I refused to weigh in on the brief and silly ethics question being asked of various Presidential candidates regarding whether they would kill Baby Hitler given the chance via DeLorean or Star Trek gateway or something similar. I am beginning to wonder, though, if candidates to lead whatever is left of the U.S. 50 years from now will be asked a similar question about killing Baby Trump.
Donald Trump’s revolting candidacy…cannot fairly be called the most unethical presidential candidacy, but it is early yet. It may well prove to be one of the most harmful. As the United States faces some of the most difficult challenges in its history, Trump has chosen to use the nation’s process of deciding on its leader for his own ego gratification and self-promotion, without preparation for the job, deference to fair campaign rhetoric, or acknowledgment of his own fatal flaws as a candidate. Exploiting his status as a media celebrity in a celebrity-besotted culture, as well as the news media’s lack of discipline or principle, he is opportunistically advancing his candidacy on the lack of credible GOP contenders, using tabloid headline tactics….Donald Trump is perfectly happy to make a mockery of the presidential nomination and election processes while distorting them too. If he manages to convince enough fools to vote for him, hell, sure…he’d have a blast running for President. If his run peters out, it’s still worth lots of publicity, and increases the value of the Trump “brand.” Even the most unethical of the previous candidacies were based on a sincere, if misguided belief that the country’s welfare would be served by it. Does Trump have that belief? I wonder. No, his can’t be called the most unethical candidacy. But it is reckless, and it is intentionally appealing to the worst in 21st Century American character: fear, celebrity worship, ignorance, and materialism. Meanwhile, every second of attention his candidacy distracts from serious consideration of our nation’s leadership reduces the chances of the public doing its hardest and most important job carefully and competently.
I wrote that five years ago.
The only part of it that I would change now is that his candidacy, if it is not terminated soon, will undoubtedly be the most unethical and damaging to the nation in our history. I actually underestimated Trump’s awfulness in 2011, and as recently as a few weeks ago. I had begun convincing myself that as he began to see that his candidacy wasn’t a lark, he would move toward being more responsible, less inflammatory, better prepared and more rational. After Trump, he does have some leadership tools and experience, I began telling myself. Maybe he was capable of growth. At least he wasn’t a religious zealot. Maybe he had the ability to refocus his gifts and run a positive, legitimate campaign. True, using Trump to stop the horror of a Hillary Presidency was like whistling up the Tyrannosaurus to take on Indominus Rex in “Jurassic World,” but still…
Well, I was obviously in denial. Trump has now proved beyond a scintilla of a doubt that he is a true threat to the nation—a thug, a bigot, a gestating fascist, a liar and a fool. What a combination. He’s the Indominus-an unholy mash-up of the worst of American politics, distorted values and anti-intellectual instincts. He has to be stopped. Early on, when it was easier to stop him, I proposed two methods, neither of which is available now. The harm Trump can do to the country going forward is incalculable. If a time machine were available, I’d be tempted to use it.
Over a single weekend, Donald Trump…
Advocated putting mosques under surveillance…
Didn’t blink at the idea of forcing Muslims to register in a special database…
Insisted that he saw “thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrating the fall of the Twin Towers on live TV…
Ratified his brownshirts beating up a Black Lives Matter protester at one of his rallies…
(It is completely wrong.)
And, despite “pledging” otherwise, he again hinted that he might run a third party campaign, virtually assuring a President Sanders or a President Clinton, if he’s not “treated fairly.” Who knows what being treated fairly means to him? This is virtual extortion.
After the carnage that Barack Obama will leave in his wake—a growing terror threat, a weakened defense, a chaotic Middle East, disillusioned allies, emboldened enemies, an out of control debt, a failed Affordable Care Act, unaddressed rising health care costs, racial division unwitnessed since the Sixties, a stagnant economy, a law enforcement system in crisis, unprecedented numbers of Americans out of the workforce, a dysfunctional education system, a looming college debt crisis, unenforced immigration laws, levels of trust for all institutions at perilously low levels for a democracy, and a frightening percentage of young Americans willing to reject core American principles entirely—the United States cannot risk being forced into a Hobson’s choice between the corrupt leftist totalitarianism of Hillary Clinton and the cynical Cr0-Magnon crypto-fascism of Donald Trump. The United States didn’t come this far to be destroyed by its own elected leaders.
The Democrats are stuck, and, to their shame, smug about it. They have locked themselves in to nominating an unforgivably untrustworthy candidate, while mocking the Republicans for their “clown car” of options. Anyone who cares about integrity, honesty and trust should be grateful for the chance to vote for Bozo or Ronald McDonald over the venal rot that is the Clinton machine. Still, finding a plausibly competent candidate among the Republican dregs is a daunting task as well. Never mind: the responsible thing and the desperately urgent thing now is to find the strongest candidate who is not Donald Trump and start a head-to-head competition with him. It’s the patriotic duty for all of the GOP pretenders and egomaniacs save one to put their ambitions aside and settle on the most attractive and competent non-thug, non-fascist, non-fool, non-boor, non-fake to oppose Donald Trump immediately.
Or, in the alternative, to find that time machine.
The worst case scenario for a democracy is that all the stupid and ignorant people will suddenly decide to unite behind a single terrible candidate. The fact that Trump and Ben Carson have more than four closed-head injury patients, six middle school drop-outs, some country western stars, the alumni of Madam Louisa’s Home For The Bewildered and a partridge in a pear tree showing up at their rallies—a lot more—suggests that that nightmare might be coming true.
There has to be a solution that doesn’t require Doc Brown.
There has to be.
UPDATE: Tonight Bill O’Reilly grilled Trump about tweeting the fake shooting stats, and this exchange occurred:
TRUMP: I didn’t tweet, I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert, and it was also a radio show.
O’REILLY: Why do you want to be in that zone?
TRUMP: Hey, Bill, Bill, am I gonna check every statistic? I get millions and millions of people, @RealDonaldTrump, by the way.
O’REILLY: You gotta, you’re a presidential contender, you gotta check ‘em.
TRUMP: I have millions of people… You know what? Fine. But this came out of radio shows and everything else.
O’REILLY: Oh, come on, radio shows?!
TRUMP: All it was was a retweet.
Way to be responsible and accountable, Donald!
What an idiot.
And anyone who supports or makes excuses for a jerk like this is an idiot too.