Falling Off the Horse with Trump
As a general rule I like to avoid politics on my blog, but today I made an exception.
Martin Luther once said that human nature is like a man who fell off his horse on the right side; and upon getting back on the horse he then proceeded to fall off again on the left. This might better be known as overcorrection or over-compensation. We mess up "big time" on one extreme and then violently turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction while confirming the same destructive result in the process. Human nature tends to extremes.
The problem with overcorrecting is that: In both situations you fall off your horse. And this is the mistake many Conservative Republicans are about to make with Donald Trump.
I am as tired as anyone with post modern America's love affair with this "tolerance" nonsense. Millennials (my generation) in particular have grown into a generation of hyper-sensitive toddlers who cry whenever anyone opposes our foolishness. If someone dares speak of "right and wrong" or voices an opinion contrary to the new moral majority, the politically correct police will sound the "Hate Speech" alarm. Cries of "bigot!" will condescend on the perpetrators, because "how dare anyone speak against the ultimate authority of me?"
Insert Donald Trump. He is loud, he is arrogant, and everyone loves it. He does not care what you think. He will fire you. Such rebellion from the cultural trend is, I will admit a little refreshing; and I am not the only one who thinks so. Trump has led the Republican pack for some significant time now, and is currently at 39% (according to a recent CNN article).
So what is so wrong with "saying it like it is," you ask? Isn't this what America needs to be great again? Trump has power and he will make other nations respect us. He will "fix" the economy with his vast business background. He will stand up to the media and the liberal elite, and make them feel bad in the process! What is not to like?
What Trump lacks is perhaps the most important attribute of any leader: character. His much publicized comments about other candidates' appearances, his frequent sexual innuendos, his condescension to women, and his vitriolic mockery of any opposed him--all speak to this glaring whole in his character. Every week a front page headline states the latest controversy started by candidate Donald Trump. Absent are the presidential attributes of stability, humility, and leadership; in their place have grown pride, mayhem, and ruffled feathers. It might make for good T.V. ratings, but it does not make for a good President.
Ronald Reagan's speech writer and biographer Peggy Noonan said in the book Character Above All,
"In a president, character is everything. A president doesn't have to be brilliant...you can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks. But you cannot buy courage and decency; you can't rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him."Talk of "decency" and "a moral sense" sounds like a distant, idealistic dream from a bygone era, foreign to our modern age; but we have not outgrown a desperate need for them. The increasingly difficult times we live in call not for a deficiency in character, but for a renaissance of it. Perhaps now more than ever, true leadership is needed that is: courageous yet decent, bold yet dignified, and qualified by a "character" that can be trusted with immense power.
Trump lacks character, and a lack of character yields a lack of trust. If controversial and crude comments are commonplace now, what will Donald Trump do when he actually wields the power of the Executive Branch? No one knows! If extreme knee-jerk reactions such as "ban the Muslims" are stated now, what will he institute when the pressure is on and the bullets are live? Again, no one knows; and that is just as concerning as the mess we are in at present.
We have fallen pretty hard off our horse. Let's not make the same mistake in a different way.
Get back on your horse, America.