3 Reasons Why A Trump Presidency Would Be Awesome*

With all the talk over the past few months about the “nightmarish” and “terror-inducing” nature of a potential Trump presidency, I think a lot of people might be overlooking some very significant factors in assessing Trump’s candidacy — and, yes, even viability. I know, I know, this sounds dubious. What points could possibly be raised that haven’t already been noted? You may be shaking your head now, but please — do me a small favor and just consider a few of the arguments below before making a final decision on the idea of a future President Trump. I think even his most vocal opponent might concede that these points make a pretty compelling case for the awesomeness that could occur under a President Donald J. Trump.

1. “The Apprentice”: Bigger and Better Than Ever

Picture this: the camera zooms in on his face, clenched tensely in its characteristically powerful scowl. Slowly it pans out to the wider set, and it’s him — really him! — back in the boardroom again. Except this time, Donald is not in the big elevated chair glowering over the trembling contestants sitting across the massive polished oak table that could probably comfortably sit 50 people for dinner. No, this time he’s on the OTHER side of the table, still sitting in a huge elevated chair, but this time flanked not by his children and sycophants lawyers, but rather a team of advisers and cabinet members. And as the camera pans out even more, we see that there is a large presidential seal behind him on the wall, with the words “PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP” emblazoned above it in huge gold letters, and “THE APPRENTICE” emblazoned just above THAT in slightly larger gold letters. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen — “The Apprentice” is back (in prime time!) — except this time, it’s Donald HIMSELF who is the apprentice. And he’s taking on the presidency of the United States.

So just who is on the other side of that table, training him on the intricate details of life as the president, and taking him under his or her expert wing so that he can fully master the art of being the Leader of the Free World? …. Well….Nobody. That’s right. It’s a big empty chair. Because the Donald may be the star of The Apprentice: President Edition, but he’ll take no tutelage from anyone. Donald will be training himself as The Apprentice, as only he can do. It may lead the country into dire economic and political ruin, but ratings are sure to be through the roof.

2. Bye-bye ISIS

You may disagree with his approach, but there is no denying that Donald Trump is the only man in America — nay, the world — who can strike fear into the hearts of all terrorists at the mere mention of his name. Just elect him into office, America, and see the shackles of terrorism instantly vanish from our collective (figurative) limbs. As he so tastefully reminded us via Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the recent bombings in  Pakistan, trump twitterDid you read that, everyone? “I ALONE CAN SOLVE.” We have no other choice! ELECT THE TRUMP-LEADER. SAVE THE WORLD.

3. Social Media + Presidency = Pretty Tweet Deal

Speaking of Twitter, I think we can all agree that Donald Trump has basically revolutionized the forum (true to form, amirite?). We can only begin to imagine what electing him president might do for the Twitterverse. World leaders will no longer have to participate in boring diplomatic visits and meetings to address pressing international concerns. Now, with the efficiency and time-saving measures of social media, leaders around the world need only view a quick 140-character or less direct message from President Trump to determine a course of action. And in the interest of transparency, matters not classified as Top Secret would be addressed publicly through President Trump’s personal Twitter account. If he doesn’t like what you’re doing, Angela Merkel, get ready to hear about it from President Trump and his 8 million Twitter followers. Surely this can only lead to amazing things. Especially in the context of delicate international circumstances.

 

Look. You don’t have to like the guy. You don’t even have to vote for him. But if nothing else, you have to admit that the reasons above are pretty darn convincing propositions to consider. If you don’t want an awesome presidency, then by all means, vote for some other candidate. But if you’re interested in bringing the presidency back into alignment with reality (television), restoring our international standing, eliminating all the bad guys and FINALLY allowing corporate sponsors to get a piece of that presidential pie (starting with Twitter, obviously!), then it’s pretty clear where your vote should go.

Eventually, one way or another, he will grate on you! Embrace the grate!

Let’s do this, America!

 

 

 

 

*This title originally included the number 5 instead of 3, but I honestly couldn’t come up with two additional ideas of awesomeness. Even facetious ones. So I guess we’ll just leave it at 3.

When in Doubt: On the Nature of Skepticism

Skepticism is not a new concept. In philosophy it’s been around since ancient Pyrrhonism and has undergone a fairly wide variety of interpretations in the long historical record since that point. And of course, skepticism as an epistemological concept is quite different from the kind of skepticism that most of us would refer to in everyday life. Whereas the latter would roughly describe anyone who walks around doubting stuff, the former is usually a bit more methodical. And it is precisely this aspect of philosophical skepticism – its methodical, procedural nature – that may be worth considering in our common application of the term.

