Let’s be honest about Donald Trump’s appeal to too many Americans—Republicans, Independents and even some Democrats.
Some of it may be attributed to his anti-politician stance. Some to racism. or nativism.
But the bottom line to me is that too many Americans are just flat out dumb. Stupid. Too ignorant to realize they often vote against their best interests. Why else would they choose to elect candidates from a party dedicated to keeping the rich rich and making them richer at the expense of the majority, those mired in the working and middle classes?
Trump makes outrageous statements. Who among us doesn’t? But the consequences of private comments pale in comparison to the polarizing, often inaccurate and bombastic views expressed by a candidate who hopes to lead not just our country but the civilized world.
The Donald speaks his mind, no doubt about it. His fans, I believe, care not that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. After all, they too probably couldn’t differentiate between Shia and Sunni Muslims, or know the names of leaders of different terrorist factions, as Trump failed to do on a Thursday radio show with conservative host Hugh Hewitt (http://nyti.ms/1UvMtJR). His fans just want someone to voice their frustrations with a system that does not seem to be working for them.
That alone doesn’t make them dumb or stupid or ignorant. What crosses the line for me is that they don’t see beyond the façade. His vision of leadership is that he would be able to do it all himself. As he told Hewitt at the end of their interview, “I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.”
My head is spinning in disbelief not just at Trump but at the chumps he has made of so many of our fellow citizens.
Principled Stance? I Don’t think so: Our country was founded on several principles—that no one was above the law; that religion would not supersede government; that opportunity would be available equally to all.
What we have witnessed in Rowan County, KY, has been an elected official who tried to impose her religious beliefs on others in direct conflict with the adjudicated, constitutional law of the land.
One may disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the legality of same-sex marriages, but failure to adhere to its determination is a usurpation of someone else’s rights.
Kim Davis’ denial of a marriage license to gay couples because it violated her religious beliefs was not a principled defiance of an unjust law. She was not practicing freedom of religion. She was the incarnation of religious extremism no less severe than that practiced by ISIS and other Muslim reactionaries who choose to exercise religious intolerance rather than inclusion.
Taken to the next level, Davis or some other fanatic could come up with religious beliefs that would deny rights to any class they disapproved of, such as Hispanics, Jews, Afro-Americans or Jehovah Witnesses. Her resistance to changing times and mores is personal, not to be countenanced in an elected official.
Or by an elected official. Which leads to the more troubling reaction of some Republican presidential candidates who profess allegiance to the Constitution but apparently not if it conflicts with their views. Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and others want a government defined by Christian values as contained in the Bible.
So tell me, if you substitute the Koran and Sharia law for the Old and New Testaments, how is that different from what ISIS wants in its mostly Muslim sphere?