The Founding Fathers envisioned impassioned debate during elections, but they never met Donald Trump.
Trump dropped the irresponsibility bar to a new low last week by calling Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam war hero and a prisoner of war for 5 1/2 years, a “dummy” for graduating at the bottom of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy. Trump, who describes himself as “really smart,” wasn’t finished, saying he doesn’t “like people who get captured.”
Trump never had to trouble himself with the danger of capture, having obtained four student deferments from 1964 to 1968.
Trump wasn’t done with the McCain incident. In a speech to evangelicals, he noted that he ate “the little cracker” and “drank the little wine” at communion, and never asked God for forgiveness. Why humble yourself before God when you deify yourself?
It says something sad about our political system that simply having money and a mouth has gotten this guy so much attention. Whatever his motive for running – ego, leverage, maintaining enough of an audience to remain in the running for another reality show, whatever – he is not a serious candidate for leader of the free world.
Trump’s crassness and racism have been on full display since he announced his candidacy, having paid cheering spectators $50 each to attend his rally. He has managed to alienate Latino voters and offered blanket assurances that he knows how to handle China because he sells them eight-figure condos.
And, as ever, there’s a market for this ugliness. Some polls even put Trump at the front tier of the declared GOP candidates, though polls are meaningless this early in the campaign.
But it’s time for everyone involved to start rising above it. Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas cravenly asserts that he likes Trump, if only to pick up his supporters when he eventually self-immolates. Cruz needs to stop.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin have been blunt in their assessments, to their credit. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has engaged with Trump as well, after the real estate mogul tweeted that Bush is soft on illegal immigration because his wife is Mexican.
Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch, no stranger to shamelessness, called out Trump, taking to Twitter during the weekend to remark: “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?”
We wonder whether Fox News will allow him on the stage for the Aug. 6 debate. His appearance would be good for ratings, though not so good for the republic or the Republican Party.
We’ll survive Trump. But how long must we test the tensile strength of our system just to indulge an infomercial for a narcissist billionaire?