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A short while before I headed off for a few weeks of wandering in the Canadian Rockies, Donald Trump announced that he was running for President of the United States. Like many on the left, I was thrilled at the news that yet another clown was entering the crowded Republican circus tent. This time it was a loud, egomaniac with the willingness to perform without a script and without the apparent need to pander to the gods of right-wing money. Well, my goodness, my dream come true has quickly become a nightmare for the collection of “serious” right-wing candidates that litter the Republican field.

There are a few things Trump has said with which I agree. Foremost among these is that the new glasses do make Rick Perry look more intelligent. And who doesn’t want to have Lindsey Graham’s cellphone number, although I personally would prefer the number for Lindsay Lohan. As for Trump’s comments about John McCain, he missed the opportunity to substantively double down by noting that McCain’s 2008 choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate did more to hand the election to Obama than just about anything that Obama said or did.

But it isn’t so much what Trump is saying and doing that makes him great for America, it is what he is doing to the Republican Party that gives me hope for the nation’s future. With sixteen other candidates all trying to feed at the right-wing trough at the same time, along comes Trump to overturn the entire trough.

These sixteen bozos are at a collective loss to try to effectively respond to Trump’s egomaniacal message which can be summarized as follows: “I am very, very rich, don’t need anybody else’s money to run for President, and will be the best President because I am very, very rich. And, by the way, I will make Mexico build a wall along the entire length of our border to keep rapists out of our country.” Now that is a message that a lot of folks apparently can line up to support. Who needs lower taxes and less government when the Mexicans can be forced to build a wall to keep out rapists?

So, the Donald will at least get to star in a new reality show, the Republican presidential debates. He will be the focus of media attention before and after the upcoming debate with Wolf and the blond brigade at CNN leading the way. But what is Fox News to do with so many of their favorites on the stage at one time, so much right-wing fervor to spread around, and the Donald trumping all the feel good moments that were supposed to be dedicated to Reagan homage and Obama bashing. The good news, and maybe the real news, is that the debates could give Trump a stage from which to lay waste to the unmitigated hypocrisy that lies at the very core of right-wing, white America.

It would be good to see right-wing health, education, and tax “policy” clearly outlined for what it is – another round of trickle down wet dreams for the rich. It surely would be nice to hear a right-wing anti-terrorism strategy clearly outlined, so that poorer Americans can begin to understand that seventeen very rich Americans all favor sending other people’s children to foreign lands to kill our way to a better world. And then how about those “family values” – surely the coming debates have the potential to out a few candidates with gay friends and relatives to add to the three wives that Trump brings to the table.

Beyond Trump, it also bears noting that in my absence, the plague of national “thoughts and prayers” moments brought to you by the gun nuts and their sicko flock continued unabated. The latest episode of our national gun soap opera cost the lives of two seemingly decent young women, injured others, and made a trip to your local movie theater seem more dangerous than a trip to Baghdad. [NOTE: For a little perspective on this subject, in 2013 the number of firearms deaths essentially equaled the number of motor vehicle deaths in the US, each coming in at over 33,000 real people. ]

Once again, there are the earnest faces of those who have fought the battle before for a national gun control policy that is at least saner than the gun-toting deranged that stalk our land. They are the parents of the dead and wounded, their brothers and sisters, law enforcement personnel who have seen the carnage up close, mental health workers who can identify potential killers but are powerless to stop them, and a few lonely politicians with enough courage to forcefully say what others shrink from even discussing. Good luck this time around.

I would be remiss not to note the nuclear arms deal with Iran that was finally concluded during my absence in the wild. This piece of actual good news for America, opens the way for new and constructive engagement with one of the world’s ancient civilizations and present powers, and might actually prevent another nuclear nation from entering the weapons arena. But because the black dude who is President achieved a meaningful objective for America, the Republican troglodytes opposed the agreement automatically and without even the minimal effort required to read it thoroughly.

In the days and weeks ahead, there will be more to say about today’s topics. But one thing I know is that Trump will provide us with plenty of entertainment in the meantime. Unfortunately, entertainment won’t do anything to make the world a better or a safer place.

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