There are cases to be made both for and against the candidacy of Donald Trump. Thursday I let my thoughts be known, but judging by the feedback I received, some clarity is in order. As such, I will lay out those cases, as I see them, so you can decide for yourselves.
The Case For Donald Trump
Given his inability to articulate a clear vision for the country, and what vision he has mentioned being rather liberal (supporting a minimum wage hike, government health care, trade wars, giving the impression the president can override decisions of CEOs, increasing taxes on the wealthy, pick and choose bathrooms, secret plans for ISIS, affinity for despotic rulers, etc.), there’s nothing I can say positive about what he wants to do aside from building a wall on the Mexican border. How he’ll get Congress to go along with him remains to be seen, particularly since he thus far treats his interactions with this co-equal branch of government like a celebrity roast.
I know I’m making a case against him under a subtitle of the opposite, but reality is reality. The president can’t spend a dime without approval from Congress. If Trump thinks he can bypass Congress, he’s no better than Barack Obama, only he won’t have the protection of his party from impeachment. (Makes his VP pick all the more important.)
There is one thing where he could have a major impact: the Supreme Court.
There’s a vacancy on the court now, and more than likely there will be others to follow. Trump is scheduled to give a speech on his judicial philosophy and name names of people he would consider nominating. That’s all well and good, and there probably will be good names on that list, as his team knows a lot rides on it.
This is only a positive, of course, if he sticks to his word and chooses a candidate from that list. But considering how fast and loose he has played with the truth throughout this campaign, I can’t trust him.
The Supreme Court is the real prize of 2016, and I simply can’t believe someone with a history of not keeping his word will keep his word on this. If you lie about unimportant things to get what you want, why wouldn’t you lie about the important ones?
Still, I understand why someone would support him because of that, and for that I do not blame them.
The Case Against Trump
My distrust of Donald Trump goes beyond the lies he tells; it goes to the very core of the man.
The problem with Trump is he’s not only unwilling, but seemingly unable to admit his shortcomings. I’m not talking about his dodgy answers to the pointless debate questions about when was the last time he apologized. I’m talking about how those questions came up in the first place.
Trump will not admit he’s made a mistake and won’t apologize when he is demonstrated to have been wrong. He simply pretends he did nothing wrong or, more disturbingly, claims he didn’t say what there is video of him saying, sometimes only hours earlier.
Don’t get me wrong, the president of the United States shouldn’t travel the country or the world apologizing to everyone (see Barack Obama), but the unwillingness or inability to when obviously wrong is a major character flaw. Donald Trump seems to fancy himself a pudgy Fonzie with bad hair, when in reality he’s an incredible narcissist with dangerous delusions of grandeur.
No matter who you are or what you do, no matter your background or profession, there are things you do not know. Smart people seek out that missing knowledge with the understanding they’ll never know it all. If they own a company they hire the best. If they are in government they hire staff who specialize. Trump appears to have done neither of these things in his campaign.
When he said his top foreign policy advisor was himself because he has such a good brain, I knew it was a problem. When he advised people to surround themselves with “unsuccessful people” because they’ll “respect you,” I knew I couldn’t be a part of supporting that man.
He actually said, “And you’ll find that when you become very successful, the people that you will like best are the people that are less successful than you, because when you go to a table you can tell them all of these wonderful stories, and they’ll sit back and listen,” he said. “Does that make sense to you? OK? Always be around unsuccessful people because everybody will respect you. Do you understand that?”
That’s Donald Trump in a nutshell. It’s also the advice of someone more interested in ego stroking than learning or bettering themselves. It’s not someone who should be president.
Take this how you will: If you’re a die-hard Trump supporter, my experience suggests there is nothing – no fact, no reality, not even anything he says or does, or says he’ll do – capable of changing your mind. Donald Trump not being Hillary Clinton is a biological fact not an argument to vote for him, particularly when both have demonstrated the same willingness to say or do anything to obtain power.
If it gives you pause, causes you to think even for moment, the time is now to demand answers. Trump is still in attack mode when he should be in consolidation mode (unless he has no other mode, which is possible). His claims he doesn’t need nor want the support of conservatives who question his sincerity, honesty and convictions is an indication he not only won’t truthfully address what he would do if he were president, it’s evidence he can’t. Whatever the case, there’s still time to figure it out and demand a peek into what the man truly believes … if he truly believes in anything beyond his own ego.
If Donald Trump is sincere about what he says, answers and specifics shouldn’t be an annoyance he avoids, they should be easy.