Like Button

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Playing the Trump Card

Donald Trump is famous for, among other things, the line from his "reality" TV series, The Apprentice, where he tells eliminated candidates, "You're fired." I told someone a couple of months ago, "I can just imagine a President Trump saying that to our nuclear arsenal and meaning something quite different." It was said in jest, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't hold some truth. Donald Trump is a bombastic blowhard who likes to be heard and hates to be ignored. He's not entirely sure of the difference between himself and Bernie Sanders. He's eager to take on the leadership of the free world but too whiney to handle questions from Megan Kelly. He states grandiose plans to "Make America great again" but doesn't have a strategy to do it, doesn't even bother to learn about things like our nuclear forces (the nuclear triad), and praises Vladimir Putin of all people. You see, being informed is all well and good, but it doesn't make for good show. He said famously, "I could shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters." When former Arizona governor Jan Brewer endorsed Trump for president, she said, "He will listen to the people and fight for the citizens of the United States." You know what? I just don't see it. I just can't imagine Donald Trump listening to or fighting for anyone but himself.

Just what is it that voters are seeing in Mr. Trump that puts him in the lead for the moment? (Seriously ... Carson endorsed Trump??) They complained that Palin didn't have the experience to run a country, but the Donald has less. They mocked her line about being able to see Russia from her home in Alaska, but Trump isn't any better. “It is always a great honor,” he said recently upon hearing that Putin endorsed him, "to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond." If we were a corporation, Mr. Trump might (might) be a good option. He might be able to make us profitable. We're not. He won't. His qualifications for president are ... absent. He's qualified on Middle East issues because he was the grand marshal for an Israeli Day Parade in New York some years ago and he received the "Tree of Life Award" from Israel. (Hey, maybe he could get Israel to build a wall around itself and have the Palestinians pay for it!) His own website lists his qualifications as things like he "is the very definition of the American success story", he "was a top contributor and fundraiser for Republican efforts", he is "a devoted supporter of veteran causes", and "was honored in the Pentagon during a lunch with the Secretary of Defense and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff." But wait! There's more! "The Trump signature is synonymous with the most prestigious of addresses" (a reference to his real estate dealings) and "Mr. Trump is the Emmy-nominated star and co-producer of the reality television series." There you have it. A qualified candidate.

"Oh," they tell me, "but he's surely better than Bernie or Clinton!" Frankly, I'm not so sure. Seriously. Hillary could give us a defeat, but she wouldn't change the nature of the conservative. If we put Donald up as the Republican nominee, we will be saying to the world, "This is the guy who represents us. If you want to know what we think, look at the Donald." We would be saying, "Yes, we want to deport all illegals. Yes, we want to build a wall between us and Mexico and make Mexico pay for it. Yes, we oppose any sort of humanitarian immigration, especially Muslims. Oh, yeah, Islam is our enemy. And 'enhanced interrogation techniques' (read 'torture') and more force is the answer. Yes, we think these things are rational and right. Yes, we think we should boycott people who we feel don't like us and, yes, we are the party that embraces overt racists and even enemies of our nation. Look, if we can win by being insulting and petty and cruel, we will." (I think we're borrowing that from the more Liberal side of America.) "We do not stand for an informed government, but a 'shoot-from-the-hip' leadership that goes with what it feels and stands by it even when it's totally wrong." Donald started the inevitable sniping at party candidates with petty issues and false accusations. He questioned Cruz's nation of birth and expressed concern about Rubio's ability to be president because of his ethnic heritage. With this kind of leadership, we've seen people like Rubio complaining that he'll "make America orange." The party of the petty. The party of the puerile. The party of the pointless. And do you think that a man driven by his own ambitions and marching to his own drumbeat would, if he felt insulted enough, not resort to the massive force of the U.S. military or its other powerful options? Clinton or Sanders can do serious damage to the country, but not to the conservatives. Trump can do both.

But, I'm sure that many will be horrified. "But ... but ... if you don't vote for the party, you're voting for the enemy." Maybe. It's just that with Trump as my option I'm not sure at all who "the enemy" is anymore. I get that Sanders or Clinton would be really bad for our nation, but "I'm not politically correct" is not a qualification for the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military in the world and "I'm in favor of strong immigration rules" is not the best indicator of a good leader of the free world. It appears to gather votes, but I'm not sure where that game winds up. I do not see it as something good ... or even "less evil". In presidential elections I've been a good Republican voter for my entire voting life. Sometimes I voted for someone I really liked and sometimes I held my nose and voted. Of late my votes have come with increasing unease. I wasn't pleased with George W, wasn't really on board with John McCain, and wasn't happy at all with Mitt Romney in 2012. But we've arrived at a new place here. I no longer know which is "the lesser of two evils". That's my problem.


Craig said...

Wow, Dan likes this post.

Stan said...

Does that mean I should question my post? :)

Craig said...

Maybe, although I doubt you'll go to quite the lengths to broad brush all trump supporters or all Republicans due to the actions of a few.

Stan said...

I don't think it's a broad brush to lay on Trump supporters, unless they're just not paying attention. In that case, it's another brush, isn't it?