Trump, the Insult Comic Dog

Trump, the Insult Comic Dog
Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

It’s undoubtedly true that the comments about which Kelly asked Trump were politically incorrect. But that is not the only reason why one might be put off by them. They were also rude. Kelly’s objection was that they were unpresidential, and Trump didn’t have an answer to that.

His defense was that the comments were humorous. We can’t judge that, not having heard them in their original context, but we’ll give Trump this: He is funny. We don’t think we’ve ever laughed as much at a political candidate—and to be fair, we were laughing with him as well as at him. He lived up to his billing, in a recent Tablet article, as “our last great Vaudevillian.”

Trump is a master of insult comedy, So of course he is rude—that’s what makes him fun to watch. If Don Rickles had run for president in, say, 1980, that year’s primary debates surely would have yielded many lines more memorable than “I’m paying for this microphone, Mr. Green.” But does anyone think President Rickles would have been better for the country than President Reagan?


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