What we can learn from this procedural nature of skepticism? Simply put: that in applying philosophical skepticism, one is engaging in a process of investigation. It is a quest for not only truth, but also justification(s) for truth.

I suppose a lot of my interest in writing on this stems from a personal observation/objection that many people in today’s world are self-described ‘skeptics’ about – well, seemingly everything. This is not necessarily a bad thing, of course; but often it’s not so much doubt that they seem to employ as much as pure intractability. Take so-called climate skeptics, for instance: even when confronted with overwhelming scientific evidence and a near-unanimous consensus from the world’s leading experts, their position remains stubbornly in the camp of denial. While they refuse to acknowledge the scientific merits of studies and research in peer-reviewed journals that demonstrate the realities of anthropogenic climate change, they will read, share and preach about any and all questionable studies (or often blog posts) that support their denialist claims. It is mind boggling.

To be certain, there are plenty of issues in today’s political arena where there is ample room for multiple positions, conflicting views, and healthy debate. But all too often, these become muddled amidst extremist claims with purportedly “evidence-based” support that is not remotely evidence based. And the more frequently this occurs, the harder it becomes for the general public to decipher fact from fiction.

Politics is not the only sphere in which the modern-day skeptics make their mark. Just look at some of the current “all-natural” parenting trends, where a seemingly reasonable notion – eliminating children’s exposure to toxic products – becomes thwarted into all kinds of fanatical offshoots. Adopting the skeptic’s label becomes a symbol of empowerment and, occasionally, anti-establishmentism. This is most evident in the anti-vaccine community, where strident opposition to vaccines due to their (supposed) toxicity is couched in the language of skepticism and mistrust of authority. It is even reminiscent of conspiracy theories. The majority findings of scientists and medical experts are dismissed in favor of one or two outlier opinions – nearly always with dubious credentials, associations, or methodologies. But in adopting a skeptic’s stance, one automatically becomes a Voice of Dissent. It is enticing, perhaps – even enthralling – to imagine oneself into the role of a whistleblower. But unfortunately, for anti-vaxxers and the community at large, this particular brand of skepticism is both misplaced and, ultimately, quite dangerous.

Skepticism is not extremist. It is not, in itself, an absolute refutation of popular (or really any) opinion. It is, rather, a process – a quest for truth that strives above all for objectivity. I suppose I’d like to see more self-described skeptics in today’s society recognize that their positions are based not out of true skepticism, but defiance. And for them to realize that this kind of defiance – unlike skepticism – is not particularly conducive to the discovery of truth.

We should all be skeptics. But let’s not forget what that means.

A (Probably Useless) Letter to Senate Republicans on the Nomination of Supreme Court Justices

Dear Senate Republicans:

Today President Obama announced Merrick Garland as his selection for the next Supreme Court Justice. I know you know this already, as your Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already issued a statement in response to this announcement – refusing, in no uncertain terms, even to consider the nomination. In his words,

The Senate will continue to observe the ‘Biden Rule’ so the American people have a voice in this momentous decision. The American people may well elect a president who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next president may also nominate somebody very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.”

Here’s the problem, though, with McConnell’s statement: insofar as the election of the president represents the people’s voice in the matter of Supreme Court nominees, the people already have spoken. We elected Barack Obama to the presidency. This hasn’t changed merely because a new election will occur at the end of the year. None of us elected him with a caveat to just, you know, stop doing presidential things in the final year of his term.

Moreover, the tenuous justification of this so-called ‘Biden Rule’ that McConnell and others seem to so gleefully appeal to is also, as you are aware, not actually a thing. If one excerpt from a decades-old floor speech can qualify as a permanently binding Senate rule, then may God help all of you as well as the future of that institution. Biden has clarified that this is not his position, everyone has clarified that nothing in history has ever cemented this as a precedent, and I will clarify that appealing to this as your key source of justification for pure political maneuvering and obstructionism makes you look pretty damn ridiculous at best. I’ll refrain from writing what it makes you look like at worst, though I’m sure you can infer a guess or two.

For defenders of the Constitution, guys, you are only putting yourselves in the worst possible light by insisting that it is your constitutional right – nay, obligation (!!!) – to not just block a nominee, but to completely refuse even to hold a hearing or vote. The Constitution does not give you that right. Please read it again. It says the president nominates, and the Senate provides advice and consent on that nomination before an appointment is made. He nominated. Now you give advice and consent. If you have taken it upon yourselves to abandon your constitutional duty in this regard, then that’s all on you.

