Tuesday, July 21, 2015

10 Good Reasons Donald Trump Needs to Bow Out

One day after Donald Trump made his disparaging comments about John McCain and veterans who were captured in the line of duty, his poll numbers skyrocketed. Go figure. Within 24 hours, Trump was showing a double digit lead over opponents whose profile had been significantly higher than his just weeks before. We are fully 16 months out from the election, so I don’t put a lot of weight on those numbers. Does anybody remember in 2012 when Rick Santorum sailed to the top of the heap? And we all know how long that lasted. So I say, don’t get too excited about the numbers. Still, it compels me to offer my top 10 reasons American needs Donald Trump to go away:

1. Insulting the entire Mexican population was perhaps the worst way to kick off a presidential campaign ever. It shows that he believes in exclusivity, and that he does not value any of the decent human beings trying to forge a new life for themselves in America. He needs to read an American history book.

 2. Trump is degrading the electoral process. Dignity still counts in the process. While it is true the last several elections cycles have been anything but dignified, Trump has taken the process to a new low. His public comments and his demeanor have been more than just undignified and certainly not worthy of a potential leader of the free world.

 3. He plays to the crowd, rather than truly expressing his positions. Right now, we know he has very negative feelings toward our immigration policies and procedures. We know very little else about his positions on key economic, social and foreign relations issues.
Playing to the crowd in Arizona

 4. Trump routinely conducts himself in an undiplomatic fashion. It may work in the New York real estate development world, but it will not work at a negotiating table with foreign leaders. He will not be able to dismiss an Angela Merkel or Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping. Their power, and the power of other world leaders have measurably increased over time, and without diplomacy, Trump will further dilute the world standing of the U.S.

 5. All of Trump’s rhetoric and each of his speeches play to one segment of the American population. What about the rest of the people? What about minorities, women, veterans, Democrats, the traditional Republican base, the poor, the mentally ill, the unemployed, and many other population segments? If he were to be president, he would have to be the leader of all of America. He has shown no inclination to acknowledge key population groups.

Trump polled stronger after his remarks about McCain
 6. Speaking of veterans, after his debacle with John McCain, Trump was very vocal about his disdain for the Veterans Administration. He has, however, offered no suggestions on how he would make improvements. In fact, that is often Trump’s approach: He criticizes, but does not offer solutions.

7. Trump has indicated he will spend whatever it takes to win. Do we really want an American citizen to purchase the presidency with his wealth? By some estimates, the final cost of becoming President of the United States can easily approach a billion dollars. Trump has that much and more. The electoral playing field suddenly becomes more uneven than ever.

 8. Regardless of how you feel about the American mass media, at some point, every President needs them. It might be to spread the word about proposed legislation or trade deals he or she feels is critical to the economy or national security. It might be about promoting a person he or she wants to appoint as Supreme Court Justice. There is any number of reasons a President can use media to his or her advantage – or disadvantage. Think Richard Nixon. Trump continues to alienate high profile media professionals, one by one. Consider this exchange with NBC’s Matt Lauer:

Media Backlash has been swift and unforgiving. The Des Moines Register, the largest newspaper in Iowa, published an editorial suggesting Trump drop out of the race now. "If Trump, our would-be commander in chief, doesn't like POWs, how does he feel about men and women killed in action?" the Register queried.  Ouch.  Meanwhile, The Huffington Post announced that all Trump-related content is now relegated to its entertainment page, calling his campaign a "side show."

9. Neither major political party is taking Trump seriously, with Republicans so far being much more vocal in their opposition. Democrats see him as a distraction from the race, while Republicans see him as an embarrassment. If Trump were to be elected President, he would have little or no support from the legislative branch of government, which means nothing much could get accomplished. Haven’t we really had enough of nothing much getting accomplished?

10. Americans almost never elect an extremist to the Presidency. They routinely fall by the wayside. Think Rick Santorum. Trump is free to spend a billion dollars of his own money, but he is not electable.

I could go on about Trump's life of privilege that has kept him out of touch with every day Americans; or his multiple and questionable draft deferments that allowed him to avoid the Vietnam war; or his multiple declarations of business bankruptcy over the years. But when all is said and done, Americans are smart. Trump is nothing more than an opening act for the real race to the White House.