Donald Trump: The Howard Sterning of An Election   I have read several articles and talked to many friends that have expressed concerns that Donald Trump will bring fascism to America. I agree the broad strokes of fascism can be seen in his rhetoric and at some of his rallies. Still, I believe there are enough checks and balances in our system to prevent true fascism from taking hold. Demagogues, provocateurs, and rabble-rousers have come and gone, and our system of government keeps plugging along. We have survived a president that was a crook, a president who suffered from dementia, and a president that cost the nation trillions by invading the wrong country. So, our oligarchy is going to be just fine, even if we have a Trump presidency.   If fascism somehow does take hold with Trump, it will be more like the Three Stooges fascism in that great short, You Nazty Spy!, where Curly plays Hermann Goring/Benito Mussolini. Only instead of the fictional country of Moronika (Moronica for morons), today, it would be the real life country of Trumpsylvania.   I want to suggest that something else is going on. Donald Trump is the Howard Sterning of a presidential election, just without Jackie The Joke Man, Robin, a coked up Artie Lang or the talent. If “The Donald” somehow gets elected, I would not be shocked if his Inaugural Address began “ Baba Booey, Baba Booey.”   For those of you who don’t know who Howard Stern is, Howard Stern, the self- proclaimed “King of All Media,” is a shock jock, a morning radio personality that became famous for saying outrageous things, objectifying women, and ridiculing disabled individuals, basically an ordinary Trump rally. His show is a daily second grader’s playhouse, if that second grader suffers from arrested development. And at times it is extremely hilarious. Still, you just would not want to listen to it with your grandmother present.   Donald Trump is a frequent guest on his show, a regular caller, and Stern’s friend. It is fairly clear that Donald Trump has either knowingly or through osmosis sat under the learning tree of the King of All Media. As Trump himself has said, “Who knows Howard better than me?”   Howard Stern credits his success on being authentic. Early in his career, he decided not to censor a thought in his head. One of the most frequently commented on attributes in Donald Trump’s run for the White House is that he is authentic. He does not talk like a politician. “He says the things I’m thinking.” The problem is, call it what you want, an authentic jerk is still a jerk, shine it however you like.     Like Stern, Trump has no filter. Trump says what Trump says, even if it is cringe worthy. Trump’s supporters’ revel in it, claiming it shows he is not politically correct. But, a great deal of what he has said has never been socially acceptable.     Much like Stern on air combing through the cremains of a topless dancer that died of a heroin overdose, fantasizing about having sex with some of the teenage female victims of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, or using the N- word, Trump has said things that even a couple of years ago would have been scandalous. The Donald has implied that a female Fox News host must have been having her period after she asked him a tough question and later called her a bimbo. He has used the F-word repeatedly on stage, advocated violence towards protesters, name called, and mocked the palsy of a handicapped reporter, gyrating and twisting up his face and arms, the whole time maintaining that he is extremely presidential. I don’t remember Ronald Reagan or even George W. Bush acting this way.   For a bunch of people that flipped out when Barack Obama saluted his Marine guard with a cup of coffee in his hand and were outraged when a bad camera angle made it look like he was looking at the German Prime Minister’s backside, their silence regarding Trump’s shenanigans is very telling. They are, what is the word, hypocrites.   In fact, Trump was able to pull off the impossible. He made Ted Cruz sympathetic. Ted Cruz is this generation’s Richard Nixon, just with less 5 o’clock shadow and more Jesus. The man is that dark cloud in every silver lining.  Hard, hard to make sympathetic. Still, I felt like Charlton Heston at the end of The Planet of the Apes, pounding the ground and screaming, “You maniacs, you blew it all up,” when Trump claimed that Ted Cruz’s dad was possibly involved in the assassination of John Kennedy. If someone had said my dad killed Kennedy, I would have burned their house to the ground.   After Cruz dropped out the race, Trump admitted that he really did not believe it, but that Cruz had started it. You know, third grader logic.  Implying that someone’s dad was apart of one of the worst crimes of the 20 th  century because you are having a war of words is like dropping an A bomb on your neighbor because their dog pooped in your yard.   Like Stern, Trump is extremely thin-skinned. Stern has spent hours of air time raging about articles that were not complimentary, slights, and employees, like Stuttering John, that have left his service, things most people brush off.    Trump is the same way. Every businessman has failures. You don’t enter the arena of the marketplace without a loss or two. That is all he would have to say. Everyone would understand. Still, The Donald cannot let criticism of crappy steaks, undrinkable vino and vodka, and a stupid non-accredited series of classes go.  The whole small hands brouhaha is over a magazine article written nearly thirty years ago where the writer called Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian,” just to get under Donald’s skin. Ever since, Trump from time-to-time has mailed the author photos of himself, with his hands circled with a gold sharpie and some remark about how his fingers are not stubby.   Yet, the genius of Howard Stern is his ability to setup an “us vs. them” mentality among his listeners through the use of paper tigers and perceived enemies. Stern publicly has waged war with other morning shows, celebrities, the FCC, and even the ownership of the stations that he works for. During his time at WNBC, he came to call his programming director Pig Vomit, later attacked the ownership of Infinity Broadcasting, and even sued his latest employer, SiriusXM, all on air. He has had beefs with celebrities like Rose O’ Donnell, Jay Leno, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Lena Dunham. It made great radio, but more important galvanized his followers into war mentality. They became Howard people and Howard was being treated unfairly by those outside the audience. This tribal mentality surpasses all reason and logic.   If you look closely enough, an observer cannot help but see Trump engaging in the same tactics. Trump has seen himself as the victim of Fox News, even though he has garnered hundreds of hours of free air time from the network over the last couple of decades, the elites that run the Republican Party, the media, the process, Megyn Kelly, the candidates he ran against, the Hispanic judge hearing a case he is involved in, protesters, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, NBC, factious Muslims cheering as the World Trade Center went down, and too many others to even mention. Donald Trump seems to be living out the refrain to that old Coasters song, Charlie Brown, “Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?”   In an “us vs. them” world, it is little wonder there is little self-reflection among the Trumpsters. It is why he can say the most ridiculous things in the world like “I’m going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it” or “I’m going to stop all Islamic immigration.” When you are invested in something that develops a “group think,” it is often hard to regain reason. If you don’t believe me, just ask Xenu. Both Trump and Stern understand it is not what you say, but rather that they spell your name correctly afterwards. Trump has gotten hundreds of hours of free advertising from the news media because the outrageous things he says brings eyes and ears, just like Howard Stern. In our 24-hour news cycle, the bits and pieces, the racism, gets lost as it is replaced by a new comment or tweet. All that is remembered is the energy. The problem with Howard Stern and Donald Stern is one of them is there for comedy and the other is a tragedy. Sadly, it is hard to tell which is which at times.     
Donald Trump: The Howard Sterning of An Election   I have read several articles and talked to many friends that have expressed concerns that Donald Trump will bring fascism to America. I agree the broad strokes of fascism can be seen in his rhetoric and at some of his rallies. Still, I believe there are enough checks and balances in our system to prevent true fascism from taking hold. Demagogues, provocateurs, and rabble-rousers have come and gone, and our system of government keeps plugging along. We have survived a president that was a crook, a president who suffered from dementia, and a president that cost the nation trillions by invading the wrong country. So, our oligarchy is going to be just fine, even if we have a Trump presidency.   If fascism somehow does take hold with Trump, it will be more like the Three Stooges fascism in that great short, You Nazty Spy!,  where Curly plays Hermann Goring/Benito Mussolini. Only instead of the fictional country of Moronika (Moronica for morons), today, it would be the real life country of Trumpsylvania.   I want to suggest that something else is going on. Donald Trump is the Howard Sterning of a presidential election, just without Jackie The Joke Man, Robin, a coked up Artie Lang or the talent. If “The Donald” somehow gets elected, I would not be shocked if his Inaugural Address began “ Baba Booey, Baba Booey.”   For those of you who don’t know who Howard Stern is, Howard Stern, the self- proclaimed “King of All Media,” is a shock jock, a morning radio personality that became famous for saying outrageous things, objectifying women, and ridiculing disabled individuals, basically an ordinary Trump rally. His show is a daily second grader’s playhouse, if that second grader suffers from arrested development. And at times it is extremely hilarious. Still, you just would not want to listen to it with your grandmother present.   Donald Trump is a frequent guest on his show, a regular caller, and Stern’s friend. It is fairly clear that Donald Trump has either knowingly or through osmosis sat under the learning tree of the King of All Media. As Trump himself has said, “Who knows Howard better than me?”   Howard Stern credits his success on being authentic. Early in his career, he decided not to censor a thought in his head. One of the most frequently commented on attributes in Donald Trump’s run for the White House is that he is authentic. He does not talk like a politician. “He says the things I’m thinking.” The problem is, call it what you want, an authentic jerk is still a jerk, shine it however you like.     Like Stern, Trump has no filter. Trump says what Trump says, even if it is cringe worthy. Trump’s supporters’ revel in it, claiming it shows he is not politically correct. But, a great deal of what he has said has never been socially acceptable.     