The Shock-Jock Candidate

trump

No matter how much they may dislike “Crooked Hillary” and the establishment in Washington, voters in good conscience can not choose Donald Trump to lead the United States of America. The man has, time after jaw-dropping time, consistently proven himself to be reckless, prejudiced, reactive, selfish, unstable and juvenile. Trump supporters who deny this are just living in fantasy land. Yes, he says what he thinks and is refreshingly unscripted. I won’t argue with you there. Yes, he is tough and fearless and no-nonsense. He even has a  few good ideas (along with a whole host of very bad ones). But as one commentator put it, you don’t let the drunk guy drive the bus, no matter how popular he is with the crowd. You have to take a serious look at the whole package, not just focus on the parts of it you really like. It’s like deciding to stay with an abusive lover. He may hit you and treat you badly, but he’s a good provider and besides, you probably deserved it (and I have to admit, sometimes I think a large portion of the electorate does deserve Donald Trump since many are as ignorant and juvenile as he is).

I understand that people are fed up and want change. That’s great, and I don’t fault them for that. I want that, too. But change is not always good, and the kind of change we’d get with Trump as our leader is very likely not the kind many are craving. He would behave no differently as president than he has for the past year, flitting from one shocking behavior to another. If there’s one thing we can count on, he is consistent in his outrageousness and offensiveness. Is this the kind of behavior we want in a president – someone who acts out of impulse, who can’t control his mouth or his temper, who, basically wouldn’t even pass a job interview at the local WalMart? If he can’t control himself in an interview or a debate, how is he going to deal effectively with Congress or other world leaders? His supporters seem to think he can just bulldoze his way through with his bluster and bravado. He may get away with this in his private company where he is king, but we are not choosing a king. Political leadership in a democracy requires thoughtfulness and compromise. It requires an adult who has learned to control their baser instincts and impulses.

What scares me almost as much as Donald Trump is his sizable base of rabid supporters. Trump has steadily stirred up hatred, prejudice, violence and blind devotion in his followers, which is what makes him so dangerous. This is how dictators behave. Whether he wins the presidency or not, he has already done great damage by dividing the country rather than trying to unite it. If he loses, he will stir up more dissent with his claims of conspiracy and a rigged election. If he wins, we will have four potentially frightening years of the torch-and-pitchfork crowd pitting neighbor against neighbor, with Donald fanning the flames and stoking the ratings.

Hillary is far from perfect, and has many questionable things in her background. Whether this is a factor of her truly being dishonest or of her being a target under a microscope for decades I can’t say with any certainty. Surely some of the alleged scandals have been exaggerated by her enemies, but there are no doubt elements of truth in many of them. I don’t think she’s a girl scout by any means. She has made mistakes and admitted to some, which Donald cannot seem to do. Her more high-profile scandals have been investigated thoroughly by sometimes bloodthirsty opponents (the same ones who impeached her husband), with no proof of nefarious intent. Is she dishonest? Probably at times, to save face, like most every politician. She has faults to be sure, but in the big picture who has the maturity, the poise, the clear grasp of the issues, and the patience to lead this country?  No one who is being honest with themselves can answer that question with “Trump.”

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