anne mikolay 2012 120I'll be brief.

When Donald Trump first tossed his now-Republican hat into the 2016 presidential ring, I did not take him seriously. In fact, I laughed, just as I did when Doctor Ben Carson, retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon famous for separating conjoined twins, entered the Republican circus. With non-politicians like Trump and Carson on the roster, I watched the recently televised debate solely out of curiosity. It was then I stopped laughing.

As Trump commanded the stage eliciting surprising applause from the audience, I realized, much to my disbelief, the self-proclaimed mogul actually has a shot at the Republican nomination. As of this writing, he leads the pack. Doctor Ben Carson, who said comparatively little during the debate, ranks in the top three candidates as well. I'm baffled! Who would have thunk it??

Stop and seriously consider what this means. Can you imagine President Donald Trump? He certainly wouldn't need Air Force One; Trump navigates the friendly skies in his private Boeing 757 purchased for the paltry sum of $100 million dollars. Trump and his wife reside in an opulent penthouse with 24 karat gold and marble walls, far more like Saddam Hussein's former palace than an American president's personal residence. Donald Trump, who fancies himself more a man above the people than one among the people, has no political experience. Why, then, is he such a surprisingly popular candidate for the Republican nomination? Because he gives voice to the very politically incorrect thoughts floating around in some American minds. Ben Carson, too, lacks political experience and has risen in the ranks due to his unapologetic belief in God, proving (thankfully) that Americans still hold a Higher Power - be it God, or Facebook - in great esteem.

Dr. Ben Carson's popularity proves the far-reaching influence of Facebook and social media. "Carson for President" posts popped up on Facebook long before the 2016 Republican sideshow began. Admittedly, I regarded such things with the same lighthearted amusement granted to Limberbutt McCubbins. My attitude has since changed.

Both Donald Trump and Ben Carson, though unconventional and flawed (as all politicians are!), appeal to the masses and are definite contenders. Critics may regard Donald Trump as a walking time bomb, but Trump's constituents had best wake up and smell the latte. Americans, weary of the status quo, are looking for someone to shake up the White House. That they would consider a misogynist like Donald Trump, a better fit for Entertainment Tonight than CNN, or a nice guy, like Dr. Ben Carson, who will likely be eaten alive by the Republican machine, speaks volumes.