While addressed primarily to Donald Trump, I also have two additional pleas for sanity, one to the other candidates in the Republican primaries, and one to that segment of the voting public who continue to support Mr. Trump. (N.b.: If you’re not a voter, none of this will matter to you.)
Donald Trump: I’m a fan of The Apprentice; my wife and I have enjoyed many seasons of both the regular and celebrity flavors of the show. Clearly that sort of thing, like commercial real estate development, is in your wheelhouse. Go back to it, please. To be blunt, you’re a transparently bad presidential prospect. You certainly know how to appeal to patriotic emotions and national pride, and so have gained a lot of traction. Too much traction, I believe, for the good of the American political process in general, and the Republican party in particular.
Initially I, like many others, was excited to have a self-funded candidate in the race. But you have failed — profoundly — to live up to any hopes or expectations I had for a candidate uninfluenced by donors. I hoped we’d hear good, sound, conservative ideas from you, not colored by the influence of PACs or big spenders on your campaign. I — we — liked, even loved certain of your opening salvos, where you spoke with a strong public voice, conveying ideas that have been censored or quashed in current political speech. But once others started speaking, your focus changed completely from what does and can continue to make America great, to what’s wrong with the other guy.
Over the months, this sad shift never has shifted back. Now you seem to have self-funded not a serious political campaign, but an extravagant self-promotion tour. I believe this is not an endeavor that educated, thoughtful voters can or should respect. Your public commentary has become increasingly substance-free, and utterly unencumbered by thoughtfulness or intellectual rigor.
It’s very disappointing. Not to you, perhaps, but for me and others who know that words matter, that ideas matter, and that a President should be a leader in the mature application of both thought and word.
To be fair, you might actually have some good ideas, but I can’t find my way to them. Spelunking down the ever-expanding cavern of adolescent, playground-bully-like sound bites you’ve issued forth, any well-thought-out ideas you have on leadership, policy, or getting things done as President are lost to me.
Mr. Trump, it’s not just that the substance of your candidacy is overshadowed by your use of verbal inside fighting and breaking away. Your words and tactics, even if they are effective, embarrass me. You appear to revel in actively and selfishly disrespecting your fellow candidates, the primary process, and the voting public. You would argue that you’re not disrespectful, I’m sure. But shallow and contrived ad-hominem attacks, carnyesque barking, and regular displays of personal animosity towards your opponents add up to exactly that: disrespect. You regularly make mean and/or insipid comments that you must know are not true, then try to back away from your words, as if we who hear this verbal bile are at fault for misunderstanding you, that we somehow owe you another chance, because… why? Because you are rich and independent, and can say what you want?
No, we don’t owe you that, and I for one will not give it to you.
Also, for everyone’s benefit, please stop making remarks of any kind on religious matters or personal faith, unless they are remarks on you and your personal experience with such things. Nearly every comment I’ve heard from you regarding religion and faith has revealed a stunning level of ignorance. You know from your business dealings to never pontificate on matters you have no knowledge of, lest you inevitably get caught and lose credibility. For you, this is clearly the case when it comes to matters of others’ faith and religion. Candidly, Donald, you come across as mean, vulgar, and stupid when you try. I expect that from ignorant posters on Facebook, not from a candidate for President of the United States.
Show some maturity. Own your words, examine yourself, and stop this. Even better, drop out of the race and go back to things you do well that add value to American life.
Senators Cruz & Rubio, Governor Kasich, Dr. Carson, et al: Please keep talking about the things that truly matter to America and our future. Donald Trump is not one of those. Engaging Mr. Trump on his level drags everyone down, and makes you individually, and the Republican field as a whole, look foolish. Being in Texas I’ve already voted, but I will say that the four of you I’ve addressed by name here strike me as excellent candidates, and if the one I voted for does not win the nomination, I’d willingly and enthusiastically support the nominee if indeed it’s one of you. In fact, I’d have extended that sentiment to some who have dropped out, too. We had a really good field this time around. Candidates Christie, Paul, Bush, Fiorina, Perry, Gilmore, and others, thank you for being willing to give it a go. I hope we see you back again!
It’s very frustrating to me that so many of your good ideas and well-reasoned debates were given so little media coverage because of candidate Trump, the single participant who has failed to impressed me in the ways that matter when choosing a candidate for President.
Finally, to those who continue to support Mr. Trump: I used to get it, I really did. But that time has long passed. Please, let reason and sound judgment do their work. Throw your support to one of these other candidates; listen carefully to what they say; they are all worthy of the White House, in my opinion. We have at least four excellent candidates to choose from. Donald Trump can not be counted among them until or unless he exhibits the marks of a great leader, something he has not done in this campaign. He has been brash, he has been loud, and he has been allowed to get away with too much shouting down others instead of engaging them in the arena of ideas (yes, I just went all Rush Limbaugh there, because Rush is right!) Let’s not let Donald Trump win the nomination. Not this way.
It’s time to stop the ongoing childishness. Let’s discourage Trump-eted tantrums by ignoring them.