A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
April 16th, 2011
By Tom Carter
Looks like Donald Trump’s birther-fueled possible candidacy for president has diverted the media from their obsession with Charlie Sheen. It must be a real career-builder these days for a reporter to get assigned to the fruitcake beat….
Richard Cohen, Washington Post columnist, has weighed in on the nascent Trump candidacy, adding an important fact that I confess I’d never heard. Turns out that in addition to being a birther conspiracy theorist, the Donald is also a germophobe who refuses to shake hands with anyone. And that means anyone. Imagine that — a politician who won’t shake hands. Voters are accustomed to politicians treating them like ignorant and unwashed peasants, so maybe they wouldn’t care if he didn’t shake hands. But what will he do in meetings with foreign leaders, G20 confabulations, UN boondoggles on global warming, Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies, etc? I suppose he could follow President Obama’s preference for bowing down to foreign heads of state; no nasty touching of hands involved.
But not to worry. He says that in the event he decides to run, he will shake hands with everyone — even teachers, whose hands he believes are especially dirty. Whew! That’s a relief! Now we have nothing to worry about in the event Trump becomes president.
Pithy observations from Richard Cohen on the possibility of a germophobic birther president:
If Trump gets to the White House, we will have the Purel Presidency. The chief executive will stand around with his hands in his pockets, and the Secret Service will be armed both with Uzis and bottles of hand sanitizers. I can assure my readers, however, that this will not come to pass. The little tic that I have noted, the one that leads to the larger character flaw, shows that Trump is a conspiracy nut, germs of course being the ultimate conspirators — unseen yet lethal, as in the manner of Muslim terrorists, bed bugs in hotel rooms and death panels, tucked into Obamacare legislation and written in invisible ink. Now we have the matter of Barack Obama not being a natural-born citizen of the United States.
Obama claims to have been born in Hawaii. The slim evidence for that is only the account of his family, the recollections and snapshots of numerous friends, newspaper accounts about the arrival of Barack Hussein Obama (possibly placed by Angela Lansbury, creating “The Hawaiian Candidate”) and a birth certificate on file with the state authorities. This, though, is offset by a fraudulently edited taped interview with his then-86-year-old Kenyan grandmother. As edited, it suggests that Obama was born in Kenya and thus would be constitutionally ineligible to be president. The entire interview, though, says no such thing. When the interviewer asks the grandmother if she is saying that Obama was born in Kenya, she repeatedly says “Hawaii.” I am checking to see if Hawaii is the Swahili word for Kenya. …
I can think or nothing worse than a president who is a not a natural-born citizen — unless it is a president who will not shake hands. Can you imagine our commander in chief waiting at the portico of the White House for the arrival of some foreign dignitary — say, the emperor of Japan or, heaven forefends, Kate Middleton? He or she extends a hand. He offers a weak smile. The visitor tries again and he shoves his hand in his pocket. Middleton bursts into tears. The emperor screams something from a John Wayne movie and … I cannot bring myself to write what comes to mind.
Just when you think American politics can’t get any weirder or more dysfunctional, along comes a germophobic birther to save the day. Ah well, I guess we could do worse than having for president some conspiracy theorist terrified of germs, his seventeenth young blond wife with a foreign accent on his arm, trying to lease out the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial to Japanese businesses, building high-rise condos on all that empty real estate along the National Mall, and running around the White House screaming “You’re fired!” Oh, and all the while sporting the world’s worst comb-over.
On the other hand, if the Donald runs and the Republicans are stupid enough to nominate him (and they are, actually), we’ll have to choose between him and … Barack Obama. Geez. Where is Chauncey Gardner when we really need him?
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