The moment that Donald Trump issues one last insufferable, fatal blow and screams, 'Are you not entertained! Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you are here' a la Russell Crowe in the 2000 hit movie 'Gladiator' cannot come fast enough.
Much like the film, the journey to the White House has been a dirty, twisted circus of sport and entertainment, littered with self righteous monologues and plot holes. All that is missing is a buff Russell Crowe and a moral high ground for one of the presidential hopefuls to stand on.
While I am awaiting the moment that Donald Trump leaks that his recent antics of misogyny, blatant lies he spouts knowing the encouragement he will receive from the ignorant, and political irresponsibility are all a social experiment to see how gullible, fractured, desperate, or hopeless America has become (I'll take a little of each), I recognize that others have had enough.
As one absurd proclamation after another leaves the mouth of the Republican Party's Presidential Nominee, it is obvious that he is actually starting to lose hope in how far he can ride off the desperation of the American people. Friday, Trump was giving a speech (post his call for second amendment voters to handle Hillary and identifying President Obama as the founder of ISIS) and rushed through it without the normal fan fare and selfies that reality stars are made of.
Being an avid watcher of reality TV, I know the progression by which a fan favorite falls from grace. In the beginning, the tanned-rich-drama filled-obnoxiously gaudy-starlet brings everything you want in a show; bad weaves, incredulous taglines, and just the right amount of ignorance to keep you entertained, but not turned off. After seeing the ratings, it becomes obvious that the show, here we will call it The Presidential Circus, has a hit on their hands. Seeing the audience is entertained, they encourage their overly tanned starlet with the bad blonde weave to keep the drama going, go bigger. And did he! Reality TV is successful because for an hour each day, members of the television audience can vicariously be as wasteful, rich, petty, carefree, and dramatic as they would be if their were no ramifications in life. ' Be meaner, bolder, more incredulous!',
a producer-I mean campaign manager, encouraged Trump. The network Republican party received a revitalization unlike no-other, and backed Trump blindly. Suddenly, the Trump Show was the highest rated reality show on television and syndicated on 20 channels in 5 countries. Blinded by the limelight, the starlet gets obnoxious. Lies are spread, friends are back-stabbed, and as your popularity wanes, a friend who is supposed to add a softer and more loveable side to your persona is added in a futile attempt to make our once beloved starlet more likeable (Hi Omarosa).
But alas, once the reality star falls from grace, there are few that recover, and Trump is no different. Seemingly defeated, or at the very least desperate, all of the nasty and rude things he's done comes into play, and leads me to consult with an etiquette expert. Mischaela Advani is one of the most sought after etiquette experts and consultants. Trained by the former etiquette and protocol experts from The Royal Household of HRH (read: Queen Elizabeth), Mischaela was the perfect person to shed some light on Trump's behavior.
BC: Donald Trump continues to make headlines, and his feud with the Khans, parents of a late Iraqi War vet, has everyone just confused. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, how should Trump handle sharing his without offending the parents, a nation of parents who lost their children in war, and a nation of American muslims?
MA: Good etiquette dictates that if you don't have any words of wisdom, encouragement, or sympathy for someone who has suffered a loss, the best thing to do is just to offer sincere condolences. It doesn't matter if you disagree with the family or deceased's world views, religion, or choices....a death is a death and should be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, propriety dictates that we treat soldiers with the respect and admiration they deserve for their ultimate service...even if we don't agree with war in general, or the specific reasons for a war. Donald truly exhibited his total lack of humanity and empathy with this comments for and about the Khans.
BC: When Donald first entered the race, he referred to Mexican's as rapist and then later posted a picture of him eating a taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo with the caption that he loved hispanics. In terms of etiquette, was this a nice gesture? Could it have been refined?
MA: Like many of Donald's moves on social media, and otherwise, this was completely off base. One of the core tenets of good etiquette is that you always know and respect true cultural authenticity and correctness. For starters, Cinco de Mayo isn't celebrated as the Mexican Independence Day in Mexico...because it isn't Mexico's independence day. Mexico gained independence on September 16th...and for this reason Mexico doesn't celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the same way that Americans do. Additionally, the taco bowl....while delicious...is an American creation and Trump mentioned he picked up the taco bowl in the Trump Tower cafeteria. A more authentic way to express his respect and admiration for the spirit, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans would be to share heartfelt sentiments, not a hastily taken photo that comes off as an ill informed joke about his backwards stance on Mexican immigration. A nice gesture would have been to seek out information to replace his poorly informed views on Mexican-Americans and their culture, such as visiting a cultural center and to humble himself.
BC: At one of the Trump rallies, Trump insisted that a crying baby be removed. I am no fan of babies interrupting programs either, but was this polite? Who was more rude in this situation, the parents or Trump?
MA: In general, good etiquette is to ignore baby cries, whines, and tantrums. Everyone was a baby, even Trump, and babies are just unpredictable, adorable, etiquette-less little angels. Anyone with good manners knows that you should overlook any sort of wayward sounds or gestures made by a baby. The infant was not trying to "interrupt" his program, as baby's are not diabolical, generally. Trump should work on the fragility of his ego, and perhaps put in some time rearing his own children. He would then come to understand just how loud and unable to be soothed that they are. His ultimate takeaway should be gratefulness that the mother chose to come to his rally despite being unable to find a sitter...as that would be the only thing to explain why she would have a small baby at a political rally in the first place....also not sparkling etiquette.
BC: One day, this election is going to be over, and whether Trump is in the White House or not, he is definitely going to be in the dog house with former friends and colleagues. What should go in Trump's apology speech?
MA:Trump should absolutely cop to the fact that his boisterous and shock jock tactics have been to court the media. A solid move from him would be to admit he was caught up and said things he doesn't actually support or believe, just to be part of the media machine. It would make him look like a weak and easily malleable personality, but that is certainly better than what he looks like right now, if you ask me. He should apologize for all of the ignorant things he said, and outline his plan to develop himself and his worldviews to correct his flawed thinking and observations. Go out humble and eager to learn proprietary, Trump.
BC: Where are some places that Trump excelled in etiquette during this entire election season?
MA: I don't think he excelled at any point during his entire election...even the most fundamental things about him such as diction, timeliness, and deportment are severely lacking. His speeches seem ill-prepared and are largely point in time drivel...so he isn't even doing his due diligence regarding providing good mic time with journalists and his supporters which is improper on all accounts. Duty is one of the core tenets of good etiquette and good upbringing for that matter.
BC: Since music is such a staple in my work, I always like to tie a conversation back to the universal language. Quick! What's the first song that pops into your head when I mention Donald Trump.
MA:Hahaha that a great question.I'd have to say "I Did It" by Dave Mathews Band is the best song for Donald...because it admits guilt without the singer feeling guilty. I don't know if The Donald is capable of anything more than the shrug and smirk apology that we've seen so often. Gravitas, tact, and grace is more an Obama thing.