If you wonder why the Republican Party has become such a fractured mess lately, look no further than this absurd stunt. Acting in the best interest of the country is no longer the end game; political wins are the motivation, regardless of cost.

People everywhere on the political spectrum are disgusted by politics these days; it’s no coincidence that extreme polarization is rampant at all levels of political process. You should be making every effort to make genuine progress for this country and its citizens. This must involve some degree of bipartisan cooperation. It must. And you must recognize this.

 

For God’s sake, Senate Republicans. Just grow up and do your damn job.

Democratic Debate: “I Love Immigrants” Edition

Last night’s debate was co-hosted by Univision and moderated (mainly) by Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos, so it was largely focused on the key issue you might expect: campaign finance.

…okay, and immigration.

It was a surprisingly lively debate — when the candidates were actually allowed to debate, that is. Below is a brief synopsis of what this blog post would look like if these moderators were involved:

The most fascinating thing about the debate was…

<moderators interject>: TIME’S UP!

Um okay, bearing in mind that each candidate had areas in their respective voting records that needed clarification…

<moderators interject>: THANK YOU, TIME’S UP!

Can I finish this thought? I wanted to…

<moderators interject>: NO, WE NEED TO MOVE ON TO LESS INTERESTING THINGS.

*DRAMATIC SIGH*

 

But basically, everyone loves undocumented immigrants (as long as they aren’t criminals), Bernie likes brown suits, Donald Trump is racist (without calling him racist), no children will be deported, no children will be deported, NO CHILDREN WILL BE DEPORTED, Hillary Clinton is not a natural politician and won’t be indicted for God’s sake (!!!), the Benghazi conspiracy theories will never die, and finally — most importantly — remind me never to run for president after having any kind of voting record in Congress, because every piece, amendment, or prepositional phrase of any bill is apparently fair game for your opposition to call you out on.

 

The next GOP Debate is up tonight. They are usually funnier. Scarier, but funnier.

BASTA.

Democratic Debate Recap: “It is Raining Lead in Flint”

With a packed schedule of debates in the upcoming week, I’ll limit this to a few observations on last night’s latest Democratic debate.

  • The endless speeches on the campaign trail seem to be taking a pretty major toll on the candidates’ voices. We saw it with Marco Rubio’s hoarseness at the last GOP debate, and again tonight with Hillary Clinton. I do feel kind of bad for them. It has to be an exhausting process.
  • This debate took place in Flint, MI, and (for once) the audience questions were hugely impactful. Their questions were tough, heart-wrenching, and critically important.
  • The tone, substance and overall atmosphere was like night and day compared to the GOP debates. Apart from some minor sniping (“Excuse me, I’m talking…”), the candidates mostly stuck to critiquing their opponents’ positions and highlighting their own agendas. In light of this, Sanders’ line about mental health and the GOP debates was timely and hilarious.
  • Don Lemon apparently had a bone to pick with the candidates – or else was trying extra hard to be journalistically tough. I don’t really know. But he wound up coming across as slightly over-aggressive and some of his questions were less ‘provocative’ and more ‘head-scratching.’ Sure, let’s discuss racism and how to address it, but did you really think the best question to go with on that subject was “What are your racial blind spots?” What kind of answer would you seriously expect from that? “Oh, Asians.”
  • Sanders can spin literally any issue into a rant against billionaires and wealth disparity. Flint water crisis? Outrageous! Just like the billionaires. Broken criminal justice system? Not for those billionaires! Favorite ice cream flavor? Whatever is made from the TEARS OF CORRUPT WALL STREET EXECUTIVES WHO HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.
  • Sanders gave a short and sweet answer on whether he supports fracking: “No.” But let’s be real here — a way better answer would have been “No fracking way.”

Alright, that’s all I got for now. See you in a few days!

GOP Debate Recap: Dicks and Polls

Is this title crass? No more so than the ACTUAL REPUBLICAN DEBATE last night, sadly.

As Donald Trump was talking about the substantial size of his penis, followed by the substantial size of his poll numbers, all I could think about was a Trump-remix of the classic Stepbrothers track, “Boats and Hos.”

dicksandpolls

You can pretend Trump’s face is in the place of Will Ferrell’s here. I’d put it in myself but I don’t have Photoshop.

 

Basically, I spent most of the debate with my mouth hanging open. I don’t even have the energy to write a full recap. Below is the order of events:

  1. Moderators ask candidates to tear into each other
  2. Candidates – minus Kasich – oblige
  3. Audience cheers, jeers and shouts as if they are ACTUALLY AT a cage fighting match
  4. The End

 

A few additional highlights in the midst of that process:

  • Donald Trump disavows the “Klu Klux Klan,” but firmly avows his preference for alliterative, as opposed to semi-alliterative, group names.
  • Trump apologizes for calling Rubio a “lightweight,” but is fully cool with taunting him as “Little Marco” all night long.
  • Trump made a dick joke. On a televised national presidential debate. In case that wasn’t clear.
  • Kasich said that people have told him he “seems to be the only adult on the stage” during these debates. These people are right.
  • Cruz had either a) leftover dinner, b) a tiny wad of toilet paper, or c) a tooth hanging out on his lip for a while. Until he casually just…ate it.
  • Trump still wants to kill the families of terrorists. Even if it’s illegal. Because finding legal loopholes is what he does best, damn it.
  • Megyn Kelly says “stand by” when really wants to tell candidates, “shut the f up.”
  • Rubio made a joke about yoga happening on the stage – which was funny, but perhaps even more so because it wouldn’t be that far outside the realm of possibility for this debate.
  • Everyone will support the eventual nominee. To their face, at least. And only until the brokered convention.

The Essence — and Lessons — of Donald Trump

So, the results are in. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both swept 7 of 11 states in yesterday’s Super Tuesday electoral contests. While this is not yet definitive in terms of the eventual major party nominees, it is a pretty telling signal of what we can expect in the coming weeks and months: a Clinton and Trump showdown.

I guess now is the opportune time to declare my predictions (probably) wrong. I had previously stated that Trump would in no way clinch the GOP nomination. I distrusted the polling data. I expected, when it came time for actual votes, for the Republican base to quickly extinguish the exciting specter of Trump’s political theater. I guess I gave them too much credit. I’ll still hold out hope for a gigantic shift in momentum, but my full-fledged denial is officially in check. Trump could actually do this.

I pondered what to write about this particular political situation. So many pundits are clamoring to forecast the downfall of the Republican Party – the growing divides among voters, the inability of the party elites to control the base, the combative relationship between Trump and the GOP establishment (not to mention Fox News). The magnitude of what this means for the Grand Old Party will emerge soon enough. But what I want to discuss here is, on a more personal scale, what Trump’s electoral success means for our American community – how it shapes our collective identity, and exposes the vestiges of evil that still remain in our national consciousness.

Trump’s usual modus operandi is to tout his “tell it like it is” style. He speaks plainly, doesn’t get bogged down with overcomplicated concepts, and conveys an air of confidence when he does so. He states his opinions in a way that makes them seem like irrefutable facts. It makes him appear honest, no-nonsense, and blunt – all characteristics that are atypical for a politician.

But what Trump exudes in self-assurance he lacks in nuance and tact. He is almost the embodiment of a living, walking meme. I’ve written before on the dangers of societal “meme-ification”; in short, I view it as an increasingly dangerous trend that stunts and perverts real civil discourse. And frankly, if any one person can establish this as an authentic danger, it is Donald Trump.

His followers are quick to brush off critiques of his brashness – and often to adopt the same strident tone themselves. “He says what we all are thinking” – secretly or not – is a familiar defense of Trump’s assertions. And maybe, just maybe, he does.

Trump says all the nasty, unsavory things that, for many of us, may appeal to some tiny (or as the case may be, not so tiny) voice in the back of our heads. You know the one. It’s that dark part of ourselves that kind of enjoys the haughty self-elevating rhetoric; the dislike or even hatred of the Other; the Machiavellian love of power; the rejection of sensitivity and perceived weakness. It’s the part of us that, hopefully, most people will strive to fight and overcome. The eternal struggle between good and evil is not just a popular literary or theological theme; it is a basic – perhaps the MOST basic – truth of human life. There is good that exists. There is evil that exists. And our perpetual human existence is geared toward the triumph of the former over the latter.

As an avowed Christian, Trump should know this. And yet in his rallies, he can cite a Bible verse in one breath while describing his desire to punch a protester in the face in the next. He can call himself a great unifier while simultaneously sending out a Tweetstorm of insulting messages to anyone who rubs him the wrong way. As an example, I thought I might include a few of his most outrageous tweets here; but upon review, I don’t even want to repeat them. (Twitter and Google are rife with such content for any interested parties.)

