Trump, Trump and more Trump. Voters are now beleaguered and besieged with all things Donald. Most broadcast media, Fox News Channel in particular, are in full throat in their support for a Trump presidency.
But just who or what is he? Keep in mind, this is the only important question.
Is he real, or is he just a cardboard cut-out, a mere shell of a Man Who Would BE King. Yes, you read that correctly. A Trump presidency would come with the pompous circumstance of royalty.
His twitter account handle is @realDonaldTrump. But, I ask again, who or what is the real Donald J Trump? He is certainly a brash, often obnoxious, self-centered billionaire who has turned the 2016 Republican presidential race on its ear. He’s the son, the fourth of five children, of Frederick Trump, a builder and real estate developer.
But that’s genealogy. Who is he really? Well, he’s a published author, having written numerous books. Most, like his rhetoric, serve as self-aggrandizing accolades and applause. It is difficult for Mr. Trump to pat himself on the back often enough. When not congratulating the author, his books brazenly promote his lifestyle and philosophy, with titles such as, The Art of The Deal, How to Get Rich and Think Big and Kick Ass.
But, these bio tidbits don’t tell us who he really is. In his unending chase of fame and fortune, he served as the host of "The Apprentice", a reality TV show, a term which, as does most of Trump’s claims about himself, serves as a prima facie example of an oxymoron. The most notable legacy of the show was the mental imagery of Trump, with a snarl, telling would be apprentices, “you’re fired.” He did so with passion and conviction, with a sneer at the now fired apprentice and a smile for the audience.
If we are paying attention, we can begin to see who Trump is. And, if we are paying attention closely, the picture beginning to form is not of a visage we would want to see on Mt. Rushmore.
To learn who he really is, we should not listen to his promises, nor to those of any candidate, of what will be “done” once elected. Neither he nor they can unilaterally make such promises. What we can listen to, and demand that he provide, is a picture into his soul. He should tell us who he is, what he believes and what he will fight for. Sadly, however, we already know these things. In truth, Trump believes in Trump and will fight for Trump, the rest be damned.
In the movie, "The American President", Michael Douglas, in the role of President Andrew Shepherd, delivers a powerful speech. Yes, it’s a movie. Yes, it’s fiction. But, it’s also true that the speech was well written and contains words relevant to the challenges America faces today. He quoted the candidate opposing him for the election, who
“suggested that being President of this country was, to a certain extent, about character.”
Shepherd continued, saying that,
“And although I've not been willing to engage in his attacks on me, I have been here three years and three days, and I can tell you without hesitation: Being President of this country is entirely about character.”
He then went on to describe how his opponent was attempting to win the election,
“And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you [opponent] is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it, and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle age, middle class, middle income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family, and American values…”
Does any of this sound familiar? It should because, for all intents, Trump could be playing the opponent in the movie. He is appealing to our basest nature, to our fears, and he is tearing the country apart.
He concluded the speech by describing circumstances alarmingly similar to current events.
“We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.”
Just as that fictional president asserted, I believe being President of the United States is all about character. But Donald Trump is devoid of character. He came from privileged class and, while I have no issue with that, cannot pretend to understand the plight of middle class Americans. He has built his wealth, such as it is, on the backs of working men and women. He has proudly filed for bankruptcy when it suited his financial ambitions, regardless of the impact on small businesses and employees. He files lawsuits more frequently than many people change their underwear.
Let’s look at examples. Not only has he disparaged women, the disabled, minorities and immigrants, but he had the audacity to besmirch a true war hero.
“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” Donald J Trump
I can only interpret his uncalled for criticism of an American hero to mean that General Jonathan “Skinny” Wainwright, together with the more than 15,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines under his command, who valiantly defended Bataan and Corregidor, were not heroes. They did, after all, surrender and serve out the war in a Japanese POW camp, at least those who survived the Bataan Death March.
In the decade of the 1960s, Donald Trump was living the life expected of a wealthy scion, born to privilege. Having taken advantage of various draft deferments, albeit legally, he was boasting of sexual exploits and tooling around in expensive cars. At the same time, Senator John McCain, bravely and unselfishly serving his country, was enjoying his leisure time by being tortured in a Vietnamese POW camp.
This set of facts alone should suffice to discredit and disqualify the man who would be Trump, but they seemingly do not.
In some of his speeches, he stated that he would order the United States military to kill the families, the wives and children, of terrorists. Tough guy talk! I am reminded of a lesson often heard, if you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything. In the latest debate, he was asked “what would he do if the military properly refused such an order.” Under the Uniform Code of Militray Justice, service members would be correct to refuse such an order.
His reply was telling. “They’ll do what I tell them.” No consideration for his position, for the illegality, the immorality of his position. It has been reported that he has since said he would not give that order. I believe he has changed his public stance. I believe the bully remains.
There are so many things wrong with Donald J Trump it is hard to know which ones to emphasize,to point out. I confess, I initially thought voters would see through his bluster, his brash, unadulterated bigotry and disdain for the common man. That the voters have not seen that is sorely troubling to me. Electing him would be a catastrophe.
Winston Churchill said of democracy that it, “is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” He went on to suggest that, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” I ask voters to not allow Churchill’s argument against democracy to bear fruit.
Do not elevate John Adams to the status of fortune teller by making his assertion come true.
"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
Nominating Donald Trump, in the best case, leads to a Hillary Clinton presidency. In the worst case, it leads to a Trump presidency.
So, would the real Donald J Trump please stand up? Would the bully, who tells rally supporters, “...get him out, try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you...” take a bow? Can the xenophobe who says, “They're [Mexico] sending people that have lots of problems. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.” please identify yourself? Will the thrice married misogynist, who says about a respected female journalist, “So she gets out and starts asking me all types of ridiculous questions, and you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes — blood coming out of her, wherever.” please raise you hand?
Will the ego-maniacal, self-centered, narcissist whose favorite line is, “you’re fired!”, yet who proclaims he would be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” please take center stage?
Can the out of touch reality TV star who offers Mar-a-Lago as the prime example of how hard he has fought for equality, saying “it’s open to everybody.” take a moment and step out of the Twilight Zone? Apparently jobs at Mar-a-Lago are only open to foreign workers. And membership, well it’s open to those with $200,000 in discretionary cash.
Will the braggart who claims to have the greatest memory ever, despite being unable to remember many of his comments, who claims to have built Mar-a-Lago, built in 1927, despite having been born in 1946, acknowledge his presence?
Will the real, cardboard Donald Trump please stand up. I much prefer him to the real, artificial version.
I could go on, but I need a drink. Yes, enjoying that occasional adult beverage is just one of my many failings vis-à-vis the Donald, who eschews such pedestrian pleasures.