I don’t think Donald Trump ever had any plans to run for President of the United States. I think he used a fictitious bid for the presidency to promote his own private endeavors, his name and his television show “The Apprentice.” It cheapens the Office of the President to use it in such a fashion.
In most, if not all of the interviews I’ve seen Trump give around the possibility of running for president, each of them contained a shameless plug for “The Apprentice.” When asked if he’s going to run for office, he says he’ll “have to wait until June when 'The Apprentice' is over to make his decision. Or he’ll have to wait and see who the Republican candidate is, and if he doesn’t like them, then he’ll run. Sounds like he’s using any excuse to keep from giving a definitive answer one way or the other. Of course, it’s in his best interest to keep the public "on the hook" as long as possible and what a great way to avoid all the debates.
It’s also hard to believe that Donald Trump would give up the lifestyle he’s built for himself to take on a 24/7 job with immense stress attached to it. Just look at how quickly presidents turn gray. Why would he take on a job like that? He wouldn’t. But he does seem to be the kind of person that will take advantage of the highest office in the land to promote his own personal gain.
Sarah Palin pulled the same routine. I don’t think she really had any plans for a 2012 presidential bid. But her One Nation bus tour certainly was strategically planned to get many to believe she might be. She simply used the opportunity to promote herself, her TV shows and books.
Some might think it’s a brilliant marketing strategy, and in many ways, I suppose it is. Yet the Office of the President is about the good of the people, and the good of the country. We need the likes of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump to get out of the way and stop using it, and the attention they can garner for themselves by shamming interest, for their own personal gain. As a culture, we need to reassert the notion of the collective common good and lose the “What’s in it for me, regardless of what it does to you” mentality. Trump and Palin need to stop wasting our time, and stop wasting air time that serious candidates could be using.
On a side note, I find that my columns tend to get lots of comments from people that have missed the point of the columns. Based on past experience, I’ll probably get a slew of comments defending particular candidates, particular political parties or just politics in general. These people have missed the point. They are so wrapped up in “the political fight”’ that they can’t see the message, which isn’t about the worthiness of Donald Trump or Sarah Palin as Presidential candidates. It’s about the inappropriateness of using the Office of the President for personal gain. It’s about showing appropriate respect for the highest office in the land.