In the schoolyard, a bully often remains unchallenged not because people truly love him, but because they fear him. He gains loyal followers because they will cling to a word of praise from him. They don’t want him to turn his cruelty in their direction. When and if he does, they often recognize their foolishness. Will this be the case with Trump and the American people? Will they finally turn on him if he starts lashing out at them – when he spews a furious flurry of insults to their particular group, or someone to whom they are close? What will it take for the majority of his followers to see his messages for what they actually are: vile, immoral, and utterly devoid of substance?

People want desperately to think that the legacy of racism and discrimination is behind us in this country. But a legacy by its very nature can be pretty hard to shake – and that of racism, sadly, is no different. And when Donald Trump can effectively mobilize a legion of followers behind racist and xenophobic ideals (see, e.g., his “birther” campaigns against Barack Obama; his condemnation of Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals; his call for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States; his support for violence against black protesters; and of course, his reluctance to disavow a former grand wizard of the KKK), it is abundantly clear that the vestiges of racism and bigotry in this country aren’t really vestiges at all. They may be couched in other terms – a revolt against “political correctness,” for example, or hypersensitivity – but they are here, alive and well. We have a lot of work to do yet.

**********************************

When it comes down to it, Donald Trump might actually be a more effective political negotiator than his arguably closest challenger, Ted Cruz. He has previously indicated his willingness to bring a sense of business acumen and negotiating skill to the White House, and has criticized Cruz’s brand of principled obstructionism as self-serving and ineffective. But despite the (modestly) positive implication of Trump’s bipartisan political style, is it enough to overcome the wealth of negative repercussions that would accompany a Trump presidency? (Pun, by the way, very intended there.) I honestly don’t know. But I’m starting to feel very strongly that it will not – or even cannot. Because Trump’s political successes mean that an unsettlingly large segment of the American populace is buying into his messages of prejudice, intolerance and intimidation. They like what they’re hearing. Perhaps they won’t once his vitriol is directed their way.

If they elect him president, inevitably, they won’t have to wait very long for that to happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

—–

Image credit: Matt A.J.

It’s Super Tuesday!

Everyone seems so excited about this particular Tuesday. They keep calling it super. And I guess it is! The sun is shining, the birds are singing — it doesn’t even really feel like March! I guess that’s why everyone likes it so much.

Have a super day!

GOP Debate Recap: All That and a Bowl of Fruit Salad

Last night’s debate was another entertaining — if also somewhat terrifying — enterprise. The remaining candidates met in Houston in advance of next week’s Super Tuesday contests. Wolf Blitzer moderated the CNN-sponsored event, and George H.W. Bush was present in the audience alongside erstwhile First Lady Barbara Bush. They were very excited to finally get to see Jeb perform as the warm-up act for the crowd.

Below is my highly precise recap of the ordeal affair.

 

Wolf Blitzer: Good evening and welcome to Texas. I’m your moderator. Everyone here anticipates a lively debate tonight, and I anticipate not letting things get totally, completely out of hand like last time. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Now please welcome your 3 remaining Republican candidates! Senator Ted Cruz of of Texas, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Businessman Donald Trump.

John Kasich and Ben Carson: (waving) We’re here too!

Wolf Blitzer: Oh yeah. And these two. Let’s go ahead and have opening statements.

Carson: Our country is falling into an abyss. So are the candidates on this stage. Let’s not destroy one another, guys, but rather the American people.

Kasich: Aw jeez. I can’t even believe I made it up here on this stage tonight! My parents were blue collar workers, their parents barely spoke English and their parents lived as pastoral nomads in the vast steppes of Mongolia. And look at me now! Just a working class kid who’s running to be the next Big Chief of America. What a land of dreams this is. Golly gee.

Rubio: I AM RONALD REAGAN.

Cruz: Texas. My people. Let’s do this thing (wink wink).

Trump: We don’t win anymore. America. We don’t win. We need to start winning, and I’m telling you, soon we will win. We will win, and we will win big. Believe me. We’ll win. All I do is win, win, win no matter what.

Blitzer: Thank you. Now on to questions. Mr. Trump, you’ve said that you’d let “good” undocumented immigrants return after being deported. Senator Cruz calls this amnesty. Is it?

Trump: Listen, the only reason anyone is even talking about immigration here is because of me bringing it up last year. So let’s not forget that. We have at least 11 million people who came into this country illegally. They will go out, some will come back, we’ll have a process for that, and they will go through it. The best ones will come back. Like with cattle. You sort through ’em, let the good ones stick around, send the sickly ones to the meat factory.

