Why am I still watching news about Donald Trump?
Why did I stay up late — on my vacation, even — to watch Monday’s debate?
Why do I know what’s been said on both sides about this latest scandal, the beauty queen and what he said about her?
Why do I keep reading like an intern trying to break the big story, clicking every damn headline that has the word “Trump” in it?
He looked into building in Cuba during the embargo. His foundation doesn’t have the proper paperwork. He might have drunk the blood of puppies to get that lovely orange glow. (This isn’t verified, but he would deny it, which basically makes it true.)
Unless you’re new around here, you probably know that I basically made up my mind in this election months ago, when it became clear that Trump would win the Republican nomination. Notice I said when it became clear he would win, not before the primaries ever took place. I tend toward the liberal side of the spectrum, but I might have — and possibly even probably would have — voted for a Marco Rubio or a Jeb Bush over Clinton, who, whether it’s justified or not, does not have a reputation for trustworthiness.
But as soon as Trump became the Republican running man, the Democrats could have put up a trained chimp, for all I care.
Fine and good. I, like most, have made up my mind, and at this point, that opinion might as well be cast in stone.
And yet, like a suburbanite to a Starbucks, I keep coming back. I don’t know why. And that kind of scares me.
Because, in my heart of hearts, I still believe that Trump might not actually want to win this thing. I still suspect, as I have from the beginning, that his campaign is about increasing his own visibility and putting his name in people’s mouths. The “no such thing as bad publicity” principle.
Which means that anything we say to one another only helps this man to get what he wants. And I am not okay with that. Which is why I’ve been relatively silent on the matter for a while.
But dammit, this sharknado is coming to a head, now. It looks very much like the news cycle will consist of Donald Trump first and everything else happening in the world second from now until the election, even though by all accounts, the two sides in this election are fixed in amber. Clinton supporters aren’t going to switch and go for Trump. Trump supporters aren’t going to switch and go for Clinton. All that’s left is the (somehow) undecided people in the middle.
But here’s the problem with that. (For non-Trump supporters.)
With a normal candidate, any strike, any ding on their record, any scandal can do serious damage to their image and their perception. But not Trump. There are so many scandals, so many scars, so many warts all over him already — what harm can another scandal possibly do? How much difference does a single grain of sand make when added to the Gobi desert?
I know the irony is rich here, but I just want to draw attention to the fact that I think any attention drawn to Donald Trump is a mistake. Which is why I won’t be doing it again.