Republicans are running around with their hair on fire trying to figure out how to salvage their very existence as a party with what will surely be an up- and down-ticket disaster in November. Pundits on both sides of the aisle are breathlessly trying to out-analyze each other, each diving deeper into the polling data and umpteen different ways Trump is destroying the conservative brand.
But what about the damage Donald has done to the TRUMP brand? After all, that’s all the TRUMP name is at this point – a brand. Wherever you see TRUMP plastered 10-feet high on the side of a hotel, casino, resort or airplane (or in smaller print on the logo of a wine bottle, shrink-wrapped steak or worthless “university” diploma), what it usually means is that he has licensed his name to that particular business and has little or no participation in the actual management of said enterprise.
Yes, he won nearly 14 million votes during the primaries on his way to becoming the nominee of the Republican party, but I wonder: How many of those 14 million could afford even one night in a TRUMP HOTEL or one round of golf at a TRUMP RESORT? How many of them look longingly at a bottle of TRUMP WINE, thinking to themselves “one day I’ll drink that wine from a shiny gold goblet,” only to sigh dejectedly and buy the carton of Annie Green Springs instead?
So who are TRUMP’s real customers? Not necessarily his voters, but his customers. The ones who actually buy the five million dollar apartments in TRUMP TOWER or stay at TRUMP RESORTS or eat TRUMP STEAKS washed down with delicious TRUMP WINE. Maybe I’m wrong, but it occurs to me that if I had recently bought a five million-dollar apartment in what I thought was TRUMP TOWER, only to discover that the name had been changed to RACIST TOWER, I might be worried about the value of my investment. I would definitely think twice before staying at the XENOPHOBIC HOTEL or gamble at the MISOGYNIST CASINO and would blush with shame before throwing a FRAUD STEAK in my grocery cart. No amount of WHINY-LITTLE-BITCH WINE could get me drunk enough not to worry about associating myself with anything sorry enough to bear the name TRUMP.
I think I would call for a meeting of the Board of RACIST TOWER and see if there’s any way we could change the name of the building. “Aside from protecting our investments, who among us wants to walk into RACIST TOWER every day?” I imagine that if I was an investor in a resort or casino with the unfortunate ORANGE-FACED BULLY brand, I would get together quickly with my fellow investors to seriously discuss disassociating ourselves from the SHAMELESS MONEY-GRUBBER brand. Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect that soon after the “theater” of the presidential election, and Donald’s inevitable, epic defeat, few are going to want the stink of TRUMP on any entity they own or do business with.
So, Donald, will it have been worth it? I guess, for a time, you’ll be able to console yourself with the adulation of the millions of non-college-educated white folk who aspire to be you, but can’t afford to buy anything with your name on it. Maybe you plan on pivoting from luxury hotels to trailer parks and turn your steaks into beef jerky, go for it, but once you’re branded a LOSER, how long will you have even their support? Who are you – who will you be – without your brand?
A graduate of The Juilliard School in New York City, K J worked as an actor for nearly 15 years before turning to writing. After moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina, he published ten articles for The Huffington Post from 2008 – 2010, mostly dealing with his political observations as an ex-pat American. Principally a playwright, his play El Fin del Mundo will be published by Cecile’s Writers Magazine in October. He presently resides in Paris, France.