Donovan Wilson believes that with freedom comes responsibility.
It’s a bad year for professional politicians who seem more concerned about acquiring power than governing. Americans want to toss their elected officials into the Potomac River. They are turning to outsiders because they are worried about the future and feel disconnected from those in power.
In their daily lives, most people try to shun political polarization by focusing on work, family and friends. But when the American dream seems unreachable to too many, politics bleeds in.
Fear, anger and resentment shape the American psyche in an uncertain world. Yet our politicians deliver only divisive rhetoric and broken promises.
The American people are in search of a statesman with a positive vision for the future and respect for the nation’s traditional role in the world. They yearn for someone who sets aside personal ambition to act in the public interest. The statesman that America needs would focus on the greater good and forge a positive direction for our country.
The problem is that no true statesman would likely tolerate the modern campaign process.
People feel like they have sacrificed and hustled in vain. College graduates struggle to make their way into the workforce. Young people are saddled with massive debt and are making their way back to the family’s basement. We have an economy at a stalemate and a foreign policy of global disengagement.
Someone was bound to step into the void of American political leadership. Only a year ago, few pundits thought that champion would be Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. Trump has built momentum by using the media, and his rise to the Republican nomination now seems nearly inevitable unless the GOP establishment upends the will of its rank-and-file.
Trump recently said that a contested Republican convention could be a disaster if he goes to Cleveland a few delegates shy of 1,237 – the number needed to secure the nomination – and does not leave as the party’s nominee.
His support is grounded in some of the most deplorable racism America has seen publicly expressed by a politician in decades. His repeated refusal to decline the endorsement of David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, was deplorable. He doubled down, calling for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States. He would bar followers of the world’s fastest-growing religion because he considers their faith to be rooted in hatred and violence.
And just when you think we could go no lower, Trump attacks the spouse of political rival Sen. Ted Cruz. In a recent Tweet, Trump shared an image comparing his wife Melania Trump, a former model, to Heidi Cruz, tweeting, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Trump manipulates the media to cause mischief for his own amusement and political gain. Television networks starved for ratings allow The Donald to dial into talk shows almost daily. While the mainstream media did not draft his script, they did provide him with a platform unlike anything in modern politics.
He is no statesman nor is he the herald of change his followers believe. He is a ringmaster, reducing national affairs to a circus. There is no evidence that he can maintain his composure while facing criticism or a challenge.
Only a demagogue uses anger and apprehension for political advantage. If Trump remains unchecked, the Republic Party will drift into oblivion.
Yet the other remaining contenders for the party’s presidential nomination offer little hope of salvation. Gov. John Kasich has an admirable independent streak, but cannot win the nomination. Cruz, like Trump, relies on disruption. Nevertheless, his candidacy might be the only realistic form of resistance to the Trump insurgency.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Hillary Clinton might be days from a federal indictment, and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ platform is simply unrealistic. They cannot credibly end the bitterness that drives Trump’s insurgency.
Part of me just wants to opt out of the whole thing. The presidential campaign could go on without me. That isn’t really a viable option, though. Too many Americans sacrificed so much for my freedom. Simply dropping out because of annoyance with the politicians of the moment would insult their legacy.
The thing to remember is that democratic freedom comes with the responsibility to use one’s vote in the best interest of this great nation. That doesn’t require voting for the least bad on the ballot. Writing someone in maybe the most viable option for this independent voter. Regardless, I will pledge my will, intellect and determination to resist Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine our democracy.
Photo: Getty Images