I spent yesterday feeling completely distraught. Donald Trump, arguably the most visible of the GOP presidential candidates, thinks he's on reality TV. He's going for shock value. Or does he want to be Hitler?
What I know about Mr. Trump is this: If he had just taken the money his father left him and invested it, he'd have 10 billion more than he does. Four of his companies have declared bankruptcy, which may not be completely his fault, but it's at least partially his fault. And yet, he complains that America is in debt. We can't exactly declare bankruptcy. He has no experience running a country, and especially not a country as big and as involved in world politics as ours. Many of his answers to questions posed to him by media boil down to "I don't know" or "You're just asking me gotcha questions."
He's made many racist statements during his campaign, and instead of backing down from them when questioned, he's doubled down. He's changed his positions about certain things months apart. He's admitted that he has given money to government officials in order to get favors. (And he sees nothing wrong with it.)
The most worrying thing about Donald Trump, for me, is that he doesn't uphold any of the foundational values of American society.
This recent behavior looks as if he's following instructions from Goering (You know, the Nazi war criminal?):
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
To the rest of the world, I want to say that he doesn't represent America. He doesn't believe in the values that got us here -- liberty and justice for all, equality, tolerance, helping each other. He is a horrible little man and no amount of money will ever change that. Right-thinking Americans must stand up against him, against what he stands for.
Below the front page of the Detroit Free Press this morning calls Trump's behavior what it is: "vile bigotry."