Why I Cannot Support Donald Trump: Thoughts of an American and Professor of History

Fear is powerful.  Fear can save a life just as easily as it can end a life.  Fear is not stagnant.  Fear morphs, builds, decays, permeates, and repels.  Too little fear, and caution evaporates, danger clings and weighs upon like a wet wool blanket.  Too much fear, and we become trapped not to survive or to defend but to be imbued by a force that snuffs freedom and life itself.

Some may assert that fear is overcome by courage.  As William Shakespeare penned:

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.”

Shakespeare may be correct, but it is also true that even the most valiant may taste death prematurely and that could be from foolishness or being a coward in fear of that yet to come.

Fear is a weapon unlike others.  The infliction of pain, misery, injury, death may be slow or immediate.  Fear can be unfurled through actions or words.  Often a single seed out of thousands broadcast will land in fertile soil, bloom, and spread making those seeds that rested upon rocky or infertile ground, withered in the sun, devoured by birds, or trampled into oblivion irrelevant.

In 2016 the GOP and Donald Trump have tended to existing fears so that those fears do not succumb to deprivation or disintegration.  In addition, they broadcast brazenly and callously additional seeds of fear.  Their victory depends upon whether or not the present fears survive and the fate of the fears being cast into the prevailing winds.  Will fears take root and be nourished by blood and hate or succumb under the lights education and edification?

From Donald Trump we hear of a United States where street crime is more rampant than ever.  Law enforcement officers are targets, and we are being overrun with illegals desiring to do us harm.  Conditions are akin to those in Third World countries.  These are the legacies of the present government, of Barack Obama, and of Hillary Clinton.  All of this will change with Donald Trump as President because he will make America first and Americanism replaces globalism.

For Donald Trump says:

“I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance.”

 

“America is a nation of believers, dreamers, and strivers that is being led by a group of censors, critics, and cynics.

Remember: all of the people telling you that you can’t have the country you want, are the same people telling you that I wouldn’t be standing here tonight. No longer can we rely on those elites in media, and politics, who will say anything to keep a rigged system in place.”

According to Donald Trump, he is a savior of America.  He knows the rigged system better than any and therefore is the person who can fix it.  Everyone has been against him, but he has overcome censors, critics, and cynics.

Perhaps he believes that, perhaps you do as well.  I’ve never been confident in people who anoint themselves as saviors.  Some regard that anointing as blasphemous, but I’m just thinking of the comparable in American History.

George Washington managed to keep an army intact through the early portions of the Revolutionary War in spite of the odds stacked against him.  Other factors contributed and while Washington never demanded full credit, his role is difficult to discredit.  Ultimately Washington converged troops to end the military battle.

Regardless of whether or not the notes of “The World Turned Upside Down” filled the air, the colonial child had broken free from mother England on the battlefield and in spirit.

Later George Washington realized that our new country was on the verge of imploding under its existing government and participated in what in effect was another revolution in the form of a bloodless coup as those charged with amending the Articles of Confederation instead wrote the Constitution of the United States of America.  As the first elected President, Washington established many precedents still in place today.  Still he did what was asked of him; relied upon the credibility he had earned; and put the country before himself.  He did not regard himself as a savior.

Fear was present in 1775, 1776, 1781, 1787, 1789, 1791, and 1797 just as it is today. The economic downfall prior to the presidential election of 2008 is still felt and seen in many ways.  Barack Obama promised hope and change, but he did not perform miracles.  Neither did Congress.  Neither did we the people perform miracles.  We tread water. We made mistakes.  We submerged beneath the surface on occasions, but we did not drown.  We did not cease to exist.  We persevered just as the people had under the presidency of George Washington.

In 2012, the message was Forward.  In some ways we have moved forward; others we have regressed; and many more are more or less the same, statistically within a single standard deviation from the mean.  Some contend executive overreach and do have a point, but it also matters that some of the confirmed overreach happened because of 35 second sessions of the United States Senate which the Supreme Court ruled constituted being in session and not at recess.

