Billy Bigelow and Harold Hill, meet Donald Trump

The most famous carnival barker of American musical culture is Billy Bigelow of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.  Harold Hill is the lovable con man of  Meredith Wilson's The Music Man.  Donald Trump is Billy Bigelow and Harold Hill rolled into one big schoolyard bully without any redeeming grace.

There are probably hundreds of articles circulating in the blogosphere that describe Donald Trump as a carnival barker, because that is exactly what he is.  He shouts, insults, is not at all specific about how he will deliver all the things he promises, and has no interest in propriety.  He revels in impropriety.  And whether by accident or training, he is very, very good at neuro-linguistic programming.

NLP is "an approach to communicationpersonal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California in the 1970s. Its creators claim a connection between the neurological processes ('neuro'), language ('linguistic') and behavioral patterns learned through experience ('programming') and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life."  Trump knows how to bring certain crowds to their feet.  He knows which words to repeat and repeat to achieve his ends; calling his opponents liars is his most overused trick of the mind.  And it works.  Say it often enough, and people begin to believe it, even if it is an outrageous lie.  He has convinced about 33% of the Republicans paying attention that he is our country's savior.  Thirty-three percent is not enough.  The other 67% fear that his carnival theatrics are exactly what they appear to be: sheer fakery. 

Does Trump mean well?  He probably does.  But with little or no knowledge of domestic and international politics beyond deal-making for his own financial aggrandizement, what can he achieve?  Not much.  So marinated in his own pure self-love and his perceived unlimited power, he believes he can deliver on all his promises.  The "wall," for which Mexico will pay!  The companies that have left the U.S. will return or be taxed into oblivion.  China's goods will be taxed.  He will deport eleven to twenty million illegal residents?  He is going to tell Putin, the ayatollahs, the Norks, etc. how it is going to be?

He even thinks he will broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians because he is "neutral"!  A person who is neutral between the Jews and the terrorists will get us all killed.  It is a safe bet that Trump knows exactly nothing about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  He just might have been "neutral" between Hitler and the Jews if he thought there was a profit to be made.  It is certainly clear that he has no allegiance to Israel or knowledge about the Middle East beyond wanting to "carpet-bomb ISIS."

This election year has brought the country to a crossroads.  The choices include Hillary Clinton, who has lived a lifetime of  greed, lies, and corruption, a woman who has pre-sold her promised influence to all manner of unscrupulous scoundrels around the world for multi-millions of dollars, a woman who actually belongs in prison.  And Bernie Sanders, an old communist whose entire life is based on hatred for those who achieve, produce, and employ others.  Like all socialists, he promotes envy and misery for all rather than joy and happiness for any.  He has succeeded so far by selling his wealth redistribution scheme to mind-numbed millennials long indoctrinated by leftist professors to loathe and fear capitalism.  They are too young to have ever experienced the benefits of a true capitalist economy thanks to every president since Ronald Reagan.  

Or there are a huckster like Trump; Ted Cruz, a brilliant but somewhat sententious constitutional scholar; and a charismatic young senator like Rubio, raw but with such promise.  Not ideal choices all around, but consider the consequences of choosing poorly.  Clinton promises to continue the polices of Obama and to "go further" on his open immigration and regulation of our stagnant economy, and to deepen the racial divide that Obama has so gleefully engendered.  Sanders, even if his economic policies could be implemented, would bankrupt the nation within a year. 

Trump may know how to run a profitable company, bankruptcies aside, but he has not a clue how to be a commander-in-chief, let alone lead a great nation of three hundred million-plus humans with vast differences of opinion on all things any more than Harold Hill knew how to lead a band or Billy Bigelow knew how to make an honest living.  At least Cruz and Rubio know how our government is supposed to function.  Either one of them is a safer, better choice than Trump, Clinton, or Sanders.

The most famous carnival barker of American musical culture is Billy Bigelow of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.  Harold Hill is the lovable con man of  Meredith Wilson's The Music Man.  Donald Trump is Billy Bigelow and Harold Hill rolled into one big schoolyard bully without any redeeming grace.

There are probably hundreds of articles circulating in the blogosphere that describe Donald Trump as a carnival barker, because that is exactly what he is.  He shouts, insults, is not at all specific about how he will deliver all the things he promises, and has no interest in propriety.  He revels in impropriety.  And whether by accident or training, he is very, very good at neuro-linguistic programming.

NLP is "an approach to communicationpersonal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California in the 1970s. Its creators claim a connection between the neurological processes ('neuro'), language ('linguistic') and behavioral patterns learned through experience ('programming') and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life."  Trump knows how to bring certain crowds to their feet.  He knows which words to repeat and repeat to achieve his ends; calling his opponents liars is his most overused trick of the mind.  And it works.  Say it often enough, and people begin to believe it, even if it is an outrageous lie.  He has convinced about 33% of the Republicans paying attention that he is our country's savior.  Thirty-three percent is not enough.  The other 67% fear that his carnival theatrics are exactly what they appear to be: sheer fakery. 

Does Trump mean well?  He probably does.  But with little or no knowledge of domestic and international politics beyond deal-making for his own financial aggrandizement, what can he achieve?  Not much.  So marinated in his own pure self-love and his perceived unlimited power, he believes he can deliver on all his promises.  The "wall," for which Mexico will pay!  The companies that have left the U.S. will return or be taxed into oblivion.  China's goods will be taxed.  He will deport eleven to twenty million illegal residents?  He is going to tell Putin, the ayatollahs, the Norks, etc. how it is going to be?

He even thinks he will broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians because he is "neutral"!  A person who is neutral between the Jews and the terrorists will get us all killed.  It is a safe bet that Trump knows exactly nothing about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  He just might have been "neutral" between Hitler and the Jews if he thought there was a profit to be made.  It is certainly clear that he has no allegiance to Israel or knowledge about the Middle East beyond wanting to "carpet-bomb ISIS."

This election year has brought the country to a crossroads.  The choices include Hillary Clinton, who has lived a lifetime of  greed, lies, and corruption, a woman who has pre-sold her promised influence to all manner of unscrupulous scoundrels around the world for multi-millions of dollars, a woman who actually belongs in prison.  And Bernie Sanders, an old communist whose entire life is based on hatred for those who achieve, produce, and employ others.  Like all socialists, he promotes envy and misery for all rather than joy and happiness for any.  He has succeeded so far by selling his wealth redistribution scheme to mind-numbed millennials long indoctrinated by leftist professors to loathe and fear capitalism.  They are too young to have ever experienced the benefits of a true capitalist economy thanks to every president since Ronald Reagan.  

Or there are a huckster like Trump; Ted Cruz, a brilliant but somewhat sententious constitutional scholar; and a charismatic young senator like Rubio, raw but with such promise.  Not ideal choices all around, but consider the consequences of choosing poorly.  Clinton promises to continue the polices of Obama and to "go further" on his open immigration and regulation of our stagnant economy, and to deepen the racial divide that Obama has so gleefully engendered.  Sanders, even if his economic policies could be implemented, would bankrupt the nation within a year. 

Trump may know how to run a profitable company, bankruptcies aside, but he has not a clue how to be a commander-in-chief, let alone lead a great nation of three hundred million-plus humans with vast differences of opinion on all things any more than Harold Hill knew how to lead a band or Billy Bigelow knew how to make an honest living.  At least Cruz and Rubio know how our government is supposed to function.  Either one of them is a safer, better choice than Trump, Clinton, or Sanders.