The Thing About Trump

Photo by Gage Skidmore
Photo by Gage Skidmore

There isn’t much neutral ground when it comes to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.  Some conservatives have expressed a very strong support for the billionaire while others have denounced him.  His brash style and frank opinions have propelled him to front-runner status for the Republican nomination even while a large segment of Republicans have declared that they have no plans to support him.

So what makes Donald Trump so attractive?  Well, part of it has to due with the fact that much of the Republican base feels betrayed by the party leadership.  Election after election Republican politicians say that they can advance conservative legislation the grassroots wants…if only they are given control of the government.  Regrettably, but perhaps not surprisingly, once the party assumed control, the leaders broke every (or almost every) single promise to roll back the size and scope of the federal government.  Is there any wonder why the grassroots is pissed off?  Is there any wonder why a third to a fourth of self-identified Republican voters say they are willing to break from the GOP if they had another alternative?

And so, with the backdrop of this volatile situation, Donald Trump has found a perfect storm.  Whether you agree with him or not, Mr. Trump has certainly made some bold statements.  I can certainly appreciate standing up for what you believe in.  Although some Republicans were horrified when Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently gave a speech on the Senate floor denouncing Senator McConnell (R-KY) as a liar, the simple truth is that Senator McConnell has deceived and continues to deceive many people and is usually not held accountable.

Unfortunately, for all of his boldness, a lot of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric appeals to some of the worst elements of our society.  For example, as you most likely already know, in his announcement speech he declared that the immigrants coming from our southern border are rapists and bringing drugs while “a few…[he assumes]…are good people”.  Although I believe it is important to know who is coming over the border and we ought to do our best to prevent criminal elements from entering, the idea of painting most or all immigrants from the south as undesirables expelled by the Mexican government, as Mr. Trump has done, is, quite frankly, reprehensible.  To offer another scenario, Donald Trump has expressed the opinion that he was treated unfairly in the first debate by Megyn Kelly.  Perhaps he was; that is a fair point to consider.  However, Mr. Trump said, “you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever…”.  Again, to suggest that Ms. Kelly acted the way she did due to being on her period is extremely degrading to women and demonstrates that he isn’t presidential material.  And yet again some of his fans have cheered at these comments.

Donald Trump is a showman, as demonstrated from programs like The Apprentice and his guest spots on WWE.  He has switched political parties repeatedly and has held contradictory political positions on a whole host of issues.  Is he a conservative?  Is he a liberal?  Yes, it is possible that he is sincere both then and now…or it is equally possible that his behavior is merely a political stunt to garner as much attention as possible.

Obviously, the race is still in its early stages and a lot can happen in the next several months.  However, other than fanning the flames of anger combined with narcissism, racism, and sexism, so far I haven’t discovered any reason why a conservative or a libertarian should support Mr. Trump…unless, of course, you believe our country would be great if it wasn’t for those darn (insert various slurs here).

Yes, voters have every right to be upset with the Republican leadership in Washington; after all, the actions of many elected Republicans are virtually indistinguishable from their Democratic counterparts.  But, from what you’ve heard at this point, do you honestly believe that electing Donald Trump will improve this problem?  I don’t.

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