Media personalities have been treating this electorate like a group of coddled, spoiled toddlers. News flash: Trump voters are WRONG.
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” So Winston Churchill supposedly said, though the quote’s original speaker is up for debate.
Right now, the best argument against democracy is a five-minute look at the Republican primary.
When you ask the (mostly) normal-seeming Americans who are casting ballots for Donald Trump, their rationales for wanting his presidency sound straightforward.
He’s bold. He’s gonna shake things up. He knows how to get the economy going. Etc.
This ignores, of course, his incredible string of business failures. It ignores the current litigation against his now-defunct Trump University, wherein Donald J. Trump knowingly swindled thousands of enrollees out of borrowed money.
It ignores the way he cowers at the one journalist who has held his feet to the fire: Megyn Kelly. Witness his Twitter rants:
Crazy @megynkelly says I don’t (won’t) go on her show and she still gets good ratings. But almost all of her shows are negative hits on me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 19, 2016
If crazy @megynkelly didn’t cover me so much on her terrible show, her ratings would totally tank. She is so average in so many ways!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 19, 2016
This is ridiculous. Granted, President Obama has called out Fox News himself, but in a general, generic way. Nothing more than Republicans often screaming about the “Mainstream Media” bias against them.
Journalists and news organizations have preferences. What are you gonna do?*
And perhaps Trump’s blunt talk is precisely what these voters want. No more civility. No more “political correctness.”
Alright, Trump voters. Let me give it to you straight, no chaser:
You are so, so very wrong.
For starters, a president should hold him/herself to a higher standard of behavior than a reality TV star. Once in office, you no longer work for clicks; you work for the entirety of the American people.
That includes reporters you don’t like, who don’t like you. That includes minorities and women and other groups you seem contemptuous of, and it also includes your political opponents. This is one area President Obama has failed in, as he himself admitted.
Our next president has to do better.
Second of all, a president has to know things. Things like his foreign policy. Things like how the government actually functions.
If you haven’t yet, here’s a link to this week’s transcript of Donald Trump’s interview with the Washington Post. I’m going to quote one section in particular, in full, from a subsequent article at The Atlantic, because it demonstrates how very unfit for the presidency Donald Trump is, and also reveals just how wrong, wrong, wrong Trump voters are in thinking he has any business in the shoes of George Washington:
TRUMP: I don’t want people to go around thinking that I have a problem. I’m telling you, Ruth, I had so many people. I would say 25, 30 people would tell me … every time I’d shake people’s hand, “Oh, you have nice hands.” Why shouldn’t I? And, by the way, by saying that I solved the problem. Nobody questions … I even held up my hands, and said, “Look, take a look at that hand.”
MARCUS: You told us in the debate ….
TRUMP: And by saying that, I solved the problem. Nobody questions. Everyone held my hand. I said look. Take a look at that hand.
MARCUS: You told us in the debate that you guaranteed there was not another problem. Was that presidential? And why did you decide to do that?
TRUMP: I don’t know if it was presidential, honestly, whether it is or not. He said, ‘Donald Trump has small hands and therefore he has small something else.’ I didn’t say that. And all I did is when he failed, when he was failing, when he was, when Christie made him look bad, I gave him the– a little recap and I said, and I said, and I had this big strong powerful hand ready to grab him, because I thought he was going to faint. And everybody took it fine. Whether it was presidential or not I can’t tell you. I can just say that what he said was a lie. And everybody, they wanted to do stories on my hands; after I said that, they never did. And then I held up the hand, I showed people the hand. You know, when I’ve got a big audience. So yeah, I think it’s not a question of presidential …
MARCUS: He said he regrets …
HIATT: Okay, let’s move on here. Let’s move on.
TRUMP: I did feel I should respond. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. But I felt I should respond because everybody was talking about it.
Sometimes, in debate, your opponent makes your argument for you. As such…
The prosecution rests.
Just remember going forward, before one more vote is cast for this insecure, senile old windbag:
Government ain’t customer service, and the voters’ aren’t always right.
*One thought from my Israeli and Argentine friends, over a weekend conversation: institute fair coverage laws, which their home countries have. I’m usually against government regulation of private media companies, but when you compare the extraordinary amount of coverage Trump has received, such legal impediments to a ratings-driven cable news industry start to seem patriotic.
Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore