Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Donald Scares the Hell Out of Me

©2016 by LeeZard
 
Donald Trump scares the hell out of me and I'm not just talking about his hair.

When “The Donald” first announced his presidential aspirations I, like a lot of people, laughed him off as a joke, a sideshow. Well, the circus has come to town and The Donald is its ringmaster. 
His rise and staying power in the Republican Party’s polls is simply beyond my imagination and, yet, the more I look at America today, the more I understand why his campaign is not merely a flash-in-the-pan. Let’s count the ways in which he scares me more and more every day.

It’s not just about his billions. Not everyone can “buy” an election. As a journalist, I’ve covered countless campaigns and, as a communications professional, I’ve managed media for countless others. The winner is not always the candidate with the most money. It is more often the candidate who taps into the major blood vessels of the body politic. Sadly it is often the candidate who taps into the fear in that body. Hence, The Donald.

The most common phrase I see when people explain why they support Trump is, “He speaks his mind.” Really? My uncle is a blithering alcoholic but he speaks his mind. Does that mean my uncle is qualified to be president? What about knowledge of the political and legislative process or the ability to achieve consensus among those with differing agendas and ideologies? What about restraint of pen and tongue (I think it’s called diplomacy)? Gawd, can you see The Donald at an international summit meeting? My brain starts to melt at the thought.

Others cite Trump’s phenomenal success in business and real estate. They ignore the fact that his success is most certainly built on the backs of the poor. This is the man who wants to build The Great Wall along the Mexican-American border; we have to keep those rapists, pimps and druggies out. Yet, I have to wonder how many illegal aliens work at his resorts, casinos and golf courses. And, he may not want them, but White supremacist leaders around the country are falling into Trump’s line because of his outrageous stance on immigration. Shivers run up and down my spine.

What's even scarier is The Donald's use of social media to feed the Trumpsteria. If you remember your history then you know that whomever 'gets' and controls the latest media technology often wins the race.

John F. Kennedy, in 1960, was the first presidential candidate to 'get' television and, even though he beat Tricky Dicky Nixon by just a hair, JFK wiped Nixon's ass in their TV debate. 

Ronald Reagan, the "Great Communicator," turned his skills in movies and television into political hellfire against the incumbent Jimmy Carter. And, eight years ago, Barack Obama turned the World Wide Web into his personal information superhighway.

Trump reminds me of the man in a picture I viewed on Facebook. The man was wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed “NO More Taxes” and decried government interference in peoples’ lives. At the same time he was shaking the hand of soot-blackened firefighter who’d just saved the man’s home in the perilous wildfires in Washington State. Hey buddy, guess who pays that firefighter? You and your taxes, that’s who!

So, let’s get back to those billions. It’s a scary and powerful mix in the intravenous line Trump has injected into the body politic. What’s in that line? Fear! And, he spreads it by dominating traditional media headlines with outrageous rhetoric and outlandish behavior while spreading his real message of hate, bigotry and bullyism via social media.

Here’s what I fear; the American public is gullible and cares very little to dig deeper than the surface pap doled out by traditional media. Trump knows that.

Please see the histories of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George “Dubya” Bush (and his vice-thug Dick Cheney). Trump’s bizarre public persona, his blatant racism and sexism and his disdain for the political process should and could still be his Kryptonite. On the other hand, it is those very same things that fuel his support. 

That’s why Donald Trump scares the hell out of me.