A friend of mine, a very successful author and marketer, a deep student of the human psyche, asked on Facebook, “Why do you love/hate Trump? (Disclaimer: I’m indifferent.)”
It was the disclaimer that got me worried. This is part of my response to him:
I have enormous respect for your analytical skills, M.______, but I question deeply your indifference…
M.______, I hope you’re pulling our legs. You of all people understand human motivations and psychology. Trump is a master marketer and manipulator. I don’t know if he’s studied NLP [Neurolinguistic Programming] (or maybe you) or if he’s actually a natural.
I do know that if he wins, I will be looking seriously at what other country I might live in for the next 4 to 8 years. I have family who died in Nazi concentration camps. I don’t want to be part of an America where ordinary citizens are rounded up because they’re Muslim or Mexican, just as my parents’ cousins were for being Jewish.
I don’t say this lightly. I consider him extremely dangerous, and it scares me that enough people in the US take him seriously enough that he’s doing well in the polls (we’ll see if this translates to actual votes).
- Trump has successfully created an image of himself as a self-made man. But this is blatantly untrue. He was born into a family made wealthy by buying political favors (cheaply), and capitalizing on government largesse for their development projects. Trump presents himself as the man who can’t be bought, but he sure has a long history of buying others (for his family’s financial gain). That’s corruption, in my opinion. In the 1970s, he even tried to bribe an investigative journalist with an offer of finding him a better place to live.
- The pattern of favors exchanges continues to the present. Does anyone really think it was in any way a coincidence that within hours of receiving Sarah Palin’s endorsement, he named her as his running mate?
- This man has a “teflon coating” so powerful it makes Reagan’s look vulnerable. He’s not only attacked whole classes of people, he attacked John McCain for being captured, and by proxy insulted every veteran and all those who respect their service—and then he turns around and repeats the biggest mistake of McCain’s career: running with Palin (I think he might have won in 2008 if he had a running mate people trusted). How is it that the mainstream media hasn’t torn him to ribbons? Howard Dean was forced out of the race for a yell of enthusiasm at a gathering of his supporters (and watching it again, I still don’t see anything inappropriate). In 1972, Edmund Muskie was forced to drop out after shedding a few tears in the wake of an attack on his wife—what’s wrong with showing emotion, pray tell? (We seem to have moved past that, finally. We’ve seen establishment political figures from John Boehner to Barack Obama crying in public recently, and appropriately, it’s no big deal). Yet here we have a demagogue who attacks entire ethnic groups, who makes blatantly false statements, who has even been attacked during the Republican response to the State of the Union, and he’s still out there attracting support. What is up with that?
- Unfortunately, Trump is merely the most blatant face of a party mired in better-disguised racism, sexism, etc. To name one among many examples, is “moderate” Jeb Bush’s assertion that he would only let in refugees from Syria who can prove that they’re Christian really less despicable?