We know we are in trouble as a nation when we have to seriously worry that Donald Trump could become president.
Should we have seen this coming?
Well just like our intelligence apparatus failed us on 9/11 or for that matter in 1941 for Pearl Harbor our conventional political polling establishment may have failed us. It’s not necessarily their fault — who knew? Who knew that a silent majority (shades of the 60s) would rise up and vote (in the primaries at least)? A real silent majority who does not talk to pollsters and generally does not or has not taken part in the political process. A silent majority who for the most part bypassed politics or even current events until now. But they looked around and decided they did not like what they saw. The world has changed so much and seemingly not for the better for them.
A charlatan comes along and says he will cure what ails them. And he’s not what George Wallace would have called a “pointy headed intellectual”. In fact, he is ignorant of history and world affairs, apparently as much or more so than George W. Bush, but he is right on the money for what passes as modern (low-life) entertainment and he is closely attuned to the fear, resentment, hatred, racism, and celebration of ignorance among this silent majority (well they may or may not be a majority, November may tell).
While some of the concerns of this silent majority (well they are not always so silent these days) are justified, just flailing out and electing an ignoramus president is not going to solve anything and will surely make things worse.
But of course the argument is that this man cannot be ignorant because he is such a clever businessman, he has such a fortune.
Well for one thing, I have noticed that a broad knowledge of the world is not necessarily a requirement to be good at all levels of business or to make money. You can be clever and I guess that translates into”smart” in some sense, but still be ignorant on the world scale.
And there is so much we do not have details on about this presumptive Republican nominee. Or maybe the public record is there but it has not been made broadly known. We know he uses the bankruptcy courts excessively to his advantage (he bragged about that). We know he has a way of getting other people to invest and then getting out before things go sour. We know that he is good at developing golf courses and getting sky scrapers built. Yes, he has some abilities that is for sure.
But is he the kind of person we would want leading the Unites States, the world’s super power, the person who could in an instant obliterate the whole world with his command of the nuclear codes?
His supporters will tell you they are tired of politicians who say one thing and do another. Yet this man changes his tune in mid sentence and takes no responsibility for what he said in the past.
And his public record is one of a bigot against women, although he would say something like he loves women, but for what? He uses crass language to describe women.
But too many people, even some women, according to reports, are willing to look the other way — they just want something different and someone to shake the “establishment” up. Well this guy sure is shaking the establishment up, but I think he’s shaking anyone up who is for stability and decency and democratic (small d) government and anyone who wants intelligence and experience and ability in governance and not know nothingness.
I do understand the angst among those who see a nation that has changed in its politics and demographics and economy, but where were all the dissatisfied people during all this change? Maybe some were a little too content that things would always go their way and felt no need to pay attention.
It’s good for folks to get a little riled. And throwing out the “bums” as they say is the American way, but we don’t want to replace them with bums.