Walker and Chris Christie still to announce in the Republican field and Jim Webb in the Democratic race, it finally looks like the Presidential Big Brother House might be full.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

@funnypunts

Donald Trump can take comfort by reading about more examples of song lyric idiocy here: http://standardissuemagazine.com/in-the-news/i-bet-you-think-this-song-is-about-you

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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.