Let's face it. When the circus comes to town, what are you most excited about? The trapeze artists? The lion tamers? Tiny dogs chasing each other around a ring and jumping through hoops for a kibble treat? Please... Everyone knows the world loves a clown.
Some people might be scared of clowns, and I sure wouldn't want to spot one coming at me in the middle of the night in a dark alley, but most of the applause and attention at any good circus goes to the clowns.
Clowns make us laugh, they perpetrate elaborate diversions from the seriously dangerous acts around them, and they help us spot the ridiculousness in the behavior of their fellow clowns. Which is why, in certain ways, I appreciate Donald Trump, because without him the state of pre-primary presidential posturing would be a yawnfest of liberal proportions.
Without Trump in the mix, wannabes such as Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Ben Carson or Rand Paul might have the opportunity to convince the people of their parties they are not only qualified to serve as President, but that their motives for running are pure. Fortunately, Trump the master clown lept quick and early from the multi-color mini-car to embroil them in a war of one-upsmanship funnier than any slapstick routine or pie in the face. They trip over themselves to respond to Trump's latest heinous stance on immigration or women's health and, in many cases, firmly plant one of their oversized shoes in their grease-painted mouths.
The potential benefit of Trump's protracted three-ring act should be to show the voting public just how insincere and easily played all of the other clowns are. Like the Keystone Cops chasing after Buster Keaton, they repeatedly take the bait and fall about themselves playing a constant game of catch up. Instead of pandering to their base audiences and attempting to build their credibility, they end up competing for news coverage and social media mentions. They lack the courage to change the dialogue in order to state their own convictions because they have rare few to flaunt, save the burning conviction they deserve to be the next to sit in the Oval Office.
Even the media has taken the bait, none more so than FOX so-called-News. FOX has lost months sneering at Trump, downplaying his importance to the 2016 Presidential election, and engaging in his cherry-picked battles with the network during a time they otherwise would have spent tearing down the Democratic challengers and trumpeting the second coming of Christ in any or all of the Republican hopefuls. FOX News has unsuccessfully avoided joining the cavalcade of supporting clowns in Trump's performance.
I, for one, am not worried about Trump becoming our next president. Before all is done, he will have decided he has sufficiently increased the value of the name that has carried him through all the remarkably poor decisions in his life, and he will bow out of the race as ungracefully as he entered. Along the way, though, he will have flushed out a few phonies from the Republican field and made it easier for the rest of us to spot our neighboring racist, intolerant, homophobic, sexist boors who are loudly cheering his inflamed rhetoric.
For that, I am appreciative and award his present circus act a five-star rating.