What’s Wrong with Trump? Or What’s Wrong with Us?

By | December 14, 2015 | 0 Comments


When someone does not fit into the expected pattern, we have to ask ourselves an important question: Is there something wrong with him, or is there something wrong with the pattern? In the case of Donald Trump, it is obvious he does not fit our preconception of a typical politician. So the question becomes: Is there something wrong with our preconception?

● Trump uses strong language. Perhaps it is to make up for the politicians who talk incessantly, but who use weasel words that are ambiguous and can be construed as supporting both sides of an issue. For example, we have a president who rarely uses the word “terrorism,” and never – literally never – refers to “Islamists,” or “extremist Islam,” or “Muslim extremists.” This may be the first time in world history that a wartime leader is unable even to name the enemy, much less to formulate a plan to defeat it.
● Trump speaks bluntly. Perhaps this is to make up for the politicians who are unable or unwilling to say anything meaningful about serious problems. For example, we have a president who claims to be fighting “extremism.” What? Evangelical Christians, who are extremely committed to their faith? Middle Eastern Christians, who are willing to die for their faith – and actually are dying? Jews, who are forced to flee large parts of the Middle East, and now Europe as well? Are all “fundamentalists” equally dangerous?
● Trump uses broad gestures. Perhaps this is to make up for the politicians who sit with their hands folded, blandly claiming that there is nothing we can do to stop ISIS or other terrorist groups, because opposing them would only bring them more recruits. Really? Would you trek long distances to reach training camps that are being bombed flat? Fanatics may be willing to die killing “infidels.” But to die having accomplished nothing is less attractive.
● Trump confronts the problem of uncontrolled immigration head-on. Perhaps this is to make up for the mealy-mouthed politicians who mumble about the “Statue of Liberty” and “a nation of immigrants,” but who neglect to mention that during World War II, we were intelligent enough not to admit thousands of German immigrants we could not properly scrutinize. And no one complained that this was “Germanophobic” or “racist” or “un-American” or “unconstitutional.”
● Trump goes so far as to propose banning all Muslim immigrants until a way can be found to vet them effectively and prevent entry of terrorists. Perhaps this is to make up for the Democrats who propose doing nothing and condemn him as a “Hitler.” But they conveniently forget that during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980, Democrat Jimmy Carter not only banned entry of all Iranians, but also deported hundreds of Iranian students. I know – my wife and I were on an airliner that was held at the gate for over an hour, so scores of Iranian military cadets could board and be deported. That was an interesting flight. But nobody called Carter a “Hitler.”
● Trump appeals to ordinary Americans, who see their jobs, places in school, and seats in clinic waiting rooms disappearing. Perhaps this is to make up for politicians who are bought and paid for by big business, which wants cheap, non-union workers willing to take minimum-wage jobs with meager or no benefits. And these puppets have the gall to pretend to be friends of American workers.
● Trump supports the rights of gun owners and announces that he has a concealed-carry permit. Perhaps this is to make up for the cowardly hypocrites who try to disarm ordinary citizens, but who live in guarded enclaves and may secretly own guns themselves.
● Trump speaks little about his own faith, but instead clearly demonstrates his faith in America. Perhaps this is to make up for pseudo-religious politicians who wear their faith on their sleeves, but who use up their compassion on criminals and terrorists, leaving none for law-abiding Americans.
Donald Trump clearly does not fit the pattern of ambiguous promises, weasel words, and verbal flatulence that we have come to associate with politicians. Now we must ask ourselves whether this is due to the fact that there is something wrong with Trump, or something wrong with our notion of a politician.
Would Trump make a good president? I have serious reservations. He rarely talks about the Constitution, or the limitations on presidential power that Obama has transgressed. This makes me wonder whether Trump would continue the imperial presidency, albeit for his own agenda.
I worry about Trump’s thin skin and short temper. Still, these traits might be advantages in dealing with potential enemies. The Iranians held American hostages for 444 days when dealing with Jimmy Carter, but the hostages were released the day Ronald Reagan took office. Reagan gave the impression that he was the wrong guy to mess with. Trump gives the same impression. Perhaps that is what his supporters sense.
If Trump drew a “red line” against the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and they were used despite this, can you imagine Trump doing nothing, as Obama did? If our ambassador and three other Americans were in danger in Benghazi, can you imagine Trump doing nothing to rescue them, as Obama and Hillary did? You can’t imagine it? My point exactly.
In any case, Trump has already done an enormous public service by forcing his competitors to face the serious problems that confront us:

They can no longer bloviate endlessly on extraneous topics without coming to grips with uncontrolled immigration.

They can no longer ignore the fact that we are allowing terrorists like one of the San Bernardino murderers free entry to our nation.

They can no longer claim that we are “vetting” immigrants, when that radicalized fanatic was allowed entry despite giving a fictitious address.

They can no longer pose as friends of American workers, while bending every effort to export high-paying jobs and import low-skilled immigrants.

They can no longer pose as defenders of freedom, when they are afraid to condemn those who behead “infidels,” enslave blacks, and oppress and mutilate women.

They can no longer nod off in apathy and willful ignorance, when Trump’s noisy orations and strident proclamations are making sleep impossible.

After the disastrous attack on Pearl Harbor that pulled us into World War II, we transferred the Chief of Naval Operations, who was well-liked but had not prepared for an attack. As his replacement, we brought in an admiral who was not well-liked and had an abrasive style, but who had a reputation for getting things done. He remained at the head of our Navy through the victorious conclusion of the war. On assuming office, he is said to have remarked, “When they get in trouble, they send for us sons-of-bitches.”
When I see Trump speaking, sometimes I think of that quote.

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

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