Monday, March 14, 2016

WHAT IS TRUMP?

The dictionary tells us that a trump is “a playing card of the suit chosen to rank above the others, which can win a trick where a card of a different suit has been led.”

As a verb, ‘trump’ means to make a play or take some action which overcomes opposition and determines the result of a dispute or contest.

It is surely a coincidence that the leading candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination bears the name of Trump.

Donald Trump was not my first choice for the GOP nomination. I must confess, however, that I didn’t know very much about him. I thought his idea of building a wall between the United States and Mexico rather far fetched, symbolically unfortunate, and frankly unnecessary if the immigration laws were being enforced.

I have opined that Donald Trump is the quintessential “ugly American:”  Boastful, pushy, tactless and conceited. I have questioned the genuineness of his claim to a self funded campaign.

When this election cycle was an embryo, I was drawn toward Marco Rubio. He is bright, ambitious, articulate and offers a message reminiscent of John F. Kennedy. I voted for him in the Michigan Primary.

But I fully expect that Rubio will be out of the contest after today. I have lost a lot of elections and I know it hurts, but Marco is young and has a great future, good instincts and solid principles. He’ll be fine.

Donald Trump will win the Florida Primary and likely the Ohio Primary as well. It has come late to the fore, but we are beginning to learn that there is more to Mr. Trump than braggadocio. In just the last few days, I have seen a letter written by a high school classmate of the Donald. It is impressive.

Peter David Ticktin is a successful attorney who was a classmate of Trump’s at the New York Military Academy, a prep school for boys. He relates that Trump was an ‘A’ student, a top athlete, and a respected leader of his class. 

Ticktin points out that NYMA has a firm Honor Code, and he makes a point that resonates well with me, asserting that graduates of the Academy  were inculcated with values that became “irreversibly intertwined in the fabric of our personalities, of who we are”

That’s a point I can relate to. The camaraderie developed among teen age boys attending Detroit Catholic Central more than half a century ago, while not military, certainly provided an esprit de corps  that has lasted a lifetime, and I would concede great credibility to the characterization of classmates who shared such an experience.

Then there was the black preacher who introduced Trump to a crowed in Cleveland. His heartfelt endorsement included the rather surprising assertion that Donald Trump is actually a humble man.

Hard to swallow, I suppose, but then how well can any of us know a man from what we see on the television?

Clearly, Donald Trump has made the connection between politics and entertainment. His stream of consciousness diatribes about Washington D.C. mirror the attitudes of average men and women all over America.

Joe Average isn’t running for President. His every statement is not broadcast or run through an approval meter. He says what he thinks and lets the devil take the hindmost. Trump's ramblings often sound like a Saturday Night Live parody of Joe the Plumber spouting off to a bartender.

That’s show business, and for better or worse, it is the most popular form of political discourse in the United States of America in 2016.

The fact that Donald Trump is a multi-faceted person is hardly a disqualification from the Presidency. Richard Nixon had an entirely different vocabulary when he was not on camera. John Kennedy enjoyed a secret life that hardly comported with his public image.

I m not thrilled with the notion that Donald Trump is an aggressive, if not ruthless businessman, nor do I admire his serial marriages. But in my 86 years, I have had occasion to be publicly maligned and I know the value of thick skin.

If the man is to be the President of the United States, he will have to get used to being hated. What really matters is whether he has enough conscience, self confidence and ego to do what is right and necessary even if nobody approves. The White House is a lonely place to live.     



1 comment:

  1. Wisdom about perception:
    http://tinyurl.com/zj3z2ls

    ReplyDelete