Ana Veciana-Suarez

Naked women, hair weaves, crazy butlers: a sad summary of Campaign 2016

Proud Liberals Facebook Page

In case you thought this presidential election couldn’t get any kookier, here’s something to shake your head at. Again.

The Facebook Page “Proud Liberals” published an image that is said to be Melania Trump posing in thong, gun and boots. Next to it is a photo of bare-armed first lady Michelle Obama. The caption says, in part, “Remember when Republicans complained about Michelle Obama’s arms?”

Huh? Did I miss something? Are these women running for office?

Never mind such logic. As expected, a minor kerfuffle ensued after the picture posting, with the obligatory accusations that the photograph of the scantily clad future Mrs. Trump was a fake. It wasn’t. Turns out, she posed for a GQ edition on Trump’s customized Boeing 727 several years ago, when she was The Donald’s girlfriend.

I’m no fan of the showman or of his bluster and hate-mongering and divisiveness, but… but…

Now, let’s forget the issue of bare flesh and talk hair instead, the long and the short of it, and the follicles or lack thereof. While every candidate has fascinating hair — Bernie gives me courage to wear mine any which way — The Donald’s attracts the most attention.

Just a few days ago, a Gawker investigation revealed that the presumptive GOP candidate’s gravity-defying pompadour is not his own but a weave that costs tens of thousands of dollar to install and upkeep. The patented hair restoration treatment is called a “microcylinder intervention” and is performed by only one clinic, Ivari International, whose New York location is — you guessed it — inside Trump Tower on the private floor reserved for Donald Trump.

OK, I’ll admit I read the entire story (and it was quite a long one) because … because, gulp and blush, I’m one of the millions of Americans who wonders how Trump does what he does with his head rug. So now I know his secret. But must I? There are so many more important issues to worry about.

Syria is a mess, as are Iraq and Afghanistan. ISIS continues to be a major threat, the global economy is growing shakier, the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, and a year-to-date chart of my stock portfolio, when I venture a peek, resembles a roller coaster ride.

Still, the kookiness continues, and most of it is downright alarming. Before the GQ spread, before the hair, there was Donald Trump’s former butler. Earlier this month, Anthony Senecal drew the attention of the Secret Service because he updated his social media feed with a post that suggested President Obama, whom he calls “zero,” should be killed.

Then there’s the violence between Trump supporters and opponents. Check out the latest in New Mexico and California. Is this a flashback to the tumultuous ’60s? To pre-World War II Germany?

I used to think that once we got closer to summer the embarrassing eruptions that pock our political landscape would, if not disappear, at least become infrequent. Scratch that. The weird, the insulting, the ridiculous and the I-can’t-believe-this incident have become commonplace. And worse: Most likely, this terrible, horrible soap opera that is Campaign 2016 will stay with us long after the 2017 inauguration.

That’s because we’re a society driven by entertainment, enthralled with the spectacle, enamored of the exhibitionist. We expect less gravitas and more thrills, less substance and more sparks, and so our candidates must compete with the Kardashians to hold our attention. For sure, the political conventions in Philly and Cleveland will serve as a substitute for The Good Wife now that the CBS show finished its fabulous seven-year run.

How sad, how scary.