Blitzer: Senator Cruz, what’s wrong with Trump talking about these people in terms of “good ones” and “bad ones”? Is he stripping them of their humanity with these kinds of statements?

Cruz: You know Wolf, the people that get forgotten in this debate over immigration….

Blitzer: (eagerly) Yes…?!

Cruz: …are the hardworking men and women of this country who are losing their jobs due to illegal immigrants.

Blitzer: (deflated) Oh.

Cruz: Send them back. Send them all back.

Rubio: I’d just like to point out that Trump’s positions on immigration have changed pretty frequently over the years. He used to hire illegal immigrants to work in his hotel.

Trump: I mean yes, but the reason I hired those people was because no one here legally wanted to do those jobs.

Rubio: Actually, lots of people wanted to do those jobs. You hired workers from Poland…

Trump: Yeah, at least I’ve hired people. Who have you hired? Nobody. You’ve hired nobody.

Rubio: Yes, you’ve hired a thousand from another country…

Trump: Good luck with your credit cards.

Rubio: Google “Trump Polish workers” at home, everybody.

Trump: Be quiet. Let me talk. The laws were different back then. I’ve hired people. You people have done no hiring. I’VE HIRED!

Blitzer: Back to immigration. Senator Cruz, what would happen to children whose parents are deported under your plan?

Cruz: If they’re citizens, they can stay here. They’ll figure something out. Not really my problem, is it? Laws are laws.  Also Donald Trump is a bad, bad guy.

Trump: Who do you even get along with, Cruz? Nobody. Not one Senator supports you.

Cruz: Yeah? And? I don’t want their “support.” I’m anti-Washington, remember? I’m an outsider, a maverick. I’m here for myself, and myself alone.

Blitzer: Um…don’t you mean you’re here for the American people, Ted?

Cruz: Yes, that’s right. That’s what I meant. “The people.” Thank you for that. (smug smile)

Blitzer: Let’s get Governor Kasich in on this, he’s been waiting patiently.

Kasich: Let’s be practical. Complete the border, allow people a path to legalization but not citizenship. Let’s not ride around tearing people from their homes. Have a realistic plan that reflects America. I can get it done.

(everyone looks confused)

Cruz: John, please. Check your reassonable ideas at the door, for God’s sake.

Blitzer: Dr. Carson? What do you think of Trump’s immigration plan?

Carson: I’m not answering a question about Trump. I’m still running too.

Blitzer: Are you?

Carson: Yes.

Blitzer: Hmm. Okay. If you say so. But back to Trump. What do you think about Vicente Fox’s statement that he’s not going to pay for that “effing wall” between America and Mexico?

Trump: Well, the wall just got 10 feet taller, didn’t it?! And I am offended by his vulgar language, by the way. Absolutely f*#&#ing offended.

Rubio: I’m offended by your fake university, Donald.

Trump: This guy. This guy? Buys and house and sells it for more money to a lobbyist. This is our next president?

Rubio: Donald Trump would be selling watches if not for inheriting $200 million.

Trump: $1 million. I borrowed $1 million and turned it into $10 million.

Rubio: Better release your tax returns so we can see for ourselves.

Trump: (mutters something about finishing this outside)

Blitzer: Can I bring in Maria Celeste Arraras of Telemundo?

Arraras: Mr. Trump, you say that Hispanic people love you. How so?

Trump: They do love me. Everybody loves me. I settled my lawsuit with Univision, by the way. So we can be friends now.

Arraras: I’m with Telemundo.

Trump: Not the same thing?

Arraras: No.

Trump: Eh. Close enough.

Blitzer: Let’s turn to filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Scalia.

Cruz: I am the only one who can be trusted to appoint a principled constitutionalist to the Court. If you let anyone else try to do this, terrible things will happen. TERRIBLE THINGS. Send a message to 10 of your friends to vote for me, before midnight tonight, or you will be destined to never find love ever in your lifetime.

Hewitt: So talking about religious liberty. Would this be a litmus test for anyone you appoint? Mr. Trump?

Trump: Absolutely.

Cruz: …says the guy who donated money to far-left liberal Democrats. He’s looking to cut a deal.

Trump: Better to cut a deal than to be standing alone in the Senate chamber talking for two days, like this guy did. When he was done, they got back to work. And by the way, my sister signed a bill that Justice Alito signed, and Ted was critical of it.

Hewitt: Um…what?

Trump: I demand an apology.

Cruz: I WILL NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION.

Rubio: We can’t trust Trump to appoint a conservative justice. He recently supported Planned Parenthood!

