Vonnegut was right: Only nut cases do want to be president

There have been plenty of crackpot candidates, but none greater than Donald Trump

April 28, 2011|By Ron Smith

"There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president." — Kurt Vonnegut

Yes, yes, this is harsh, I know, because if the nut case in question is on your political party's team, you think he's a good man eager to help the common person and equipped with all sorts of valid ideas for fixing the various messes in which we find ourselves.

So just consider it a thought to ponder.

Besides, Vonnegut had a thick shell of cynicism around him. His view of humanity was part instinctual and in no small measure soured by the experience of being a World War II prisoner of war who was among those being held in a subway station in Dresden, Germany the night British Lancaster bombers incinerated about 135,000 inhabitants of that city.

The Indiana-born writer was assigned the job of helping retrieve the charred corpses smoldering in the streets and in what were once the victims' homes after the fire storm had consumed everything combustible. The Dresden horror eventually formed the backdrop of his novel Slaughterhouse Five.

Some readers familiar with the author might well find it strange that a conservative talk show host and columnist would feel a kinship to a writer with extremely leftist sentiments.

But as the man himself said, "The two real political parties in America are the Winners and the Losers. The people don't acknowledge this. They claim membership in two imaginary parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, instead."

The president we have right now broke out his long-form birth certificate the other day, a long-delayed answer to the birthers who question his American citizenship. Two-thirds of the people cheering in the stands for the Republican team believe the president wasn't born in this country.

Donald Trump immediately claimed credit for forcing the move. The White House said it was now time for the flamboyant developer/celebrity to release his financial records as he said he would do if Mr. Obama showed his birth certificate.

We are such sorry shape than any mockery of The Donald on my part results in angry emails defending the man as a legitimate candidate for the presidency. They say he speaks for the people. That's what they said about Barack Obama, circa 2008.

In answer, I refer you to the quote beginning this piece. If you want a nut case, there have been many to choose from over the years in both parties, not to mention the occasional third-party spoiler, but I would dare say none nuttier than Mr. Trump.

As the contenders and pretenders array themselves for the 2012 contest, reports are that the fund-raising goal of the current occupant of the White House is somewhere north of a billion dollars. And he will likely raise it.

Don't you wonder how the man can savage Wall Street with harsh rhetoric and then repeatedly traipse off to Manhattan, tying the city's traffic in knots while singing for his supper — his supposed villains forking over thousands of dollars to dine with the leader of the Free World?

Whose side is he on? Look at the game and understand that the president rakes in the votes from the nominally dispossessed voters and rakes in the money from the very-well heeled. Hedge fund managers and ultra-wealthy banksters and others of the business elite have to continue to pay tribute to Washington.

It's the government they've purchased over the years, but it's on the installment plan and payments mustn't be missed.

I've heard people say we would have been all right if only Al Gore had not been robbed of the presidency back in 2000. They blame the Supreme Court. Mr. Gore must have kicked himself for not being more pro-Second Amendment, so he could have won his home state of Tennessee and perhaps even West Virginia.

But, all's well that ends well, and we know Mr. Gore went on to be a very well compensated and honored Messiah of the global warning crowd.

I haven't heard anyone say that we'd be better off if John McCain had won in 2008. Even GOP diehards admit he's another nut case.

As K.V. was fond of saying … "so it goes."

Ron Smith's column appears Fridays in The Baltimore Sun. His email is rsmith@wbal.com.

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