The Rise of Donald Trump

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

Donald Trump’s candidacy presents a debacle for the other GOP presidential candidates. Some of them are outspoken against Trump. For example, Rick Perry called him a “cancer on conservatism.” For different reasons, Ron Paul even expressed his dislike for Trump, forecasting that he would “rule with an iron fist” if elected. Still, the latest CNN poll shows Trump leading all other Republicans.

Unfortunately, most people do not view politics as science. Instead, they view it like religion or sports. They enjoy politicians who resemble preachers on a pulpit and against anyone who is not “for them.” They are attracted to a person who claims he has all the answers and will take immediate action when given that power. In short, they want a god-type politician.

This iron-fisted, dogmatic approach to politics becomes exaggerated in a highly-divided political climate. On that note, Trump is perceived as an anti-establishment, I-want-America-to-be-rich candidate, and many like him for that. But these characteristics do not necessarily make a good president.

The president must be diplomatic; ready to listen; cautious to act; obey the limits of power; respectful; and prudent. Certainly, he cannot treat government like a private corporation: “profit” is not government’s objective; protecting rights and securing peace are. Trump’s name may be eerily telling: he will do anything to “trump” his political opponents. But what if the Constitution becomes his opponent?

By Joe Carbonari

Donald Trump is just what we deserve. He does us the service of reminding us to suffer our fools wisely. Tolerance has its limits. Through Donald Trump we can vicariously feel the pleasure of telling someone important to stick it. It plays to one of our lesser instincts. This man could never be trusted with the presidency. It is clear.

He may, however, be able to hold hostage to his whims much of the rest of his party. If he runs as an independent, as he has threatened to do, he splits the vote and … hello Hillary.

This should remind us of our responsibility to be informed or to know someone who is. Yes, politics is theater, but the willing suspension of disbelief does not here serve us well. Reality intrudes. Would Putin appreciate his frankness? Would the Chinese consider him quaint?

Donald Trump is not a nice man. He is saying things that are not true. He is a bully playing to our baser instincts in a time of widespread insecurity and general frustration. The system does not seem to be working well. We are politically restive.

A free society depends upon both participation and restraint. Trump lacks restraint. He is dangerous and unsuited. His success is a warning. Time to pay more attention to the political process.

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