I’ll be uncharacteristically brief. Watching the prime time GOP candidates mob debate, I think Donald Trump may have nicked an astounding number of rationalizations on the list that he really seems to think are justifications. (Screwing over his investors and lenders by declaring bankruptcy four times was OK because lots of successful people do it(#1), and because those he screwed aren’t nice people (#2), he said: the two classics in the span of 20 seconds.) When I see the transcript, I’ll try to get an accurate count.
The man is awful. What an embarrassment to the party and the nation.
The interesting news is that Trump tried two new ones. When asked by Megyn Kelly about his habit of calling women ugly names (“fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals”), he proposed the “It’s only Rosie O’Donnell” rationalization, which apparently stands for the proposition that as long as you’re only unethical to Rosie, you’re not doing anything wrong. I consider Rosie a blot on the national scene, but this idiotic even by rationalization standards.
Then he offered this: “I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness.” Now that’s really stupid. At first I thought this was a version of 31. The Troublesome Luxury: “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now.” But Trump isn’t saying that. What he’s saying is that it’s too much trouble and takes too much time to be civil (calling a woman a pig isn’t politically incorrect, it’s boorish, mean and rude), and that’s even dumber than his first rejected rationalization.
Being civil, like being ethical, doesn’t take time. It takes character. It takes an understanding that being ethical is a priority, not an afterthought.