Note: I consider Donald a pal. That’s why I’m critical of him. It’s because I like the guy. And if I didn’t, I wouldn’t bother. That’s how it works in the Gutfeld family: if we don’t like you, we don’t hammer you. But if we love you: we nag you like feral dogs.
Onto the list of things we’ve learned from DT:
1.) When you perceive criticism as disloyalty, you will never run out of enemies. But you will soon run low on honest friends, as you turn the faithful into scared minions.
2.) Donald is not to blame for Donald. The fault lies with the timidity of those who bowed to the first lesson: either you’re a butt kisser or a traitor. And if you succumbed to this bifurcating nonsense, you will unleash this weird illness on your friends too. Suddenly you will accuse your own likeminded pals of being “losers” for not agreeing with you on issues. It’s bad road to take, friends – so don’t. Calling people RINOS feels good the same way a sneeze does. It was sad to see apologists mocking Trump critics among their own political stripe, as if they were all out to get Trump. It’s like that show, Intervention: there are family members who want to help; and others who want to defend. Helping is better than defending, and often requires that you don’t defend, at all.
3.) To his credit, Mr. Trump destroyed the insecure, divisive name calling within the Republican party, by convoluting and confusing all sides on the political right. Now you see people who normally call you RINO or “squishy” on Twitter lining up behind the most famous RINO on the planet, Donald Trump. He’s been for a single payer health plan, higher taxes, gun control, among other fairly liberal planks. He likes the Clintons, a lot. It’s odd to see certain self-righteous flag-waving factions on the right, suddenly declare that it doesn’t matter if Donald dismisses a prisoner of war’s heroism. What does this tell you? That this inter-party game of “I’m a rightie, you’re a RINO” was never about issues. It was about competition, not collaboration. That kind of thing never wins elections. Maybe Donald got all of us to break this bad habit? (don’t count on it).
4.) Vindictiveness is no replacement for vision. Petulance isn’t presidential. Having said that, to say such behaviors are any worse than what we’ve seen in our career politicians would be false. Trump may be an asshole, but he might just be less of an asshole than all those other assholes. And I may be a bigger asshole (at least when I run out of rum).
5.) Criticism is the guard rail protecting you from going off the path. An expectation not to deviate from lockstep is the stuff of socialist dictators. Surround yourself with people who like you enough to tell you when you’re wrong, and you avoid petty feuds and cringe-worthy gaffes.
6.) Talking heads constantly categorizing Trumps blunders as “blunt honesty” should realize this only works once. After that, it’s on us zombies for egging him on. We are like the audience at a Comedy Central Roast, seeing how far Jeffrey Ross will go. We’re willing to forgive Trump things we wouldn’t forgive a liberal. What he said about McCain would bring out the torches from the right, if Obama had said it. (Or imagine this: On a fictitious episode of the Apprentice, a burned-scarred Marine is competing among of group that includes a young stock analyst. In the heat of a project, the analyst says to the Marine, “Just because you got burned up doesn’t make you a hero.” America would convulse, and Trump would frog march the asshole out of the building himself after the prerequisite, “You’re fired.”)
7.) George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and Jonah Goldberg were fighting the good conservative fight, when Donald was donating to Hillary. Donald should realize many of his ideas had been articulated by those three pointy-heads years ago – so maybe call on them, instead of calling them out.
8.) You can’t have a world leader who lives by his own Google alerts. How does Trump get work done, when he’s reading columns that are two years old? Granted, he only sleeps a few hours a night – but it’s way beneath him to get pissed off over a blog on Salon. Hell, people at Salon don’t even read Salon. Putin doesn’t give a fuck, so neither should he, right?
9.) Trump reminds us of my simple maxim: you need a candidate who speaks for you, not the other way around. The right candidate must be persuasively correct and better than you at articulating your own desires. Trump could do that if he counted to ten before his next rhetorical cliff jump. A renegade will not be president, unless we try to tame it.
10.) Trump could have deflated the McCain mess in an instant, with three words, “it’s a joke.” When he went on to repeat the comment, you knew he was serious. That’s why it wasn’t funny. But if a comedian had said it during a roast of Senator McCain, even McCain would have laughed. “Good to see you Senator tonight. I know many people refer to you has a hero. But where I come from, heroes don’t get caught. ” Imagine Jeffrey Ross saying that. It’s funny. And really, Trump is still, at heart, funny – like when he described Holy Communion as “a little cracker.” Like I said, on The 5, I’m glad he didn’t say that about McCain.
11.) Given Trump’s ambivalence about political parties, and his raw populist appeal and name recognition – he is the ideal third party candidate, attracting people to the polls to cast ballots out of anger – and ultimately ushering in an establishment candidate these rebel voters liked least. That’s another lesson: when you vote for a third party candidate, you only hurt the candidate you would have otherwise voted for – and greatly benefit the one you dislike most. Symbolic gestures are losing ones. That’s why they’re symbolic.
12.) The TV hacks who happily embraced this circus expose the crucial part of television. It’s entertainment. It’s not supposed to be boring. We use Trump to get the clicks, not the votes. The Donald is a lot like Celebrity Rehab – we watched it knowing the subject in question may get worse with more cameras – but it’s certainly fun to watch. Speaking of which, when this is all over, Donald will have one hell of a talk show on cable news in 2016. It’s what he’s destined for – a place where he can talk and we can listen.
Greg Gutfeld is a mainstay on Fox News as co-host of The Five and host of The Greg Gutfeld Show. He’s also the NY Times best-selling author of Not Cool and The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage. For more from Greg check out hisofficial site or follow him on Twitter.