Jon Meacham’s NYT piece Donald Trump and the Limits of the Reality TV Presidency reminds us of what every really savvy entertainer knows: pacing, moderation of tone, when to go high, when to go low and when to get the fuck off the stage. Trump thinks he’s a great showman but he’s a reality star, that new category of infamousness borne of outrageousness, bullshit, lack of self-awareness and bloody minded egocentrism. He will most likely just wear even his supporters down until they tune him out. Every prostitution whore Real Housewife eventually loses their mojo as the audience tires of their table flipping.
Already we hear talk about 2020 and who will be the Dem. nominee to take on Trump. Well, 1. its too soon I tells ya!; 2. Trump may not make it to 2020 by way of Mueller (and that would be the best outcome for Trump’s relevance); 3. At this rate Trump, even if he’s still president in 2020, may not be his party’s nominee, if 2018 turns out the way it promises to with a major Dem. victory and Republicans tire of the side show carnival barker they had desperately adopted. Meacham and other smarter talking heads realize that America is a pendulum always swinging away from the latest thing that is dominating the zeitgeist. Almost certainly the next president will be an anti-Trump, not an Oprah or The Rock.
I’ll go one step further and posit that the choice in 2020 could be someone way off the radar now. Rather than another charismatic bombthrower, it may be a time for the quiet academic. If there’s an Adlei Stevenson out there, this could be their time, when our tolerance, nay desire, for someone a little boring could hit an anti-fever pitch.
Martin O’Malley, anyone?
Or maybe it’s some college professor we’ve never heard of now, who wins a seat in 2018 and just strikes a chord of decency, honor and intelligence.