As a child, among my favorite books that my mother read to me were “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Ferdinand the Bull.” As a young adult, to my chagrin, I discovered that both tales were viewed as controversial.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Ferdinand was a gentle bull in rural Spain. But he wasn’t like the other bulls because he preferred smelling flowers to fighting. It’s hard to believe, but the tale sparked international controversy because Ferdinand was regarded as a pacifist.
The book was banned in Spain and burned as propaganda and had a similar fate in Nazi Germany. Here, during the Red Scare of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, some considered Ferdinand “subversive.” (Nothing worse than a flower-sniffing bull.)
If the above sounds ludicrous, don’t forget that in 1999, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell denounced the BBC TV show “Teletubbies.” Why? He considered the character Tinky Winky to be gay. As for “Ferdinand the Bull,” thankfully it was translated into 60 languages and has never been out of print since.
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” has been published in over 100 languages. It’s the story of an arrogant and pompous emperor who wanted a new suit to be made out of the finest silk and gold.
Though it wasn’t possible, the weavers had no choice but to perform. In desperation, they convinced the emperor (apparently not too bright) that the suit would appear invisible to those unfit for their positions.
When the emperor paraded before his subjects in his new clothes, for fear of being deemed unfit, no one dared to speak out. That is, until an innocent child cried out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”
To the young boy it was so obvious that the emperor was a fraud. And that, dear readers, is exactly how I feel about Donald J. Trump.
Monday, Trump lost the caucuses in Iowa. (You could say he got “schlonged.”) Whatever you call it, he’s not taking it very well. Frankly, I don’t find Trump remotely fit to be president or the least bit appealing. As a whiner he’s even less so.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it.” He’s even threatening to sue Cruz for voter fraud.
It’s quite possible that Cruz did act improperly. I’m certainly not a fan. He looks eerily like the late Joe McCarthy. (Who might have wanted to investigate Ferdinand the bull for being a communist.)
Actually I think Trump and Cruz deserve each other. I definitely enjoyed Cruz’s comment about Trump’s pique, “The Donald is having another Trumpertantrum.” He added, “We need a commander in chief, not a twitterer in chief.”
Trump is still the prohibitive favorite in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. I should also admit that I’ve been totally wrong about him so far. I never thought that he’d be this popular, and certainly not this long. But I have a feeling that voters are finally starting to notice that, despite his $5,000 suits, metaphorically speaking, The Donald isn’t wearing anything at all.
Trump’s journey to become emperor, I mean president, began back in June. Who can forget that escalator ride of his in the Trump Towers to make his announcement that he was running for president. It was so over the top it was right out of a Mel Brooks movie.
Among Trump’s most obnoxious traits these past six months has been his incessant bragging about his wealth. It’s beyond coarse. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, half Trump’s age and worth four times more, never brags about money. Neither does Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.
Then there’s Trump’s personal attacks on his opponent’s physical appearance. It’s like he’s still in high school. It’s embarrassingly low-level. Especially for someone with that bizarre helmet hairdo. (Trump’s admitted that he takes 90 minutes a day to get his hair ready. Good grief.)
In addition to not having the temperament to be president and being remarkably thin-skinned, The Donald seems to know almost nothing about policy. And he’s apparently too lazy to even learn. For example, he wants everyone to have health insurance. That’s great. But when asked who’s going to pay for it, he says “the government.”
Trump never bothers with specifics. Even worse, when caught in a misstatement, or a lie, he bloviates and blusters. And somehow he’s gotten away with it. At least until now.
While Trump is still heavily favored in New Hampshire, recent polls show his lead may be dwindling. (The newly released PPP poll reveals Trump has lost 9-percent since Iowa.) Personally, watching The Donald flame out in a “Trumpster fire” would be delicious. It would almost make up for having had to endure his braggadocio and bullying these many months. Almost.
But what if, heaven forbid, Trump does become president? Somehow, the idea makes me wish I still had a copy of “Ferdinand the Bull.”