Will the real Donald Trump, please, stand up?
A very popular show back in the days of my youth was “What’s My Line?” The idea of the game show was for the celebrity panelists to figure out through a series of questions who the real person was and to eliminate the two imposters posing as that person. Quite often the panel was stumped to the delight of the audience.
During the 2016 presidential election cycle we are seeing this show once more played out. The American voters are the panelists. The contestant is one person who has blown away all semblance of politics as normal. I am speaking, of course, about Donald Trump, the current front runner in the Republican nominating process.
Recently former rival, Dr. Ben Carson, following his endorsement of Trump for the nomination, said that there were two Donald Trumps.
The one Trump is the public persona being broadcast day and night on the news networks and on the campaign trail along with the deluge of tweets on Twitter.
The other Trump is the capable businessman who will effectively govern the nation if elected president.
For a day or two there was some discussion about Carson’s statement, then it went into the dustpan of memory. This statement, however, speaks volumes and is highly important in this election.
Which Trump will show up to work in the Oval Office if he gathers the votes of the people and the Electoral College?
Will it be the brash, in-your-face, reality TV star or the more considerate, thoughtful businessman?
With the rise in popularity of reality television and the ever-expanding use of social media, The Donald became an American star.
The Donald, a character developed to play the role of a man Americans love to hate and hate to love, came to bloom with appearances with the World Wrestling Federation and later WWE.
The Donald relished poking fun of himself on Saturday Night Live. The Donald became a household name as The Boss on The Apprentice.
Prior to this and during all this time, Mr. Trump was building a successful business empire. Mr. Trump was licensing his name and his brand on golf courses, on buildings, in the hospitality industry. Mr. Trump was playing the game as laid out in laws governing expansion of his business.
Now, The Donald is brandishing his unique character to say the most outlandish and dig to the quick in such a way that people are cheering in the streets.
The Donald is clearly striking the right tone in this reality TV and social media world.
But come November, will the people be able to determine whether The Donald or Mr. Trump will take the seat of power when he takes residence in the White House?
Recently a similar legal case played out in front of our eyes. It was a case built on the idea that there is a difference between the public persona and the private person.
That case was decided by a jury who found there was a line between persona and person.
It was not Hulk Hogan, the persona, who won a judgment against the news website, Gawker, but rather the person, Terry Bollea, whose privacy had been invaded by the posting of a scurrilous sex tape.
Between now and November, American voters need to decide who is the real Donald J. Trump.
The American voters need to determine if there is a line between Trump’s persona and his person.
From the Cornfield, will the real Donald Trump, please, stand up?
If elected, who will report for duty?
The Donald or Mr. Trump?