Monday, March 7, 2016

Donald Trump and the New Presidential Politics: The Return of the #MINI

We are all aware that the field of candidates for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination looks like a casting call for the new Three Stooges movie. The question is why. Why, in all of this land, can we not come up with something better than Donald Trump and the Three Dwarfs? (The word dwarf here alludes to size of character and scope of accomplishments only; this is not a reference to genitalia measurements, even though this has become something of a criteria on the Republican side of the race.)

After much thought--and a few dry martinis--I finally figured it out. What had perplexed me for so many weeks became readily apparent, almost obvious. Since this is the #MINI, I am going to tell you straight out, with no more beating around the bush. 

We--meaning me, you, and everybody else in this country--have created an election process that is so ridiculous that no decent person wants to run. If you don't think our process is ridiculous, let me remind you that Donald Trump is winning the Republican race. Hilarious, isn't it?

Ummmm, no. I mean, I used to think that way, but as the Republican convention draws near the humor has been lost like Mylie Cyrus' virginity. Imagine, if you will, Trump at the helm during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Mushroom clouds over the Caribbean.) Imagine Trump with the football during the Berlin Airlift (Nuclear dust clouds over most of Europe.) Think about trump leading the charge in the Cold War. (We're still shivering through a nuclear winter.)

A president needs to be calm, even-keeled, steady under pressure; Trump can't even shut his mouth when Marco Rubio insults his hand size. This country needs anything but a Trump-like buffoon in the Oval office, but the election process we have created favors one. What decent person with sound judgment wants to go through this circus? (Answer: No decent person with sound judgment.) That's why we have Ted Cruz (unimaginative, intolerant right-wing ideologue) Marco Rubio (petulant whiner who would sell his mother's soul to the devil to win the presidency) and John Kasich (the man that drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy and the country into the worst depression since the Great Depression.)

And that leaves us with Donald Trump, the man who has no:  qualifications for holding office; political experience; platform (claiming we're all going to be rich doesn't count); and issues in the penis size department--per his report, which has yet to be corroborated. Donald Trump has: the obligatory piles of cash to fund his own campaign; an ego the size of a small planet; and lots of experience making an idiot of himself on reality TV.

Maybe if we made this a shorter, less glitzy process decent candidates would consider running. The presidential race should be about qualifications, character, and issues, not bluster, false promises and braggadocio. But until we make substantiate changes in the way we choose our nominees, that's what we're going to get. 

Cheers, peter

Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; and THE INTERN, a novel loosely based on Peter's medical internship, excerpts of which can be seen on Wattpad. Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets; a frequent contributor and reviewer at ReadWave; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and the chief of two tribes on Triberr, The Big Thrill and Fiction Writers. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and four children--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at