Perhaps everyone should have known that Donald Trump threatening to enter the GOP nomination race would have produced so much negativity. First reactions were that he really wouldn’t follow through, wouldn’t take the steps necessary to become a candidate. But as he completed them, one after another, the criticisms only increased.
Love him or hate him (as most seem to) Mr. Trump — “The Donald,” as he is affectionately known — is a force to be reckoned with.
A poll by the Morning Consult online asked people “what they think of when they hear Trump’s name, [and] a majority of registered voters came up with a negative word. ‘Arrogant,’ ‘ego’ or ‘egomaniac’ and ‘greed’ or ‘greedy’ were the most common negative responses.” “Few offered purely positive descriptors; ‘good’ or ‘great’ only came up 14 times among the 1,306 respondents,” less than 1 percent.
With his “no holds barred” approach to life, Donald Trump upsets lots of folks, including fellow Republican candidates. He comes from a different world than the politicians do. In his world, you say what needs to be said, and it may not be the kind and gentle talk that the media and those in politics expect.
In politics you must be careful to never alienate a potential voter, and these days you must not offend anyone. Ever. Therefore, the comments in his candidacy announcement about illegal aliens coming across the southern border really set off a firestorm of criticism.
The Trump style may be blunt and not politically correct, but his points are valid: Our border is a sieve leaking who knows who into the country, among which we know are some criminals, rapists, and drug cartel members, and probably a few terrorists. Although a little later in those comments he said plainly that the bad folks aren’t just from Mexico, they are also from Central America and South America, but they do enter the U.S. from Mexico.
Donald Trump has been wildly successful in business, and you don’t accomplish the things he has accomplished without knowing what needs to be done, and doing it. That no-nonsense approach and plain talk is missing in many or most of our current and potential elected leaders on all sides, although they do have political experience, which he does not have. Political inexperience and his blunt talk likely mean he will not win the Republican nomination.
But you can count on Donald Trump to talk about things many other candidates would rather not talk about, and do so in a manner does not comport with the accepted style. This will provide the media with a great opportunity to distract the public by trying to trap Republican candidates into either defending or attacking him personally, and making the campaign all about Trump, instead of the important issues facing the country.
We have already seen some Republicans fall into that trap, and more of them likely will. Republicans are known for their proclivity to kill each other and themselves off, making the Democrats’ job much easier.
While Donald Trump is being skewered for something he said and how he said it, President Barack Obama is being celebrated for things he had nothing to do with, and for things of questionable value to the United States.
“Wow! Is President Obama on a roll or what!” trumpeted columnist Ann McFeatters. The country is just “watching in amazement at what seems like a kaleidoscope of change.”
She believes that Mr. Obama has reaped benefits for some things he had nothing to do with, like:
A. “In rapid succession, we have seen the Supreme Court rule in favor of samesex [sic] marriage equality, and uphold the legality [of the] Affordable Care Act.” Advocates are unconcerned with the constitutional gymnastics needed to arrive at those faulty decisions.
B. “One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag, symbolic of racism and rebellion against the United States, is finally ceasing to be flown over public buildings.” She must not know that 57 percent of Americans in a recent poll see the battle flag as a symbol of history, not of racism.
And she gives credit for things of questionable value:
A. “And, now, relations with Cuba! … For the first time since 1961 Cuba will have a U.S. embassy,” as if giving Cuba this gift really means anything without some substantive results for both the U.S. and Cuba. On the other hand, Americans may at last be able to legally buy Cuban cigars.
B. “Obama is trying hard to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. It may not be possible, but naysayers to his plan simply do not understand realpolitik in today’s complicated world.” Realpolitik must mean giving up sanctions on Iran and at the same time not blocking that rogue nation from producing nuclear weapons, as well as speeding up the process for the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Obama’s legacy is apparently at the top of his priority list, as so many of his actions demonstrate. But just getting an agreement with Iran to burnish his image is a dangerous and foolish way to do that.
James Shott is a columnist for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, and publishes his columns on several Websites, including his own, Observations.