Seven Observations About Trump

Observations from tonight’s third Super Tuesday voting now that Trump has won a lot more delegates….

  1. Trump is only a reflection of attitudes that already exist in the US. He’s primarily acting as a magnet, drawing out our fellow countrymen who agree with his sentiments. If you don’t like Donald Trump, he himself isn’t your real disappointment. Your disappointment, nearing on disillusionment at this point, is that SO MANY people in this country support a man who can be characterized as a misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, and/or bombastic demagogue. But most Trump supporters are angry about an America they feel is completely off the rails. They don’t think business-as-usual will fix the problems. Trump is a man who addresses their anger. He whispers (and shouts) to them, “I’ll take care of you.” But Trump’s rise is FIRSTLY the result of a political system that has been too slow to react to the rapidly changing world around us and leaving Trump’s supporters in the dust.
  2. America isn’t our social circles. Me and my crew are actually a minority in America. Many reading this in my immediate social network are either creative class or upper-middle class white people. Most of our country views our circle as the weird one. As humans, we all mostly hang in semi-homogenous circles, bewildered other people see the world differently than we do. These Primary Elections should make us pause and say, “Hmmm… What are all these people experiencing that makes them supportive of Trump?”
  3. Trump has drawn comparisons to Hitler. Fair or not, one thing is certain: Hitler’s rise to power in Nazi Germany was NOT the result of most Germans hating Jews. The Germans had been humiliated during WWI and Hitler asserted a nationalistic pride that resonated with them. That isn’t to say Trump is Hitler (even though Trump is also asserting a nationalistic pride). Not at all. It’s only to say that even Hitler’s supporters had pure intentions in wanting him in power. We’d do well to try and understand why “middle America” so enthusiastically supports Trump rather than projecting racism as the reason.
  4. The broad array of America’s entrenched problems won’t often be solved by our government regardless of promises Presidential or Congressional candidates make. History has taught us this! When will we learn!? If we don’t like the way immigrants are treated, there are organizations we can work with in our own hometowns to help them! Let’s walk our talk. We need to individually contribute to more good being done in our own cities to fix the problems that trouble us most.
  5. I thank God I live in this country. I write this with tears in my eyes. Too many people live in places where dissent of opinion can ruin your life or even END your life. The foundational hallmarks of this Republic are powerful — everyone gets to speak and everyone gets to vote. We are LUCKY to be in this place! There are certainly other countries in the world with just as much freedom but I’m happy to be counted among a people who are free — even free to pick people I don’t pick.
  6. The United States is possibly on the decline. Or maybe it’s re-inventing itself. Growing pains are, by definition, painful. Progress is temporarily stunted before an explosion of goodness. Maybe we should just be patient. Skepticism is ok. But maybe we should reserve our full-blown hysterics for a more serious situation.
  7. Almost all of us — myself included — have some growing up to do. We need to become more mature. Poise is the ability to be elegant in the face of adversity. Too many of us crack at the first moments of provocation in this election cycle. Even Mr Trump is this way. He has some learning to do also.

Ever since I was a boy, my mom has quoted me various passages, truisms, and sayings. One that she has always told me and my brothers is eminently appropriate for this election season. It’s amazing the power of a great parent……..

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs… Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it. And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!
_Rudyard Kipling
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