Monday, March 14, 2016

Making Donald Trump President -- The Birth of the Uncivil Nation

"Donald Trump’s now-famous Mexican wall proposal is perhaps the most obvious example of America’s conscious detachment from the rest of humanity, but it’s not the worst. That distinction would probably go to Ted Cruz, who declared that he would carpet bomb the Middle East, bragging that he would find out “if sand can glow in the dark,” apparently with little concern about the loss of innocent life."
--David Niose

Author David Niose reminds us that we must "bear in mind that candidates make such statements with confidence that voter support will follow." And, since Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have survived from a large field, a mass of voters are "getting the political discourse that reflects their own mindset: angry, fearful, incapable of complex analysis, and hostile toward others."

Why this incredible anger and division? I think we have sadly fallen into a state of disregard for each other ... a time of intolerance led by one particularly power-driven rich American.

Donald Trump, in particular disparages one group after another: Mexicans, Muslims, African-Americans, women, and the list seemingly grows each day of the campaign. It's nothing for him to call individuals and groups with which he disagrees "losers," "flunkies," and "lowlifes."

Like Niose, it concerns me greatly that so much discourse is uncivil -- we commonly find it online, on cable television, and now, on the debate stage. We have grown accustomed to outrage, emotion, and personal attacks. This is dangerous ground for Americans. The propensity to blame others in fits of knee-jerk anger fuels anti-intellectualism, nationalism, and even militarism.

Are we in a time when even a trace of humane treatment matters little to the majority of Americans? I am sure supporters of any candidate would deny that, choosing instead to support any name-calling and personal attacks on the behalf of their candidate as a pleasant change from following political correctness. Trump's new cries of "we must win" and how his targets "deserve" his angry rhetoric make for a bawdy, circus atmosphere that his supporters evidently love.

Let us assume that Donald Trump -- with all of his brashness and loose emotions -- becomes President of the United States. Let's assume the majority speaks, and they elect Donald Trump, the GOP candidate. How would Trump at the helm change the actual perception of the leader of the free world?

Trump is the self-proclaimed "Master of the Business Deal." He has promised that everything from trade to the military will be "great" when he is elected since he knows how to negotiate. He wants to run the country as if it is one of his businesses. In his campaign for the presidency, we have seen any so-called "deals" he has cut have come via (or despite) his extreme sense of demagoguery and braggadocio -- Trump must be Number One in all things. At least, he, in his own mind, must be Number One.

Honing his dramatic shtick in a successful campaign, Trump would assuredly employ his big-ego persona in his presidency. He would employ it in foreign affairs -- negotiations, state meetings, and other interactions that require diplomacy, tact, and consistency. To some, like me, Trump would represent the model of the Ugly American bent on using force. This is the man who claims he will "bomb the shit out of the Islamic State," "make Mexico pay for a wall of division on the American border," and "deny all Syrian refugees from coming into the country." The man is a xenophobe with a quick temper who may pose a great threat to a great number of our allies.

A Trump presidency would be an authoritarian rule. Let's face it, his own declared political party is trying to take him down. And, the truly sad thing is that the GOP is willing to push Trump as their candidate if he gets the nomination, knowing fully well he will cause more stalemate and division. Consider the old saying "If you can't beat them, join them." The Republican Party will willingly support someone they know is a great risk. Integrity? Not in my book.

Donald Trump is a caricature candidate -- he may be larger than life, yet he lacks substance. Many supporters claim they don't want a Washington insider to lead the country. At the same time, Trump's skill sets are honed for business operations, not for politics. Time and again during his presidential campaign he has proven this.

I guess Donald would just fire anyone who opposes his "great" strategies. How ridiculous. Do you really think President Obama could just terminate the employment of the Speaker Paul Ryan because he disagrees with Ryan's leadership? Ryan, himself, has reservations about a Trump presidency.

Gautam Mukunda, Assistant Professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit of Harvard Business School, has done a lot of research into presidents, particularly the ones he calls “unfiltered” -- meaning they hadn’t spent much time at the upper levels of the political system before taking office.

Mukunda believes these men are typically the ones who make the boldest moves, taking steps no one has ever thought of before. And, sometimes, that works out.

“Sometimes you get Abraham Lincoln,” Mukunda told HuffPost. More often, though, “you get disasters. (like Franklin Pierce and Warren Harding considered by many historians as the worst presidents)."

(Emily Peck. "The Main Reason Trump Shouldn't Be President Is Painfully Obvious."
Huffington Post. September 15, 2015.)

Oh boy! I don't think anyone with vision sees Donald Trump as the new Abraham Lincoln, savior of the Union. His divisive tactics are largely drawn from his own sense of personal empowerment. So, if you like his politics and the person that is Trump, I guess you agree with him in that "he represents the people." Hey, I don't blame you for distrusting politicians and Washington; however, to end this entry, consider two quotes made by Trump about leaders in his own Republican party:

“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?" — Trump says of opponent Carly Fiorina in a September 2015 interview with Rolling Stone.

“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” — Trump says of John McCain at a Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, in July 2015.

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