FlourishAnyway thinks it's possible Donald Trump could be the anti-Christ, or maybe a reincarnation of Hitler or Mussolini.
God Help Us All: A Crackpot Leads the Free World
Remember way back in 2015 when Trump signed the Republican National Committee's loyalty pledge, promising not to run as a third-party candidate? I bet even they wish they could walk that decision back. They legitimized a man who could be at the core of America's undoing.
When self-described billionaire Donald Trump entered the 2016 Presidential race, many people thought it was silly, another of his desperate ploys for the media limelight. He had been talking about running for President since his Oprah appearance in 1987.
Besides, in a crowded field of qualified candidates, how could voters take seriously a loud-mouthed, thin-skinned, and oddly orange-tinted 70-year-old man who sports a combination comb-over/mullet and brags about grabbing women's private parts?
What were the chances? Really. The megalomaniacal Trump:
- has bankrupted his companies four times
- has been married three times
- has never previously held elected office (not even a city council seat) and
- has for years engaged in Twitter rants unbecoming of even the meanest and ethically most infantile middle school bullies.
We knew all this, and yet here we are. People wanted change, and now we have it. Elevated as the Republican candidate and now elected President, Trump gives life to the old adage, "Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it."
I love the poorly educated.
— Donald J. Trump
Backstory of a Bully in a Business Suit
Donald Trump is an alleged billionaire with all the charisma of a rabid raccoon (apologies to raccoons). Born into wealth, he was sent to military school to address behavioral problems that included assaulting a teacher. (The psychologist in me would assert that this was perhaps a clear, early sign of psychopathology in him.)
He consistently shirked owning responsibility. During the Vietnam Era, Trump evaded the draft with a medical deferment due to heel spurs. However, ask him about the situation, and he's suddenly really fuzzy on the details of his alleged impairment.
His father later granted what Trump refers to as a "small" loan of $1 million. Rather than championing small businesses, Trump earned a reputation for refusing to pay them and suing them for nuisance reasons. He has long prided himself in his brutal "slash and burn" strategy.
According to the New York Attorney General, Trump defrauded customers of his now-defunct Trump University of $40 million and was "shameless in his willingness to lie to people." What made the naive among us think that he wasn't willing to do the same thing as the U.S. President?
I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.
— Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States
The HUUUUUGE Problems With Trump
The trouble with Trump can be boiled down to five points, and each one is HUUUUUGE:
- self-aggrandizement (no one likes a braggart, especially if they're also lying)
- reckless rhetoric
- unstable temperament and
- fascist underpinnings.
Although I acknowledge I am not a Republican, I have voted for Republicans previously (mostly down ticket, likely never again). Even as a moderate Democrat, I am saddened and aghast that Republicans have allowed this self-aggrandizing hate-monger to hijack the Party of Lincoln, the "Grand Old Party," their beloved Party of Reagan. It's like watching a slow-motion suicide at the hand of a Machiavellian madman.
America is better than this. By the time the election rolled around, this wasn't an issue of Republican or Democrat. It was about saving our country from the grips of a power-obsessed, bigoted misogynist who does not have the temperament to be President.
But we elected him, regardless. President Donald Trump President will take us down a treacherous path because he cannot be controlled, enlightened, or given the gift of healthy feedback. This "Law and Order" President believes rules don't apply to him.
I play to people’s fantasies. I call it truthful hyperbole.
— Donald J. Trump
The first test of a truly great man is his humility. By humility I don't mean doubt of his powers or hesitation in speaking his opinion, but merely an understanding of the relationship of what he can say and what he can do.
— John Ruskin, English social thinker and philanthropist
Problem 1: No One Likes a Braggart (Especially if They're Lying)
"I went to the Wharton School of Business. I’m, like, a really smart person. It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it."
Trump told an audience of home builders that he knew everything he needed to know about how to build a home — as much as he does now — by age 16.
"I will be the greatest jobs President that God ever created."
"I am the only one who can make America truly great again!"
"Part of the beauty of me is I’m very rich."