Trump: Planned Parenthood does great things. It saves lives. Now do I support defunding it? Yes, because I’m pro-life. But it does great things. It’s a great organization. Good for women, bad for abortion. So defund it, but – good job, still, Planned Parenthood. Way to go.

Hewitt: Kasich? What do you think about religious liberty?

Kasich: Sell people cupcakes, guys. Sell allllllll the cupcakes.

Hewitt: Dr. Carson?

Carson: I love Scalia. Wait, what was the question? Was it about Scalia? I love him. And to replace him I would appoint someone only after looking through his life, associations, and judgments.  The fruit salad of their life is what we have to look at. Is it delicious, or just so-so? Been sitting out too long? Covered in flies? So many kinds of fruit, so many types of salad, so many ways to slice it. A lot to consider.

Blitzer: Thank you…. Dana Bash, ask some questions about Obamacare.

Bash: Senator Rubio, what do you think of Trump’s thoughts on Obamacare?

Rubio: He favors the individual mandate.

Bash: Mr. Trump, is this true?

Trump: Let me just say that I favor pre-existing conditions. They are the only thing I favor related to Obamacare. Pre-existing conditions for all!

Rubio: You have no plan to offer to replace Obamacare.

Trump: False. I will remove lines on maps.

Rubio: That’s not a plan.

Trump: You get ride of the lines, it brings in competition.

Rubio: Again – not a plan.

Trump: You remove the lines, you have a lot of plans. You get competition. So many plans.

Rubio: Now he’s repeating himself. (BOOM. DROPS MIC.)

Cruz: Look, everyone. Donald loves Planned Parenthood, I hate them. I want to repeal Obamacare, Donald thinks it doesn’t go far enough. He’s a socialist on health care. A socialist!

Trump: I am not.

Cruz: Are too.

Trump: Am not.

Cruz: Are too.

Blitzer: Gentlemen, please…

Cruz: Yes or no. Socialist.

Trump: I know you are, but what am I?

Blitzer: You all agreed to the rules. YOU ALL AGREED, DAMN IT! Let’s talk about the economy.

Trump: Cut out the Department of Education. Cut out the EPA. Cut out all the agencies. Remove government and then we get money.

Blitzer: Removing those agencies won’t even cover the deficit. Where will you come up with money to balance the budget?

Trump: Waste, fraud and abuse.

Blitzer: As a plan, or….?

Trump: Pretty much.

Blitzer: So what about your taxes then? Mitt Romney says you should release them.

Trump: No can do, amigo. I’m being audited.

Hewitt: But Mr. Trump…

Trump: Why do you keep questioning me? Are you going to ask anyone else about this? I know I’m here for the ratings, but this is ridiculous.

Cruz: You should release your tax records, man.

Trump: I’m being AUDITED.

Cruz: For every year? Ever?

Trump: Yes.

(argument)

Blitzer: Alright…

(argument)

Blitzer: Okay gentlemen…

(argument)

Blitzer: COMMERCIAL BREAK!

Blitzer: Okay, we’re back. I think I have control of things again. For now. Let’s talk about foreign policy and national security. Mr. Trump?

Trump: (mock disgust) Shocking.

Blitzer: You said you want to remain neutral on Israel and Palestine. How do you do that when Israel is considered the U.S.’s closest ally in the Middle East?

Trump: Well, first of all – Obama. I mean, yuck, right? Second of all, I have a lot of Israeli friends. They love me. Israel loves me, and I’m a pro-Israel guy. But I can’t go around demeaning neighbors here, because how does peace happen that way? So I want to encourage peace, so I can’t be anti-neighbor. That’s what I meant about neutrality. With that being said, of course, and without taking sides, I’m very pro-Israel.

Rubio: He thinks Palestine is a real-estate deal.

Trump: You are not a negotiator. You know nothing about it. You will never bring peace.

(arguments)

Blitzer: Let’s talk about North Korea.

Kasich: (talks about North Korea)

Blitzer: Dr. Carson?

Carson: OHHH EMMM GEEEE. Thanks for FINALLY calling on me. What happened to being fair? This is so not fair. I have a lot to say about other topics, like taxes.

Blitzer: Okay, go ahead.

Carson: Let’s get rid of the IRS. Okay? That’s one thing. Second thing – Israel. It’s like when you have kids, but you have a favorite kid – you know what I mean? That favorite kid is Israel. Third thing – North Korea. Listen to my detailed knowledge on this. I worked very, very hard to study this. THAAD? Robust naval presence? Strategic defense initiative? How do you like THEM apples?

