Now that that pesky little birther certificate issue is cleared up, Donald Trump wants to talk about the real issues facing out country. "OPEC is laughing at us," Trump told a crowd in New Hampshire. That's been a longtime core issue for Trump--not our dependence on foreign oil, but that everyone is laughing at us.
Trump has made three serious fake bids at the presidency: in 1987, 1999, and 2011. The dominant issues changed a bit each time--and Trump has flip-flopped on a few of them--but his way of thinking about them has not. Everyone is always pointing and laughing at America, in Trump's view. A psychologist might have a field day with this. Is this how we got our dear "carnival barker"? As he waves from his stretch limo window, as he strides across the red carpet, as he takes credit for Obama's birth certificate, does he hear a little voice in the back of his head--maybe it sounds like the mother in Carrie--whispering, "They're all gonna laugh at you"? A look back at some of the instances of ridicule anxiety:
On voter anxiety, to the Miami Herald, September 24, 1987: "There's a large group of people who are tired of seeing the country ripped off and laughed at. It's hard to ignore them. But really, I have no intention of running for president."
On international trade, to the Miami Herald, October 23, 1987: "The Japanese, when they negotiate with us, they have long faces... But when the negotiations are over, it is my belief . . . they laugh like hell."