Who can take tomorrow
Dip it in a dream
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream?
The Candy Man
—”The Candy Man” by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory tells the story a boy whose golden ticket earns he and his grandpa a magical day inside the confectionary utopia of Willy Wonka.
Willy Wonka is a larger than life, if socially challenged, businessman. His workplace is lavishly decorated. He wears a conspicuous hat. He invites children to witness his presentations, then asks them to leave when they misbehave. I’ve been thinking about Willy Wonka a lot while following the campaign of Donald Trump.
Like Wonka, Trump exists in a world of pure imagination. On the campaign trail, America’s would-be sugar daddy has made some whoppers of pledges—from tearing up trade deals to strong-arming NATO to enacting massive tax cuts, all the while improving our way of life, should he be elected in November.
Trump’s signature campaign promise has been to build a wall to keep away illegal Mexican immigrants, whom he has described as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists.” In his opening speech as candidate for president on June 16, 2015, he said, “I would build a great wall. And nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. And I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has said that there’s “no way” that Mexico will pay for the wall. However, in Trump’s yes-is-no and up-is-down world, “no way” means “let’s do this.”
Remember that he is “self-funding” his campaign with donations from other people. He is running on his business acumen, but refuses to share his tax returns as evidence of it.
For run-of-the-mill candidates all this prevarication would be a stumbling block, a problem. Not for Trump. As Willy Wonka says, “You should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about.”