This rant is not about Donald Trump.
What we heard in Donald Trump’s open mic tape doesn’t tell us anything. There is not a person who heard that tape and thought, “hmmmmm, that doesn’t sound like Donald Trump…I wonder if this was taken out of context.”
What we should be taking from this, what should spur our introspection, is that we, as a people, have honored him. While seeking spectacle, we have honored him by covering him in the press and giving him a very big pedestal and an even bigger microphone. We have honored him by watching his television show and making popular its silly premise. We have honored him by giving him the shot at the Presidency of our nation.
And at the same time, we, as a people, have coddled him. We have given him the right to spew fabrications, and failed in our responsibility to judge him on his record. We have abrogated our duty, as voters, to make him be specific with his plans for our country. We have blown it by not holding him to even the lightest rigor, ironically folks, while this *should* be the most rigorous interview in the world. Put that in your Apprentice DVR queue, wouldn’t you?
The thing that bothers me most about Donald Trump, setting aside for just a moment the outright danger of him with his hands on the wheel of state, is what it says about you and me. Not what it says about Trump. Not what it says about “The Media.” The thing that makes me boil with anger, is that in the name of entertainment; or out of laziness; or maybe political “politeness,” we have given the stage to this incompetent, hateful man, and we have subverted nearly all sense of reason, because we have failed to hold each-other to even the lowest standard that is needed to make a democracy work for us.
Robert Heinlein said: “Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.” If he was talking about us as a whole, he might have said: Do not handicap your nation by letting your friends, your family, your neighbors get away with uninformed or irrational thinking. Not as catchy, I know. Robert, if you’re reading up there, please clean up my prose.
As I said: this rant is not about Donald Trump. We’ve been doing this for years. We have let false-equivalence become acceptable in our discourse. We have let junk science, and junk economics, freely pollute our thinking. We have let fantasy become as motivating as logic. Donald Trump is just the most absurd manifestation of this illness.
We, You, Me.
We are not doing what we need to do.
That. That is what we need to think about.
This is a democracy, folks. This is on us. On me. On you.