"All of the women on "The Apprentice" flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected."
"I'm a bit of a P. T. Barnum. I make stars out of everyone."
“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure. It’s not your fault.”
"When I'm attacked, in a strange way, so is New York."
"My Twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth."
“I think I am, actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.“
"There's nobody bigger or better at the military than I am."
"We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning."
"It's very hard for them to attack me on looks because I'm so good looking."
“I think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong. I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong.”
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”
"When you're a star, [women] let you do it. You can do anything. ... Grab them by the p*ssy."
“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”
Problem 2: A Pattern of Reckless Rhetoric
"I would bring back waterboarding, and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."
On Mexicans: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
“Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”
About Mrs. Khan (the mother of a soldier killed in action): "She had nothing to say. She probably—maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say."
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn't lose voters."
“Laziness is a trait in Blacks.”
"While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct."
On Megyn Kelly: "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her, wherever."
"[Sen. John McCain is] not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."
On Sen. Rand Paul: "I never attacked him on his looks, and believe me, there's plenty of subject matter right there."
"I think Islam hates us. There's a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us."
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
"If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?”
"Without the woman card, Hillary would not even be a viable person to even run for a city council position."
"[Sen. Ted Cruz's] father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being, you know, shot,"
"[Ivanka] does have a very nice figure ... if [she] weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."
"[President Obama] is the founder of ISIS . . . He was the founder, absolutely the founder. In fact he gets the—in sports, they have awards. He gets the Most Valuable Player award."
On women: “You have to treat ’em like shit.”
“Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife.” (Bush's wife is Mexican-American.)
"You know, it doesn't really matter what [the media] write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass."
“Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?” (asked of a foreign policy advisor, three times)
“If she gets to pick her judges – nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”
“Happy Cinco de Mayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”
To a crowd: "If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”
“A person who is very flat chested is very hard to be a 10.”
“[Sen. Marco Rubio] referred to my hands, if they’re small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there's no problem. I guarantee it."
"If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’ ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.”
"She wanted to breast pump in front of me and I may have said that's disgusting, I may have said something else. I thought it was terrible."
About Carly Fiorina: "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next President? I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not s'posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"
Problem 3: Trump Is a Fear-Mongering Demagogue
The Republican party was duped by a demagogue. Trump appealed to the lowest common denominator, and that was FEAR.
If it's true that people often loathe and revile what they fear, then Don the Con is frightened of a lot of people. They threaten his elite Trump Tower worldview. Examples of those he fears include:
- Mexicans: He called them "criminals" and "rapists" and declared he'd build a wall at Mexico's expense. (Remember the wall?)
- Muslims: Equating them with terrorists, Trump declared he'd ban all Muslim travel to the United States.
- Immigrants: Trump said he'd deport a staggering 11 million undocumented illegal immigrants, along with their American-born or American-raised children.
- Women (especially assertive ones): The breast-obsessed 73-year-old frequently critiques women's bodies and claims they throw themselves at him. He has referred to them as pigs, dogs, slobs, bimbos, lightweight, a "piece of ass" and disgusting animals. And during a deposition, when the opposing counsel requested a break to pump breast milk for her infant, the father of five allegedly went berserk and called her "disgusting." (Hey, Donald, breasts exist for the purpose of feeding babies!)
- Fellow Republicans: Trump mocked Sen. John McCain's heroism, Gov. Chris Christie's weight, and Carly Fiorina's face. Calling Sen. Marco Rubio "little Marco," the phallic-fixated Trump dwelled on hand and "male package" size rather than qualifications. He dubbed Sen. Ted Cruz "Lyin' Ted," referred to him as a "p*ssy," and verbally attacked both Cruz's wife and father.
- President Obama and Hillary Clinton: Rather than debate the Democrats on substance—and there was plenty there to debate—Trump resorted to desperate name-calling and deflection tactics. What a waste of the Republican ticket and the American electoral process!
As a candidate, Trump was filled with fear, and he inspired fear and loathing in others. The world hoped that we as a people were better than this. As Americans, we responded by electing him.