Much like Stern on air combing through the cremains of a topless dancer that died of a heroin overdose, fantasizing about having sex with some of the teenage female victims of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, or using the N-word, Trump has said things that even a couple of years ago would have been scandalous. The Donald has implied that a female Fox News host must have been having her period after she asked him a tough question and later called her a bimbo. He has used the F-word repeatedly on stage, advocated violence towards protesters, name called, and mocked the palsy of a handicapped reporter, gyrating and twisting up his face and arms, the whole time maintaining that he is extremely presidential. I don’t remember Ronald Reagan or even George W. Bush acting this way.   For a bunch of people that flipped out when Barack Obama saluted his Marine guard with a cup of coffee in his hand and were outraged when a bad camera angle made it look like he was looking at the German Prime Minister’s backside, their silence regarding Trump’s shenanigans is very telling. They are, what is the word, hypocrites.   In fact, Trump was able to pull off the impossible. He made Ted Cruz sympathetic. Ted Cruz is this generation’s Richard Nixon, just with less 5 o’clock shadow and more Jesus. The man is that dark cloud in every silver lining.  Hard, hard to make sympathetic. Still, I felt like Charlton Heston at the end of The Planet of the Apes, pounding the ground and screaming, “You maniacs, you blew it all up,” when Trump claimed that Ted Cruz’s dad was possibly involved in the assassination of John Kennedy. If someone had said my dad killed Kennedy, I would have burned their house to the ground.   After Cruz dropped out the race, Trump admitted that he really did not believe it, but that Cruz had started it. You know, third grader logic.  Implying that someone’s dad was apart of one of the worst crimes of the 20 th   century because you are having a war of words is like dropping an A bomb on your neighbor because their dog pooped in your yard.   Like Stern, Trump is extremely thin-skinned. Stern has spent hours of air time raging about articles that were not complimentary, slights, and employees, like Stuttering John, that have left his service, things most people brush off.    Trump is the same way. Every businessman has failures. You don’t enter the arena of the marketplace without a loss or two. That is all he would have to say. Everyone would understand. Still, The Donald cannot let criticism of crappy steaks, undrinkable vino and vodka, and a stupid non-accredited series of classes go.  The whole small hands brouhaha is over a magazine article written nearly thirty years ago where the writer called Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian,” just to get under Donald’s skin. Ever since, Trump from time-to-time has mailed the author photos of himself, with his hands circled with a gold sharpie and some remark about how his fingers are not stubby.   Yet, the genius of Howard Stern is his ability to setup an “us vs. them” mentality among his listeners through the use of paper tigers and perceived enemies. Stern publicly has waged war with other morning shows, celebrities, the FCC, and even the ownership of the stations that he works for. During his time at WNBC, he came to call his programming director Pig Vomit, later attacked the ownership of Infinity Broadcasting, and even sued his latest employer, SiriusXM, all on air. He has had beefs with celebrities like Rose O’ Donnell, Jay Leno, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Lena Dunham. It made great radio, but more important galvanized his followers into war mentality. They became Howard people and Howard was being treated unfairly by those outside the audience. This tribal mentality surpasses all reason and logic.   If you look closely enough, an observer cannot help but see Trump engaging in the same tactics. Trump has seen himself as the victim of Fox News, even though he has garnered hundreds of hours of free air time from the network over the last couple of decades, the elites that run the Republican Party, the media, the process, Megyn Kelly, the candidates he ran against, the Hispanic judge hearing a case he is involved in, protesters, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, NBC, factious Muslims cheering as the World Trade Center went down, and too many others to even mention. Donald Trump seems to be living out the refrain to that old Coasters song, Charlie Brown, “Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?”   In an “us vs. them” world, it is little wonder there is little self-reflection among the Trumpsters. It is why he can say the most ridiculous things in the world like “I’m going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it” or “I’m going to stop all Islamic immigration.” When you are invested in something that develops a “group think,” it is often hard to regain reason. If you don’t believe me, just ask Xenu. Both Trump and Stern understand it is not what you say, but rather that they spell your name correctly afterwards. Trump has gotten hundreds of hours of free advertising from the news media because the outrageous things he says brings eyes and ears, just like Howard Stern. In our 24-hour news cycle, the bits and pieces, the racism, gets lost as it is replaced by a new comment or tweet. All that is remembered is the energy. The problem with Howard Stern and Donald Stern is one of them is there for comedy and the other is a tragedy. Sadly, it is hard to tell which is which at times.