Donald Trump's announcement that he's running for U.S. president continues to dominate the political news. Some believe his candidacy is just an elaborate publicity stunt; others that he's truly serious. Regardless, his candidacy is good for the country. Here's why:
1. He's running as his unvarnished self.
With very few exceptions (Ross Perot comes to mind) all presidential candidates since Eisenhower have run not as themselves but as carefully packaged and marketed versions of themselves.
Trump could have repositioned his public image to be palatable to a wide range of voters, but his obviously unedited remarks show that he's running as himself, warts and all. IMHO, that's refreshing, and I wish other politicians would follow suit.
2. He forces racism out into the open.
According to his own statements, Trump believes that: 1) Obama isn't really an American citizen, 2) Obama only got into Harvard because he's black, and 3) Mexican immigrants are mostly disease-ridden criminals.
While I personally find those beliefs disgusting, the sad truth is that millions of voters secretly agree with him. By openly expressing racism, Trump makes it difficult for mainstream politicians to court the racist vote with code words like "voter fraud."
3. He parodies CEO candidates.
A persistent myth in politics is that governments should be run like corporations. However, since corporations are dictatorships and not republics, CEOs almost always fail when they win high public office. (e.g., Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush).
Trump's grandiose belief that he's qualified to run the country because he's a "really rich guy" illustrates the absurdity of the entire concept. The Donald is far more successful as a CEO than, say, Carly Fiorina or Meg Whitman. Why settle for less?
4. He may have scuttled Miss Universe.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case the silver lining is that Trump has apparently alienated Univision and NBC to the point where the Miss Universe pageant (of which he is a part owner) will be canceled.
That's a good thing. Despite attempts to position them as talent contests and scholarship competitions, beauty pageants are atavistic throwbacks to the 1950s which insult the intelligence of men and women alike. I say goodbye and good riddance.
5. He's wildly entertaining.
While Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money, it's highly probable she'll be the Democratic nominee. If you've ever seen Hillary Clinton speak, you know she's about as entertaining as a slow motion video of paint drying.
Similarly, the 2016 Republican candidates aren't nearly as amusing as 2012's "clown car" (as some have called it). If Trump gets into the upcoming debates, there's no question they'll be entertaining. And the way things are going, we can all use a laugh, eh?