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Presidential candidates make easy comical targets

Donald Trump editorial cartoon by Collin Vore
Donald Trump editorial cartoon by Collin Vore

Humor is a great tool. According to Urban Dictionary, it is “what makes the worst moments in our already miserable existence that more bearable.” We have many volatile situations going on right now inside our borders that could use some humor.

A presidential campaign always brings in a wide variety of candidates who sign-up to become the next leader – and the next scapegoat for a laugh. Their advertising campaigns range from serious promises, exposures, and trivial observances made into surmountable dilemmas; most of which can be turned into anecdotes.

The campaign for one of the candidates running in the 2016 bid for the presidency has taken a slight turn. Donald Trump has become the brunt of many one-liners and jokes about him are buzzing around social media, newspapers and television.

Is the comical side to his campaign planted or is the unintentional publicity welcome? It has been said that the candidates have the opportunity to review what is printed about them and, if it’s not appropriate, the articles will not be printed. So how or why do so many jokes about Trump make it to press or in a monologue?

We all know Trump is a billionaire, real estate mogul, TV show host, and very stern. And yet he’s been roasted on Comedy Central, so Trump must have a thick skin. He appears to enjoy the comical exchanges during interviews and his responses seem spontaneous.

“Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.” A tweet from @realDonaldTrump, posted May 9, 2013.

It’s difficult to tell if that statement made by Trump was meant to be funny. Trump has no filters when speaking. He’s not careful about which group or cause he might insult by saying what comes to mind using words that are sometimes crass. This careless way of speaking has left Trump wide open for all the comedy banter. Scott Timburg, an arts reporter in LA, says this campaign has been the best for comedy since Sarah Palin.

Tina Fey stated, in a recent Huffington Post article, that politics and comedy are indistinguishable. She was quoted as saying that having Trump run for presidency “will make for particularly good joke fodder”. Looking at Trump like this makes it difficult not to take advantage of an easy mark for comedy.

The Rolling Stone magazine printed an article in their June issue citing 47 of the funniest things about Trump. They solicited their readers for comments, a good way to elicit reader participation.

Most of the jokes seem innocent and not too embarrassing for Trump. Out of all the candidates running he seems to be the easiest one to make fun of because of his ostensible expressions and his conspicuous remarks. His quotes and personal appearance are referenced to make-up many of the jokes today in order to elicit laughter from audiences.

Does having a thick skin or a humorous side make him presidential material? The criteria for becoming POTUS do not include a sense of humor, but I’m sure it helps in dignitary meetings.

Being the U.S. President is the most important office one can hold. With high expectations from the people, it will consume every ounce of energy a man or woman has to give. We have to remember that comedy eases tensions, especially those brought on by an explosive socioeconomic climate. Whether you’re a candidate or the president, you need to have the ability to take a joke or make a joke if the situation warrants humor. Otherwise having a reputation of being humorless could be worse than being ignored completely.

Image Sources

  • Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2015: Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS | Used With Permission
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