Mr. Trump is oft maligned for what he does not say. He will not give many details about he would do as POTUS. In a recent Dallas speech, Mr. Trump revealed these secrets:
- The hair on his head is his own hair and only his hair.
- He is a winner who will make America a winner again just by association with him.
- The people running against him are liars, choke artists and people with big ears.
- He does not like Megyn Kelly.
- His pregnant daughter is lovely, and he might date her if she were not his daughter.
Apparently, even Mr. Trump has some limits.
From Mr. Trump’s speeches and his book, which he holds second only to the Bible we can piece together his intentions. Forget protocol, set aside decorum, push away constitutional checks and balances, Mr. Trump sincerely seems to believe he alone can save America from itself.
What will Mr. Trump do, according to Mr. Trump?
Mr. Trump will build a wall. He will force someone else to pay for the wall. The wall gets bigger and bigger in Mr. Trump’s mind, according to the unwillingness of his proposed payer to, well, pay.
Mr. Trump appears to say he will rule, not govern. He will rule by tantrum. Tell Mr. Trump “No,” or even question his numbers, and Mr. Trump will react angrily. He will boycott your debate. He will add height and depth to the wall you must subsidize. This is ancient policy-making. The Romans would despoil your country-side, build a wall down the middle of your island (Hadrian) and tax you for the bill. In a world where borders barely exist, walls are bad policy.
France tried armed walls with the Maginot Line. The Axis armies went by in a blink. After their conquest, the Axis refortified the line, renamed it the Siegfried Line and watched the Allies run over it in a similar blink. All this happened in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Technology has mutated, morphed and multiplied in access and application since then. Walls mean less now than then in a day when borders barely matter.
Mr. Trump wants to build a wall. In a world where allies mean more thane ever, we should take great care before we alienate a near neighbor.
Mr. Trump will practice religious intolerance.
He will exile, banish and forbid Muslims. The United States practiced this same policy with Jewish refugees under FDR. Victims were poured into the maw of the Holocaust.
Mr. Trump has already called Pope Francis I “disgraceful.” Muslims, Roman Catholics and, then who?
Mr. Trump appeared before the most fundamentalist of evangelicals, waved a Bible at them and pronounced it his favorite book. For me, this is his most intolerant act toward religion so far in his campaign.
Religious people are flexible, malleable, fungible and fluid. Religion can flex once and make a devotee rigid for life.. Religious people are often too easy to enlist. Mr. Trump reaches out for the evangelical voting bloc, which is essential for him. No one can blame him. He wants to win.
However, religious people are not the potent voting bloc of the Moral Majority days. Too many disappointments from forty years as a jilted bride have left the Religious Right groggy. We have been left at the altar by too many glib Litharios. Our easy affections no longer go to the first promise, but as religious people we still love our God and this may mean we do not like your god. We may forget to love the children of a lesser god as well. Court us, promise us the right things and we may mistake you for one of us, no matter how you say 2 Corinthians.
More simply put, I argue for leadership that accepts religion but refuses to incite the religious to anger against any other religion. Mr. Lincoln appealed to “the better angels of our nature.” I am religious, Christian, evangelical; all those things that are supposed to make me intellectually lazy and morally hazy. Even I hate to see religion bastardized by political candidates who want my anger in order to seize my vote. I think this is religious intolerance.
The candidate who appeals to your anger, my friend, is probably angry at you as well.
What will Mr. Trump do?
Mr. Trump will make the Free Press less free. Mr. Trump says he will “open up the libel laws and so make it easier to sue journalists.”
I will here be accused of wandering, but I have to do my nuancing now. The 24 hour news cycle has cheapened journalism and advocacy news networks have made it tawdry. Depending on a network’s preferred customers, hearers get three sentences of actual news and 45 minutes of how bad the GOP dominated legislature is gridlocked or how bad the Democratic President is for the world. There are more “news programs” and less journalism than I can remember. Every “news” show seems like a tabloid now.
And, then, on the other hand, I have to argue for a Free Press. I want a Free Press and a strong Press. I want Edward R. Murrow taking on Joe McCarthy. I want Walter Cronkite telling the truth about the Viet Nam War. I want Woodward and Bernstein.
I want more limited government in Press matters, not more intrusiveness and more litigation. Mr. Trump boycots debates, sues journalists, derides the Pope, deforms the Bible, builds walls, destroys bridges and wants you to vote for him because he “tells it as he sees it.”
Mr. Trump, I have heard what you see. I do not want any part of it.