We journalists bear special blame for him, because bit by bit, year by year, we turned up the heat, intensifying our demand for conflict, for crackups, for anything that could be distilled to 90 seconds on television, six swaggering paragraphs on a website or 140 characters in a spirited tweet. And a speech by Jeb Bush on the economy or by Hillary Clinton on climate change doesn’t yield as readily to that treatment.
But Trump talking about a cabinet position for Sarah Palin? Or Trump talking trash about John McCain? Or Trump saying that he could beat Obama in a head-to-head election?
We bite. We bite hard.
And here we are, with Trump trumping everything else: the growing discussion about how to make higher education more accessible and affordable; the riddle of income inequality; the money already bloating the 2016 campaign, which will leave candidates as indebted to big donors and special interests as ever.
Trump is an easier, better spectacle than any of that. He takes pains to be.
Frank Bruni, “We Invited Donald Trump to Town”, The New York Times (2 August 2015), SR3.