It is hard to get mad at Donald Trump for saying stupid things, in the same way you don't get mad at a monkey when he throws poop at you at the zoo . . . [w]hat does get me angry is the ridiculous, disingenuous defending of the poop-throwing monkey.
— John Stewart, American comedian
Problem 4: Unstable Temperament, Unfit to Be President
Donald Trump's temperament is not stable enough for the office he now occupies. The 73-year-old Trump is clearly unworthy of the most powerful position on this planet. Donald Trump is a man who displays remarkably shallow self-awareness and self-control.
A stranger to both civility and empathy, he assumes that the common rules of engagement do not apply to him. Having proven that he is not a man who can be counseled effectively, Trump believes he can shoot off at the mouth with no consequences. But words can have dire ramifications, especially words uttered from the pursed lips of Presidents. People listen, even when you spew hate and your statements are ill-informed.
Donald Trump has demonstrated that he cannot speak intelligently about foreign affairs, current events, or history. That's why he rambles and reverts to insults and attacks. He is without true substance, like a cheap, empty bottle that masquerades as fine wine.
If a candidate for President had no clue about the complexity of world affairs, then how can they be expected to take his rightful place in it? They simply can't. Trump simply can't. America deserved better than this. The job was way too HUUUUUGE for Donald Trump, but now it's a matter of we got exactly what we asked for.
As Americans, we must all hold Trump accountable for his words and actions, and Republicans have a central role in doing so. Opportunities to call him out during the primaries, debates, and in selecting early cabinet members have passed long ago, and he was unchecked. Opportunities to bravely go against their own nominee for the good of the country have passed.
However, it's still not too late to stand on the right side of history. Forget party allegiance. This is something that must be done for the greater good of our country. Even though he is President, hold him accountable for his behavior NOW during what remains of his term, if he lasts to see if completed. Communicate actively with your elected officials. Take to social media. Write letters to the White House. Become more vocal about political issues you care about. Plan for the future.
Problem 5: Fascist Underpinnings
As if he didn't have enough working against him, Trump's rise to prominence has included dangerous elements of fascism, including:
- xenophobic nationalism
- scapegoating and disinformation
- ugly levels of sexism
- hate of the free press
- militant defense of the predominant religion, and
- obsession with crime and punishment.
Fascism is an extreme right-wing, nationalistic, and authoritarian political system. Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, for example, were fascist regimes. In 1990, Trump's first wife reportedly told her lawyer that Trump kept a copy of Hitler's autobiography, Mein Kampf which describes his political ideology and plans for Germany. Read about the 14 Points of Fascism and you'll recognize that we've been headed this way for many years.
For all his faults, Donald Trump is, unfortunately, a symptom of a larger problem: extremism in American politics, particularly at the national level. We need more moderates, more reaching across the aisle. Contrast this with the status quo:
- digging our heels in
- demonizing the other party
- threatening to shut down the government (or actually doing it)
- blocking Supreme Court nominees
- or other tactics
... we must seek harder to understand. We must cooperate, negotiate, and collaborate more to achieve workable solutions. No one will be 100% happy. But that's democracy.
Can collaboration (even within the Republican party) possibly happen, given all that Trump said and did during his candidacy, transition, and tenure thus far? If so, he must do a HUUUUUGE about-face, have a come-to-Jesus moment, tear up his Enemies List and get down to the business of governing for all people. Can that really happen?
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
— often attributed to Sinclair Lewis, American writer
The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. . . . [An individual] who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
— Martin Luther King Jr.
The Bottom Line: Now He Has the Nuclear Code
The Troubles with Trump can be summarized in five points, as outlined above. But since Donald likes to think and act using his gut, here's a quick gut check for you.
Ask yourself if you trust Donald Trump:
- to have the nuclear code? (he's got it now!)
- not to bankrupt America, as he did his companies?
- to represent you honorably as your leader in the community of global citizens?
For all of these reasons and more, he is the Most Dangerous Man In America. And now he is our President. God help us all. God help the world.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2016 FlourishAnyway