Donald Trump looked like a fool and a fraud on Sunday. But what else is new?
Even the most ardent Trumpistas would have to admit that Trump’s appearance at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally was, as spectacles go, pretty pathetic. It was supposed to be a vast, multitudinous gathering on the plaza in front of the Lincoln Memorial, one of the greatest and most historic public spaces in the nation. Instead, Trump drew a paltry crowd estimated by organizers at perhaps 5,000.
As Trump might say in a late-night tweet: “Sad!”
The presumptive Republican nominee cut a ridiculous figure, sporting a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap to guard against rogue breezes that might unhinge his comb-over. He lamented the attendance: “I thought this would be like Dr. Martin Luther King, where the people would be lined up from here all the way to the Washington Monument, right?”
Wrong. So very, very wrong.
He claimed that the anticipated throng was out there, but “unfortunately, they don’t allow ’em to come in.” That was a lie; there were no hordes outside the security perimeter, pleading for admittance. Since everyone present could easily discern the truth, Trump must have been lying to himself — perhaps to ease the sting of what can only be seen as an awful week for his campaign.
As Trump showed, it is relatively easy to run for president if you are willing to say or do anything to get attention and you believe in nothing except your own self-inflated myth. His reality-television-style campaign overwhelmed a badly fractured Republican Party. But the act is getting harder to pull off because now his words, often chosen for their shock value, have consequences.