“A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.”
There is growing fear Trump will win the GOP nomination. Look at the latest National Review special issue “Against Trump,” with 22 writers collectively saying, “it can’t be!” I didn’t read the 22, but the accompanying editorial, which I did read, was very serious. Very worried. No laughing matter.
What’s funny, though is National Review upset with Trump because he isn’t “conservative” enough. This from a magazine that four years ago had a cover article pushing “I’m seriously conservative” Mitt Romney of Romneycare fame, the progressive health plan that begot Obamacare. Chutzpah, National Review.
The serious folks at National Review and the GOP establishment miss what’s happened with the electorate. Voters no longer take their cues from Big Cheeses and their media poobahs. Democrats got their news from Jon Stewart until he departed. Now Republicans have warmed to Trump, the reality TV star who so effectively cuts up the fancy-pants crowd. The busy, easily distracted masses want to be entertained, and Trump makes them laugh. Trump is a funny guy, at least until the joke’s on you.
So how does one beat Trump? Fight humor with humor. And Matt Labash at the Weekly Standard has done just that in his Trump roast article, “Nine Tales of Trump at His Trumpiest.” You have got to read the entire article. In Labash, Trump has met his match (though few know).
Here’s a sample of Labash sarcasm:
what's not to love? There's the supermodel wife and the gold-covered "Trump"-embossed Boeing 757. There's the garishly decorated three-story Trump Tower penthouse that had a New Statesman writer, after a tour, calling Trump "a man whose front room proved that it really was possible to spend a million dollars in Woolworth's." There's that hair that looks like a mac-'n'-cheese-colored nutria that was hit by an oil truck. There's the permanent pucker, which at rest makes Trump look like a puzzled duck working out long-division problems in its head.
And who doesn't admire his fiscal conservatism? ("The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes.") His impeccable manners? (To Larry King: "Do you mind if I sit back a little? Because your breath is very bad.") His commitment to diversity? ("I have a great relationship with the blacks.") Who couldn't appreciate the executive know-how and tested mettle that come from telling La Toya Jackson "you're fired" on Celebrity Apprentice?Not surprisingly, half the chuckles coming from Labash’s roasting of Trump are Trump’s own words. The guy is funny. And humor is powerful.
Take “You’re fired!” That Trump line swept America 12 years ago. It was fun watching puffed-up people go down. We loved it!
But then take Trump’s "I have a great relationship with the blacks." Here’s how New York-accented Trump could not only win -- as he claims he will -- white working class votes in the otherwise Democratic Northeastern U.S., but also pull votes from Democrats’ overwhelming black voter base.
Barbara Jordan, the first Southern black female elected to the House, capped her career chairing the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. Few remember her commission recognized that “Immigration policy must protect U.S. workers against unfair competition from foreign workers, with an appropriately higher level of protection for the most vulnerable in our society.” Jordan was defending our working class, most especially blacks. Such workers, no matter the color of their skin, seem likely to welcome Trump bashing illegal immigrants willing to work for less.
"I have a great relationship with the blacks" may not prove so funny after all.