Blitzer: Okay, moving on with national security.

Hewitt: What about the upcoming cease fire in Syria?

Trump: Meaningless. It’s not working.

Hewitt: It, um…it hasn’t actually started yet.

Trump: Doesn’t matter.

Cruz: Marco and Donald both agree with everything Obama and Clinton have done on foreign policy. Not to mention John Kerry. Can I even say that name without the taste of disgust in my mouth? Let me just tell you now, the answer to that is no. I cannot. His very name is filth!

Rubio: That’s true. Down with Kerry.

Trump: No argument here!

Rubio: P.S. – Donald writes checks to people who undermine Israel.

Trump: You are a liar and a choke-artist.

(argument)

Carson: Can someone attack me, please?

(everyone laughs)

(candidates continue arguing without Carson)

Cruz: Harry Reid loves Donald Trump. Harry and Donald, kissing in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G –

<Henry Kissinger, interrupts>

Kissinger: Did someone summon me?

Cruz: Sorry, no. Wrong debate.

Kissinger: (retreating) Sorry.

Cruz: As I was saying. He’s malleable, I’m not.

Trump: Cruz has done disgusting things this election. I know politicians very well.

Cruz: Yes, because you fund so many of them!

Trump: I funded you.

(huge argument)

Blitzer: Gentlemen, come on….

(argument continues)

Cruz: Is this going to be deducted from my time? I need more time.

Blitzer: You have to stop.

Cruz: He’s yelling.

Trump: I’M YELLING.

Blitzer: Let’s just get to closing statements already.

Carson: Look at my hands. Look at them! They made a movie about these hands. They are magical hands, and I hope you will hold them with me as we heal America together.

Kasich: I would appreciate your vote. I promise I’ll be better than anyone else up here. Or at least sane. At a minimum, I can promise sane.

Rubio: Did you see how I destroyed Donald tonight? DESTROYED. Vote for me, I have swagger. And moves like jagger. *sips water, then feigns boxing jabs*

Cruz: If you elect me, I promise to repeal everything, and I mean everything, ever.

Trump: Politicians are all talk. They don’t have real plans, they just make vague talking points over and over — like “be winners,” and “knock out ISIS,” and “make America great again.” Do you really want someone like this in the Oval Office? No, you don’t. It would be an utter disaster. Vote smarter, America.

Blitzer: It’s over. Thank God, it’s over.

Healthcare in America

American person: Huh. I’m having some symptoms. Wonder what they mean? Maybe I’ll check out a website to see what it says.

Website: Your symptoms could be deadly. You definitely should see a professional healthcare provider to evaluate them as soon as possible.

Person: This seems extreme. Do I really need to see a provider right away? Maybe I’ll call this nurse’s line that my health insurance provides.

(Dials nurse line)

(Waits half an hour to get through an automated phone menu and finally reach a human being)

Nurse: Hello, what’s the problem?

Person: Well I’m having these symptoms…

Nurse: Have you been evaluated by a healthcare provider for these symptoms?

Person: No, that’s why I’m calling you.

Nurse: You really need to be evaluated by a healthcare provider. I can’t offer you a diagnosis over the phone.

Person: So why have the phone number at all?

Nurse: I don’t really know. Someone thought it was a good idea.

Person: This is not helpful.

Nurse: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Person: I just said this WASN’T helpful. You haven’t helped me. Like, literally, at all.

Nurse: Great! Be sure to follow up with your healthcare provider!

(Ends call)

(Dials healthcare provider)

(Waits 20 minutes to get past automated menu and being put on hold to reach a human being)

Doctor’s office: Hello, how can I help you?

Person: I need to make an appointment.

Doctor’s office: What is the reason for this appointment?

Person: I’ve been having these symptoms…

Doctor’s office: Are you a new patient?

Person: No.

Doctor’s office: OK. I can squeeze you in at 6:30 a.m. on May 21.

Person: Wait, what? That’s 3 months away!

Doctor’s office: Take it or leave it.

Person: <sighs> Take it, I guess.

 

*****Three months later*****

 

Person: Well this is it! I’m finally here at my doctor’s office!

(Waits an hour to be called back to an exam room)

(Nurse takes vitals)

(Waits 45 minutes in the exam room before the doctor shows up)

Doctor: Hello. I’m the doctor. What seems to be the problem?

Person: Well, I’ve been having these symptoms…

Doctor: There’s nothing wrong with you. Go away.

 

*****Two days later*****

 

(Bill arrives in the mail for $476)