She went into a speech about how Trump was a no-nonsense, tell it like it is, straight shooter. My camel’s back was starting to give way as I sat in silence. “And he is a BRILLIANT business man!” There it went. Here’s what happened next.
Recently I was having brunch in a small café with my sister and brother-in-law. While I tend to be reserved, they are the life of the party types who will carry on a conversation with a stranger at the drop of a hat. Which was what was about to happen.
And stranger, it could not have gotten.
The tables were inches away from each other. A solitary older woman sat at the one closest to us. In conversation, my brother-in-law made a comment about Donald Trump.
The woman’s ears perked up and she took his remark as a clear invitation. “I’m a Donald Trump Supporter,” she declared.
“Are you serious?” he said back.
“I am,” she said proudly.
“Well… that’s great,” he answered. (Disclaimer, I am the only progressive renegade of the family. My bro-in-law would have said “that’s great” to anyone that was not Hillary or Bernie.)
“Thank you for being supportive, “ the woman went on. “I am so tired of being thought ignorant, or uninformed, or irrational. I am not a bigot or prejudiced. People think I am kidding , but I am not. I have done my research.”
“Well, he is certainly is better than Obama,” my brother-in-law said encouragingly.
“Obama? Oh, HE’S a Muslim!” She said, as if it were either true, or meant something.
And. It went downhill from there.
She ranted and raved over the sins of “the media.” She ranted over the status quo political parties. She called Ted Cruz a “snake.” (Ok, ok, I liked that part…)
She went into a speech about how Trump was a no-nonsense, tell it like it is, straight shooter. My camel’s back was starting to give way as I sat in silence.
“And he is a BRILLIANT business man!” There it went.
“Who went bankrupt several times,” I heard my voice say. It was like in one of those horror movies where you are hiding behind the crate, and the monster is nearby and some sound just involuntarily exits your body, even though you know staying silent is the only way you will live.
“No! You are wrong!” she shouted. “I have done the research! You have not! His BUSINESSES went bankrupt but he personally did NOT! They never tell you that part!!”
She had me speechless. It was a cross between my personal shock that I had fed the beast, and my mind reeling over what she had just said. Yes, yes, by all means. Let’s elect a President who bankrupts the country, but it is OK as long as his own personal wealth remains in tact. Phew. I can now sleep at night.
I should have known better. It was not my first fore into Trump Supporter territory. Here is my note to the Trump Supporters amongst us.
Dear Trump Supporter,
Yes. I get it. I understand exactly what you like about the guy. He is shocking the system that we all have come to loathe. He is not playing a victim. He is not cowtowing to the usual suspects.
He slapped down the smarmy Fox News, for God’s sake. He practically called the clown car of Republican candidates… a clown car. He has got the Republican establishment in a lather. He even pulled Sarah Palin out of obscurity and got her to be even more hilarious than Tina Fey. You cannot out do Sarah doing Tina doing Sarah. It was Reality TV at it’s…best? Worst? Most self-actualized?
So yes. We all get guilty, and not so guilty pleasure watching the guy burn the house down.
But there is a cost.
He stands for nothing good, and he will not accidentally fall into somehow making life better. Burning down is not building up. He demeans women, minorities, diversity and anyone who may actually need humanity.
Because he bullies those who criticize, does not make him a straight shooter. He panders, and panders big. He has flipped his flop on almost every issue. The hair tells him which way the wind is blowing, and he follows right along with it.
But, that’s politics. Right? No. You can’t have it both ways. Either he is the “straight shooter” non politics as usual guy, or he’s not. If you cut slack on that key point you are as ethic-less as he is.
Here is the thing. And this is THE thing. Let’s go back to the point that broke my silence— the claim that Trump is a great businessman. He can create value out of money. He will improve our “infrastructure.” (A talking point he mouthed and keeps getting repeated in his wake.)
Infrastructure is buildings, roads and power supplies. I was unaware there was a shortage. I was also unaware that any of that was on my wish list for a President (we’ll just leave out that those things are usually the domain of the states themselves… you know “states rights”.) But it sounds good, and the man did build a few buildings.
I know this man. Not him personally, but everything he embodies. He is a CEO. I have worked for several, and some really good successful ones. Everything he has done is out of the spirit of leading as a CEO.
CEOs are not Presidents. They are not elected, and their value to those they lead is not made of inspiration or hope. They lead those they pay to be there.
A CEO gives orders. A CEO hears a problem in a few minute window, and makes a pronouncement. His or her underlings must make the pronouncement happen… or heads will roll.
Yes. CEOs get things done. They are straight shooters, and those who cross them, don’t last long.
If you elect a CEO as President, you may get for what you asked. I witnessed some CEO power first hand. In a business situation there were performance issues with a woman who had returned to work after surviving cancer. The recovery drugs made her lethargic at times, and there were errors. As her immediate managers tried to resolve and work with the issues, the CEO gave the order. She had to go. Immediately. It was up to them to get it done, and make it seamless and legal. That is what happened. Humanity is the roadkill on the path to executive efficiency.
Are all CEOs like that? No.
But Trump is. He is not running for President. He is not seeking to represent a diverse public. He is not seeking to live by a heightened set of ideals. He is objective oriented and he won’t take “no” for an answer.
He is running for Dictator.
Yes, he is funding it himself, so it will be free for his constituents, and free for you, Trump Supporter.
He will stand up and yell at everything you are afraid of, and sell you on how productive he is being. He will not fulfill a principle, but he will humiliate all the people you hate.
And it won’t cost you a thing.
Except your soul.
Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore