The five main reasons why Donald Trump scares me

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Donald Trump worries and even scares me, and he worries and scares me for reasons that have nothing to do with his chances of becoming president, which remain nil.

1.) It’s not just that he’s a bigoted, sexist, xenophobic bully. That’s cause to dislike him, but not to fear him. The problem is that his success has given a lot of other people permission to be bigoted, sexist, xenophobic bullies. He excites dark passions that are muted in civilized societies because those passions make a civilized society difficult to sustain, and that alone makes him dangerous.

You can see that dynamic play out in real time at his rallies. In a speech just before the New Hampshire primary, for example, he reiterated his debate promise to “bring back waterboarding and a helluva lot worse than waterboarding,” and he went on to criticize Ted Cruz for daring to object. A woman in the audience then yelled out, equating Cruz with an exceedingly vulgar term for female genitalia.

A decent man deserving of leadership would have ignored the outburst. Trump encouraged it.

“She just said a terrible thing. You know what she said?” Trump told the crowd, clearly pleased. “Shout it out again, because I don’t want to say it.”

She shouted it out again, as directed.

“OK, you’re not allowed to say — and I never expect to hear that from you again,” Trump said, feigning indignation. “She said — and I never expect to hear that from you again — she said ‘he’s a pussy’!”

At any other moment in American history, from any other candidate, such behavior at a public event would disqualify a person from presidential politics. Yet the next day, in a primary for a party that claims to bemoan the coarsening of American culture, Trump drew more than double the votes of his nearest competitor.

2.) I worry because Trump thinks that American voters are — to use one of his favorite words — stupid. He does not respect those whom he attempts to lead. He believes that they can be easily manipulated, and so far they’re not exactly giving him cause to rethink that belief. From birtherism to abortion to guns, he has shown the con man’s instinct of reading his intended victim and repeating exactly what his mark wants to hear. They agree to be fooled, he agrees to fool them.

Take his approach to evangelicals. He has used a cartoonish and transparently insincere mockery of Christian faith to pretend to be one of them, and while it has offended some evangelicals, many others have pretended to buy it. Their eagerness to abandon what they claim to hold most dear in order to join his cause could only confirm Trump’s dark and cynical view of his fellow human beings.

3.) I worry about Trump’s impact because he is constantly running down America, and because people believe him. His constant refrain is “America doesn’t win anymore; we never win,” and by almost any metric that you care to use, that’s ridiculous. We continue to win in almost every setting, every context.

Our recovery from the Great Recession, for example, is unmatched by almost any other economy, and the countries that Trump claims are eating our lunch — Mexico, Japan, Russia, China — face problems much more challenging than our own. The United States of America, by far the most powerful nation on the planet, cannot begin to act like an aggrieved victim on the international stage without profound global consequences for ourselves and everyone else, yet that is exactly how Trump would have us behave.

4.) I fear him because the only solution that Donald Trump offers America is Donald Trump.  Through sheer force of personal will, Trump will build the wall and make Mexico pay for it, Trump will crush ISIS, Trump will end the heroin epidemic, Trump will “be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” Trump will deport 11 million, and of course Trump will “make America great again.”

How will he do all that? “How” is not a valid question. The only question is “who?” and it has only one answer.

However, the implicit price of Trump making this country “so big, so strong, so powerful” is to first make Trump “so big, so strong, so powerful.” He is selling an approach in which he succeeds by brooking no opposition, foreign or domestic, and he is asking the American people to validate that approach. A depressingly large number of our fellow Americans are willing to do so.

5.) Finally, I fear Trump because of what may come after him. He is telling his supporters that they have been betrayed by the nation’s economic and political elite, and they believe him. That sentiment is damaging enough in its own right, but Trump compounds it because in the end, he is capable only of a much deeper betrayal. He cannot achieve any of the things that he claims, and when he fails — not if, but when — his followers will take that failure as yet another confirmation of their betrayal by a system in which they already have little or no faith.

I don’t know where things would go from there, but I’m not eager to find out.

 

Reader Comments 0

1759 comments
Angela Langdon
Angela Langdon

Seems we have Heard This Before.


Me, I have heard it in History Books.

It was about Germany, and his Name was HITLER!


Once The People Put Trump in Power, he will no longer have any use for them.


Whether you are willing to Admit it or Not,,


Trump is turning His Supporters against Other Supporters, which are their Fellow Americans,  No Candidate should do THIS!  

If You Truly Love America, you Don't Turn each other Against One another.


What Might Not be So Apparent to his Supporters, is that DONALD TRUMP ONLY LOVES AND DOES WHAT IS GOOD FOR DONALD TRUMP!


He Uses Whoever he Has to, to Get HIS way. Once He gets what he wants.

YOU WILL BE DISMISSED!!


But he Knows that THIS is the Only way that HE can Win and Take Power Over EVERYONE!



Peachs
Peachs

The real government for right wingers is corporate. That is the only disciple they understand. So we are as moral as corporate America allows us to be.

Peachs
Peachs

If the party divides into a two man race Trump loses. His opposition is cannibalizing itself. Trump will control enough votes at the convention to make some noses bleed. He has a hard ceiling and can only go left to pick up votes. So if he does win I am not sure he will be as bad as some others on the docket.

Noland Bell
Noland Bell

It seems his critics are more condescending with their remarks. Trump is a bit brash, but consider he will be the commander in chief and steer America to a bright future. I pity the fool who needs someone to speak nicely to them before they can act-we used to call them mama-boys!

Les Bouska
Les Bouska

Actually, that's what Trump does. Haven't you been paying attention. Trump is a master at name calling.

Les Bouska
Les Bouska

Carlos Jaurigue no truth here. However, the writing is on the wall. Republicans don't stand a chance at the White House. Hillary is far more likely to be President than any of the repubs.

Dianne Moore
Dianne Moore

All the others scare me not Trump, he's not a liar and not saying crap just to get elected. What you see is what you get. I'd rather have it straightforward than in secret behind our backs pushing their own agendas, not what We the People want and need!!!

Chris G Brown
Chris G Brown

Legitimate fears yes. But I don't fear Trump winning. I would be very concerned though. And the reason I don't fear is Congress won't allow him to do anything and I'm pretty sure he would be a one term president or likely impeached before 2020

Millard Mayfield
Millard Mayfield

Our government want let him become president of the United states...he doesn't have a draft card or register with the draft....oops there it is.

Bobby Corning
Bobby Corning

Derrick is truly a.....tool. \U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602

DS
DS

Trump doesn't scare me. Trump's supporters scare me. How can they approve of a modern day Hitler like Trump?

I always wondered how Germans could have allowed Hitler to rise to power. He was obviously evil. Where was their judgment? Their sense of right and wrong?

Now I'm asking the same questions about Trump supporters.

Ryan Mclean
Ryan Mclean

More trump hate….forget whats scary about the communist running for office.

Derrick Davis
Derrick Davis

He is truly a xenophobic plutocratic fascist.

Mike L Jones
Mike L Jones

I don't have any, but hillary and bernie, the list would be long.

Lee Lewis
Lee Lewis

You know what they say about assuming.

Robb Welch
Robb Welch

And for real you proved my point FOR me. Saying that socialism is the first step to Communism makes it clear that you KNOW they're not the same thing. The first ingredient for apple pie is apples, and you know that apples are not apple pie.

Robb Welch
Robb Welch

But speaking of educating yourself, every legitimate source I just googled supports what I'm saying. So. I'm confident that I'm fine.

Robb Welch
Robb Welch

Before socialism, a true first step would be breathing. You need to breathe before you can be communist. Using your logic, breathing is Communism.

Marshall Henderson
Marshall Henderson

Reading through these comments, the difference between Donald and Bernie supporters is so blatantly obvious! If you can't see what I am talking about, you probably plan to vote for Donald...

Christian Hurd
Christian Hurd

wow lady you need to get on your meds...between the caps and the off base assumptions with no supporting fact about ones character... your villianizing of others...your a republican aren't ya? Hey..look out behind you...there could be .... terrorists!! Oh an for the record ya nutter...I didn't vote for Obama, but keep'em come'n

Holley Reeves
Holley Reeves

You Christian Hurd..are the sort of voter that voted in Obama. ..TWICE. .HOW'S THAT WORKING FOR YA

Christian Hurd
Christian Hurd

Joe Fincher if you think "Both use the force of government to do what they deem appropriate." isn't happening now in our "democracy" your just the sort of voter the current crop of government wants an needs.

Robert1959
Robert1959

Jay, I wonder if Donald Trump will be the 1st GOP/tea party candidate to publicly "apologize" for his unethical conduct (hatred, fear and bigotry)? 

honested
honested

Chump has 'plans' to do something?

Can you share them?

KUTGF
KUTGF

Did you talk to those HP people Carly fired?

Teresa Trammell
Teresa Trammell

Here let me help you out. What I said is.... we have muslim terrorist training facilities on our soil. They train to kill Americans right here. We don't have a leader to stop them. The taxes are too high and companies are closing the doors in the US and sending citizens home with no job. Did you get that? Cause see we get that. We know what that means and that is why we are voting for someone to care about our safety and prosperity. Not someone to divide the nation will lies about cops and making things a race issue,Plus raising taxes 90%. You may want to do some research instead of trying to be a bully and spur tacky comments on social media. #havesomeclass

honested
honested

Where do you live that those things you fear are occurring?

Kamchak
Kamchak

Shouty Face free (at least for now) Rubio SHEETZ

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Ok, I missed this from last night, but good on Bernie for finally going there (Hils left a fat one over the plate at the last debate and he didn't swing...)


After criticizing Clinton’s Iraq War vote, Sanders turned to attacking Clinton’s relationship with Henry Kissinger, whom Sanders called “one of the most destructive secretaries of state.”

“In her book and in this last debate, she talked about getting the approval or the support or the mentoring of Henry Kissinger,” Sanders said. “...I'm proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger.”

“Well, I know journalists have asked who you do listen to on foreign policy and we have yet to know who that is,” Clinton pointed out.

Well, it ain't Henry Kissinger, that's for sure,” Sanders fired back.

DS
DS

@Visual_Cortex I don't understand the HK issue. I mean, I agree that bombing Cambodia was wrong. But that's on Richard Nixon, not HK.

A president should ask his advisors for analysis of the situation, a list of all options, and likely outcomes. They provide this info, then the president decides. 

Part of the decision is based on cost/benefit, part on risk/reward, and part of it should be based on the president's sense of American values and right and wrong. 

Advisors should not withhold options that don't pass their own perceived values filter. Even if the president would never choose such options, our adversaries could think he might. The president needs to understand the implications of that.

Once the president decides, he owns it. That's his job.

The Doom
The Doom

"They did something WORSE (by your previous examples) than kill people......

THEY DAMAGED PROPERTY!!!!"


Simmer down and get your xanax, Ed. 


Have you seen video from reporters at the scene? Looks like nothing more than barren prairie land where they were. How in the hell 10 or 20 people destroy so much property by simply being holed up is a mystery. It ain't like these folks were slashing and burning thousands of acres of land while being holed up, genius. 



"In any case, they publicly committed treason and acts of terror against the United States ON United States Soil"


Being holed up is an act of terror? Again, Ed. How many people did the Oregon protesters kill, shoot, or blow up? How many, Ed? It's a simple question really. Nonetheless, I'll give you a clue yet again by expanding on the previous clue. The number not only begins with a "z" but it ends with a "0". 

honested
honested

@Doom Classical liberal 

They challenged the sovereignty of the United States under visible threat of armed force.

Either you support the LAW or you don't.


The Doom
The Doom

@honested @Doom Classical liberal


And the members of this very miniscule threat, all 20 or so of them, have been apprehended. Geez, dude. You act like they number in the tens of thousands like ISIS. 


Box of rocks. 

honested
honested

@Doom Classical liberal @honested 

Do you support prosecution of Terrorists or don't you?

It's a fairly simple question.


By the way, how many thousands of 'isis' terrorists are on American Soil challenging American Sovereignty?

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Sweet!

"In a 75-20 vote Thursday, the Senate agreed to place a permanent ban on state and local Internet taxes. A provision in a larger bipartisan customs bill – the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act – that would force states to phase out the tax by 2020."

honested
honested

@Philo_Farnsworth 

In what universe is this good news?

Do you prefer internet maintenance that is charged at a 'marked up' rate by the providers?

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Government maintains my internet equipment and such.

Who knew?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Philo_Farnsworth  Government picking winners and losers again?  Let the brick and mortar folks pay the taxes

honested
honested

@Doom Classical liberal @JayBook @Philo_Farnsworth 

The problem with the modern conserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvative is a comprehension error that makes them believe their interpretation of reality is beyond question.

Therefore anyone who doesn't buy into the misrepresentation must be 'dumb'.