From the founding of the United States, it has been the hallmark of our republic to employ an egalitarian approach

to choosing leadership. Americans have perpet ually gloried in the fact that anyone could be president. The Constitution itsel f sets only two requirements: that the president be a natural-born citizen and a t least 35 years old. Beyond that, his education, experience, wealth, health, ge ographic location, marital status, choice of car or his favorite foods are all l eft to the discernment of the voters. A cache of qualifications that generous ha s yielded the nation with a wide range of chief executives, from the grandest (W ashington) to the sorriest (Carter) to the clueless (Obama). Celebrity billionaire Donald Trump is the perfect embodiment of this principle, and of its implicit caveat: yes, anyone can be president - but not everyone shou ld. Throughout his entire life, Trump has made his special vocation the "Art of the Deal," trading in New York commercial real estate with an intoxicating blend of mercurial capitalist aggression and a populist appeal to consumers. Trump is equally comfortable reviewing the construction details of an 80-story skyscrape r as he is hawking Double Stuf Oreo cookies - and the same man who has brought t he world Trump: The Board Game, Trump ties, Trump fragrances, Trump University, Trump bottled water, and most recently Trump vitamins is carefully planning his most challenging marketing feat yet, Trump - the presidency. "The Donald," should he decide to actually run, would enter the crowded field of contenders with two critical advantages and one overwhelming disadvantage. First, the advantages: Trump - who at one time was referred to by the financial types as a "Master of the Universe" - would show up to the presidential poker ga me with a bankroll well north of ten figures. He is the only candidate capable o f deciding - today, now - to loan himself $200 million for the campaign, and STI LL have hundreds of millions more in his wallet. That available capital, and the evident sheen that attenuates to it, allows Trump a degree of flexibility other candidates can only dream of. While the Buddy Roemers of the world have to seri ously consider spaghetti suppers as fundraisers, Trump is buying TV time, bumper stickers, web designers, and some of the best campaign staff available. Leave i t to Newt Gingrich to toil in the fields of politics for a generation, earning p eanuts for his trouble. Trump is playing a whole different game, a campaign Ferr ari against a slew of Ford Escorts. Second, if Donald Trump has demonstrated anything over the years, it has been th e utter impossibility of anyone managing him. Trump is liable to say anything, d o anything and go anywhere his will and his money are capable of taking him. Wha t is the likelihood of some veteran campaign strategist sitting down with Trump and earnestly begging him, "Please, Donald, stop talking about Obama's birth cer tificate." There are few salesmen alive better than Trump, and no product at whi ch he is better at hustling than himself. Convinced of his superior skills – which were tempered in the regular knife fights of New York’s real estate markets - Tru mp would be cheerfully fearless in hitting opponents below the belt. Think his d alliance with Birther-ism is uncalled for? Just be glad he didn’t say the Presiden t was a “fat loser” like he did with The View co-host Rosie O’Donnell five years ago. In a political environment where the electorate grows weary with doublespeak, pr evarication, puffery, and Jesuitical parsing, Trump’s sledgehammer bluntness and w illingness to fight dirty has intrigued the voters and boosted his standing in t he polls. The disadvantage: Trump’s personal character is a joke. While his expertise in bus iness and finance may be self-evident, his comprehension of foreign policy or na tional security material is non-existent. Although intending to seek a Republica n nomination, Trump’s party allegiance is apparently so fluid as to allow for camp aign donations to the oily Rahm Emanuel, the (ahem) well-oiled Ted Kennedy and t he nauseating Charlie Rangel. Republicans would also be asked to forget his runn ing as a Reform Party candidate in 1999 as well as registering as a Democrat in

2001. Government-run health care? Sure, he supports it – but opposes ObamaCare. Ab olish the “death tax?” Yes – but institute new taxes on the wealthy. Pro-life? Certain ly – but he will be ready and willing to support pro-abortion candidates. Trump is the kind of man who comes to a fork in the road – and takes it. Nor is his flightiness reserved just for public policy; Trump’s marriages, and his fidelity to them, are equally elastic. In addition to luxury apartment building s, Trump has tried to be a casino mogul, a major player in the USFL and a person al finance advisor to Mike Tyson. The results for all three were catastrophic. T here is no escaping the conclusion: Donald Trump’s party is Donald Trump. Why purs ue the presidency of the United States when you are already the Caesar of your o wn empire, named – of course – after you? Were he, by some magic known only to medie val sorcerers, able to ascend to the Oval Office, we would all of us live under the constant fear that Trump would abandon the job for a higher-profile gig on a TV game show. That would, at least, be almost as frightening as the prospect of him NOT abandoning it.

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