I’ll be the first to agree that while fewer in numbers, many of the Executive Orders signed by President Obama are more significant than those of recent presidential predecessors.  Examine the list, however, and since Congress failed to take action do you really feel like these Veterans, disabled individuals, areas struck by disaster, did not deserve or need assistance from the federal government?  If Congress would not perform their responsibilities would we want a President to turn a back to the country?

No Barack Obama did not solve all the problems in the United States and the world, but he is only a man who got elected twice as President of the United States of America.  He was not a savior and never anointed himself as one.  For many detractors like Donald Trump, Barack Obama isn’t a man but a failed savior.

Of course some supporters may have felt that he could do no wrong, but many of these messages that detractors call weak and anti-American are contentions that we the people need to appreciate what past generations sacrificed for us.  Read them without benefit of knowing the author and see if they match this proverbial American dream, your values, your beliefs, more than they differ.  We the people need to realize that we does not exclude you or me but includes us.  We the people as a chain are no stronger than our weakest link.

What Donald Trump proposes is not we, but me, myself, and I with Donald Trump as that ultimate judge.  Someone else is always at fault.  Someone else is always to blame.  Fire marshals enforcing occupancy laws did so not for reasons of public safety that apply to everyone, but for the specific purpose of attacking Donald Trump.  Kazir Khan asking if Trump has read the Constitution, has gone to Arlington, and stating that Trump has sacrificed nothing is transformed into a vicious attack.

Does Mr. Khan have the right to an opinion and to state such publicly?  Why is he castigated?  Is it because he had the gall and audacity to question this one anointed by people as saviors of a country that has already been saved?

If this current police state as the rhetoric contends exists under Obama, review the words that have been written and spoken about the President.  Some are akin to those one heard in a junior high school locker room, yet the same criticisms, threats, and such have not been suppressed.  We are not oppressed as the critics and cynics contend.  We are not a Third World country.

Donald Trump wants us to fear what could be, but more so he wants us to fear what is and presents that in the darkest way possible.  There are no points of shining light.  There is no hope.  There is no laughter. There is no joy.

He wants us to accept that we are the defeated; the weak; the incapable, that we need a savior who is named Donald Trump.

What we need to understand, however, is that for Donald Trump or any individual to be that savior, we must shred that very document under which George Washington became the first President.  The Constitution no longer applies and one by one specific groups will be eliminated because they are to blame.  The problems, however, remain so a new group must be identified and eliminated.  As history holds many examples, the problems will survive, but how many people will be eliminated before nobody remains.

When has a savior or even a true leader been unwilling or incapable of the sting of words?  If words hurt, what of sticks and stones?  What will the response be to swords, to missiles?   It is an unknown; an unknown to which words alone provide any illumination of the darkness.  Donald Trump’s words, however, convey darkness and not radiance.

That’s what I fear because Donald Trump is not a savior. He’s not in the mold of either George Washington, Barack Obama, or the individuals who served in between as President of the United States of America.

Do we shred the Constitution?

Do we dissolve the United States?

Are we really seeking authoritarianism?

Too much fear, and we become trapped not to survive or to defend but to be imbued by a force that snuffs freedom and life itself.

An Aside:

While I cannot say that I truly supported any of the announced candidates seeking either the nomination of the GOP or Democratic Party or any 3rd parties or minor parties, I can say that some candidates seem less dangerous than others.  I would like to see the Libertarian Party poll high enough to be included in the debates and hope that they do meet the vote threshold to qualify for public funding in 2020.  I would also like to see a new party form in the midyear elections and make a viable showing in 2020 to become a true alternative to the current division in the 2024 presidential elections.

Many who critique my positions about Donald Trump will employ the Hillary Clinton card. Hillary Clinton has her flaws, and I have an abundance of concerns.

Still my position is based upon Donald Trump and how I envision him as President and not what I believe and know from my own work and interactions with others including Hillary Clinton.

 

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