How many times have you seen Donald Trump’s name today?
Everywhere you turn, Trump dominates public discourse. From print and TV to the Twittersphere, you can’t swing a limp handful of grafted scarecrow hair without hitting a story about The Donald.
At first it was funny. Watching Trump impersonate a politician is like watching Shrek dance Swan Lake. Over the past year, though, we’ve all learned that the sad irony behind Trump’s rise is that his name means big ratings, which has led to more and more attention and, like a forgotten jack-o’-lantern, his lopsided orange sneer has been slowly rotting in our doorway ever since, the smell sharpening daily.
How do we rid ourselves of the monster? After all, the Trump campaign thrives on attention – even negative attention. If we had just ignored him a year ago, or given equal coverage to his opponents, he would be out of politics by now, and lobbying to mulch orphans for his putting greens in a country that allows him to date his own daughter.
That’s why I’ve decided to take a courageous, heroic stand and stop writing about The Donald and his hateful, regressive, dangerous campaign. Ignoring him is the only thing that will make him go away.
After a year of non-stop coverage, there are more important contributions to our political discourse than yet another voice calling Trump a dangerous bigot, recalling the time he called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” or the time he referred to the Sept. 11 attacks as 7/11. More substantial and important stories deserve our attention, and journalists do a disservice to the general public and our own reputations when we focus on the size of Trump’s hands and the fact that he had them surgically reduced to better pick the pockets of children.
I’ll admit that part of me wants to rail against Trump’s xenophobia, sexism and slumlord past. Trump is both an easy target and a dangerous distraction. The attention it generates isn’t worth the oxygen it supplies to a dangerous demagogue. And besides, how much more is there to say about a story that we’ve all heard before?
That’s why I’m so proud not to be writing about Trump, analyzing Trump, praising Trump, criticizing Trump or even mentioning the name Donald Trump. Every mention of Trump’s name gives Trump a proverbial trump card.
Sure, we’d all love to fill column inches reminding you that Trump is a draft dodger who insulted U.S. Senator John McCain’s service record, or explaining that he probably doesn’t pay his taxes, or noting how he doesn’t seem to have any idea what a government does.
This lopsided coverage is beneath the calling of any true journalist, which is why I have never devoted any space whatsoever to the exploits of Donald J. Trump and why I never will. Whether he befriends the KKK, makes fun of the physically disabled or threatens to incite violence if he loses, I will categorically refuse to analyze or even mention those events in writing. Think of the other world-altering events that haven’t managed to capture the public attention and deserve to be mentioned here. Those are the stories that matter, that shape the world around us and inform our future, which is why I’m proud to write about those stories exclusively.
Of course, as a satirist, the temptation to write about Trump is even greater still: I could list the animals that might have died on Donald’s head or all the women who have loved him for his personality. I’d love to remind you that The Donald is the actual inspiration for Back to the Future villain Biff Tannen, but my respect for my craft prohibits me from doing so, and my conscience will thank me. I can sleep soundly tonight, secure in the knowledge that this column had nothing whatsoever to do with Donald Trump.
Wry Bread is a satire column from A. David Levine. Follow him on Twitter here.