THE TRUMPING OF AMERICA
Donald Trump doesn’t need to get the Republican nomination or be elected president (yes, it could happen) in order to change this country. He’s already doing it. Things we once relied on — facts, truth, respect for our fellow human beings — are being obliterated. Gleefully so, not only by Mr. Trump but by his followers. A woman at one of his campaign speeches was questioned by a reporter about Mr. Trump’s claims to have seen “thousands and thousands” of people cheering in New Jersey after the towers fell on 9/11. She basically said that if Donald Trump says it happened, then it happened – case closed.
The story has been debunked by everyone. Was there a rumor circulating at the time that something like this had occurred? Yes. Since when are rumors facts? Since Donald Trump decided they are. He has become so emboldened, and seems so invincible in his excursions from the truth that he lies even when the evidence is on video right in front of him. I’m referring to his appalling mimicry of Serge Kovaleski, the then Washington Post reporter who co-authored a story on the New Jersey rumors 14 years ago. There is Donald Trump on the screen, waving his arms, swaying his body, in a cruel and obvious imitation of Mr. Kovaleski’s disability (he has a chronic condition known as arthrogryposis.) Yet when confronted with this, Mr. Trump claimed to never have seen Mr. Kovaleski. It is, by the way, documented that their paths have crossed.
Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is, Make America great again. There is no greatness in slandering minorities. There is no greatness in mutilating the truth and then piling other lies on top of the lies you’ve already told because somewhere along the line you’ve decided you should never be held accountable, and should never apologize. Some of the characteristics of greatness are: humility, integrity, compassion, and a willingness to own and apologize for errors in judgment and mistakes.
The problem right now is not so much Donald Trump, it’s all the people following him who have decided that facts are way too inconvenient to consider and truth is just a rusty can to be kicked off the side of the road. One man can’t change a country — the people who follow him can. And at the moment, the Trump followers are not showing us the way to greatness.
Max Boot, in Commentary Magazine, wrote this about Donald Trump: “Now he is relying on the kind of Big Lie normally used by totalitarian states which aim to remold reality into whatever the supreme leader deems expedient. Dictators have long figured out that if they simply repeat the lie often enough, it becomes accepted as truth.”
Another inconvenient fact in all this is that leaders are supposed to know how to lead before they get into the position of having to lead. Donald Trump has admitted that he doesn’t know the complexities of the Middle East, cannot identify the various groups and leaders. Yet he has assured us that “once he gets the job” he’ll be a very fast learner. Which prompted Stephen Colbert to come up with a new campaign slogan for him — Trump: Ready On Day One…To Prepare For Day Two.