Donald Trump is a liar. His recent claim of not knowing who David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK, really was, is a case in point. Yet his documented lies and the wealth of evidence that proves he often just makes it up as he goes along, makes no difference to his supporters. They don’t care.
They don’t care about their fellow Americans who don’t fit into Trump’s white ideal of America. They believe that Mexico sends their criminals here, even when there is not an ounce of truth to his statement. They believe that Mexico will pay for a wall because Trump says so. They listen and applaud as he impugns Latinos and young black people. They embrace the idea of kicking American Muslims out of the country, “their country.”
They just love that he tells it like it is, even when he doesn’t. They just love that he has no experience in governing, that he is a businessman who has admittedly paid into campaigns to get special treatment. They don’t care that the government is not a business and the President is not a CEO.
As for women, Trump supporters don’t care that his treatment of women is sexist, and excuse all of his ugliness, saying it’s okay because he isn’t holding himself to a bogus standard of political correctness. But what Trump isn’t holding to is being a respectful, intelligent, compassionate and articulate human being. His bullying and his lying seem to excite them even more. They love the idea of fisticuffs even though The Donald would never get his own hands dirty.
A group of 60 Republican foreign policy experts has just written a letter denouncing Trump. Here is a brief excerpt:
His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence. His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world.
Will this make a difference to those who think Trump is the next tough guy, the next Putin? Those who fall for Trump only care that this supposed tough guy with a big mouth isn’t scared of anyone. Trump makes it clear that he is above the law, that he intends to go after journalists and their First Amendment right to freedom of the press. International law? Forget it. He has already said he would kill the innocent families of terrorists. Laws and facts are meaningless not only to Trump but also to his supporters.
Today, Mitt Romney unleashed an unequivocal assault on Trump:
He cheers assaults on protesters. He applauds the prospect of twisting the Constitution to limit First Amendment freedom of the press. This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss.
Many of us are angry. We have busted our asses and don’t see the American dream unfolding in front of us. We see that our children will live in a world that will be dramatically different because of climate change. Our kids are burdened by debt that they may never pay off. We are angry because those of us that have fought for a woman’s reproductive rights see them disappearing before our eyes. Black people, and those who love them, know that they aren’t safe in their own country, that our justice system is stacked against them. As women, we are angry because we still make less than men, because we are too often sexually harassed and raped, then assaulted again by a justice system that inherently protects the perpetrator and not the victim.
But we can’t just be angry. We have to be thoughtful. No good decision comes when all one does is act from anger. In order to support Trump, you have to be willing to throw aside the facts, your compassion, your love for the very tenets of the country, along with the Constitution. To vote for Trump means that you support, and by extension are, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and against all that has made this country great.
We are great now but that doesn’t mean we don’t have things to work on or that we all have an equal opportunity to see our dreams come true. We don’t. But that can’t lead us to embrace what Romney calls ‘the abyss.’
This country deserves more than a man who cares nothing for the truth, who has no respect or integrity. We need a leader capable of telling us the hard truths, one who will encourage and expect the best of us—not applaud as we attack one another.
Trump exploits his supporters fear and frustration as he preys upon them like a vulture circling and circling before he goes in for the kill. For Trump, this is about power and his insatiable ego. For the rest of us, it is about the future of a nation, one that is great and one that does not need to be made over in his image.