The United States of America Brought to You by Donald Trump?
As Donald Trump gains more delegates for the candidacy of the Republican Party, the reality that he could become the Commander-in-Chief of the military starts to sink into everyone’s minds. Donald Trump has been known to make comments that are straightforward, brash, and inflammatory, but his style has him plugging into the sentiments of angry citizens that more is not being done to protect them. So what are the ramifications to homeland security if Trump does becomes President? Let’s look at some of his comments and their possible implications to securing and protecting the homeland.
Donald Trump is a master of branding and selling a product, so it is no wonder that he is so good at marketing himself as the right person for tackling the hot issues. Whether or not people agree with his ideas or philosophy, he gets his point out and people remember him; it is the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Trump could use his skills to promote his “brand.”
Trump has branded many things over the years, such as “Trump College,” “Trump Water,” and “Trump Steaks.” Can you imagine the branding that Trump could incur as President? It is no longer “Air Force One” or the “White House,” but instead “Trump One,” “Trump House”, or how about missiles or bombs brought to you by Trump. Trump could make Tony Stark envious. Timothy de Waal Malefyt, a professor of brand strategies and marketing at Fordham University in New York, commented that Trump is “an amazing brandmeister of the ‘brand called you.’ Trump champions the self-made man theme in America, one who perseveres against all odds, with struggles and trials — failed casinos and failed marriages — but has a dream — emblazoned in his name everywhere — to succeed against all odds. That brand of you is an inspiring message” for “downtrodden voters.”
Others like Mitt Romney have been speaking out on how Trump’s brand has been a negative influence. Even as some are attacking Trump within the GOP, his success and brand keeps going. It is almost reminiscent of Mel Gibson’s movie, “Braveheart,” in which the English establishment tries and fails to quiet an uprising.
Trump supporters are being drawn in due to the perception that he understands the concerns of the people and their desires for the future. They view him as a man of action, someone who is going to “build a wall” on the Mexican border, face ISIS head on, and not allow any Muslims into the country. His views appear to be simple and resonate with his supporters. As President, how would his anti-Muslim views affect the homeland security concerns of the U.S.? Would his current rhetoric and view on water boarding of terrorist suspects negatively affect our moral stature with our allies?
In a recent article, the U.S. top General, Marine General Joseph Dunford expressed concerns about Trump’s comments on the use of waterboarding and interrogation. In a Senate hearing, General Dunford stated that those tactics “… would harm the morale of U.S. forces to order them to carry out activities such as waterboarding or targeting civilians.” He also told Senator Graham that “Those kinds of activities that you described are inconsistent with the values of our nation. And quite frankly I think it would have an adverse effect.”
A challenge to criticism toward Trump is that there are a lot of people who do not feel the U.S. should have to follow the rules when ISIS is not, by continuing to behead captives. Trump’s words and sentiments are resonating with people who are sick and tired of seeing and hearing of ISIS and terrorism. People want someone who will take action and if necessary, take a more aggressive stance. Trump’s comments are reminiscent of Sean Connery’s line in the Untouchables, “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.” There are many people who feel Trump has the right foreign policy and his message is not to mess with the U.S. or we will bury you. While those sound bites resonate with citizens as they sit around talking about U.S. foreign policy, the consequences are far more complicated. As for foreign policy, how would President Trump interact with foreign leaders? Would political summits look a lot like the Republican debates?
A recent article by George Bennett discussed Donald Trump’s mastery of branding his opponents with insults. Trump said, “You have to brand people a certain way when they’re your opponents.” He did so with his republican opponents. He branded Ted Cruz as Lyin’ Ted Cruz, he called Marco Rubio as “Little Marco,” and he labeled Jeb Bush as “…‘low-energy,’ ‘low-energy’…” What off the cuff insult will he inflict on North Korean President Kim Jong-un or Russian President Vladimir Putin? The recent Instagram video posted by Trump has Russian President Putin wrestling, an ISIS member fighting, Hillary Clinton barking, and finishes with Trump stating, “Make America Great Again!” Considering North Korean President Kim Jong-un’s reaction to Sony’s comedy “The Interview,” how will North Korea react to President Trump’s insults?
One thing that is certain is that Trump’s message is resonating with people across the country. Republicans, Democrats and world leaders alike are all scratching their heads in wonder, and speculating what President Trump would be like. Tell us what you think. How would President Trump affect homeland security?