The world would have been a much better place if Donald Trump had just stayed in the 1980s, where he belonged. That was his time--that was when he was aligned with the world, or more appropriately, when the world was aligned with him. Things have moved on in the last thirty years, thankfully, and more and more Trump is looking like a pathetic remnant of a bygone age, a person that has been left behind.
It's no wonder he'd be looking for something to re-establish his relevancy and get his name back in the news cycle. You may have heard rumors of his October Surprise earlier this week, and you've probably heard of just what that surprise entailed. Evidence that President Obama is actually a humaniform robot sent back in time to prepare the world for the rise of the machines? Proof that Mitt Romney found the leprechauns' secret gold reserves or job factories? No!
He's going to give $5 million to a charity of President Obama's choice... if, by October 31st, President Obama reveals his passport applications and college transcripts.
Now that's a hell of a surprise, isn't it? Truly, this is the sort of information that will blow this election wide open. Except it's not. This is Donald Trump flailing around like a man on fire, desperately trying to remind people that he exists and breathlessly trying to convince us that he has anything worth saying.
As far as I know, as I write this there has been no acknowledgement of Trump's magnanimous offer from the President or his staff--and that's how it should be. At first I thought it was a simple slam dunk; there's no question that President Obama went to college or has had to hold a passport. A simple show of documentation, and that's a quick $5 million to a charity... but things are never that simple.
This isn't about charity. This is about Donald Trump, a private citizen, trying to make the President of the United States dance to his tune. To serve him. As ridiculous as the whole brouhaha over the long-form birth certificate was, at least there was a veritable legion of idiotic birthers--a tautology, I know--constantly jawing about it. Nobody is talking about passports or transcripts but Trump. Nor do I have any faith that Trump would actually follow through with his charity commitment.
Imagine if something like this had been done in October 2004; say, if Michael Moore had pledged to give $5 million to a charity of President Bush's choice so long as he presented, say, his full National Guard service record. Sure, Fox News and the conservative blogosphere would have been apoplectic, but I can guarantee you that Bush would have ignored it completely. The President of the United States has far more important things to deal with than self-important blowhards trying to manipulate him like a marionette.
It's just telling, really, about the sort of world that's unfolding before us. Personally, I think Trump should accept Stephen Colbert's counteroffer.