Unless you suffer from severe allergies, it’s hard not to like spring, when flowers are everywhere from window baskets to shrubs to trees. My pansies are bursting with springtime energy, the azalea buds are about to pop, and the cherry tree won’t be far behind.

Spring flowers emerging from bare ground and from dormant branches bring freshness and color that speak to us of life and the hope of resurrection.

Unfortunately, the spring that comes 18 months before the next presidential election also brings into full flower the stirrings of would-be contenders who start their posturing in hopes of gaining support, usually by creating an “exploratory” web site that paints the wannabe candidate as presidential and pretends that he’s just testing the waters (for a good example, see Newt Gingrich‘s laughably obvious “exploratory” site).

And the latest news is that Donald Trump, the master of self-promotion, is claiming that he’s considering a bid that would involve putting up $600 million of his own money. You have to wonder about the judgment of anyone who thinks his combover fools anyone, or who thinks his spotty and sometimes disastrous financial dealings prepare him to supervise the world’s largest economy, or who thinks being able to say “You’re fired!” on a TV show qualifies him to lead the free world.

Trump has spoken out in support of the radical “birthers” who are still trying to claim that Barak Obama is an illegitimate president, yet more evidence of impaired judgment. Let us hope all of his political noise is just more hot air designed to puff his reputation and keep his name in the news.

Meanwhile, in a story virtually lost amid the aftermath of Japan’s natural disaster and the allied attacks on Libya’s air defenses and military sites, the people of Haiti went to the polls yesterday to elect a president. The two candidates in a run-off are former first lady Mirlande Manigat, a constitutional law expert, and Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly, a pop star best known for dropping his drawers during concerts.

There’s a good chance the musical flasher, who is popular with the masses, will win.

I love democracy, but stories like this magnify its hidden danger: when the majority rules, and the majority is shallow enough to swallow cheap lies or to prefer celebrity over substance, everybody is in trouble.

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