Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Trying to Like Trump

I tried it for a whole week. Much to the dismay to my facebook friends and my coworkers, I pretended to like Trump. I talked him up. I tried to identify all his good qualities, trying to understand why so many people like him. After all, he really could be our next president.

My Trump supporters friends praised my experiment, and my Trump-disliker friends sent me private messages trying to convert me back to their side, or they figured I was laying on the sarcasm. I felt a little bad, but I let them know that it was only a fun experiment.

The best part came at the end of my week when I was asked to take down all my Trump pictures at work, as there was a concern I might be offending Trump supporters.

Anyhow, what did I learn?

Trump supporters are not idiots. Yes, I know that exit polls show that less-educated people tend to vote for Trump, while college-educated people tend to vote for anyone else, but if you stop and listen to what they say, it makes sense. Instead of dismissing them as violent rednecks, you could learn something from them.

Trump can bring in more jobs. This might possibly be the only place I agree with Trump, and is one area where he may be successful, but what he says is nothing new among Republicans. Instead of trying to force corporations to create jobs through punitive measures, the government can help to create an environment that will encourage corporations to bring the jobs back to America. This can be done by closing special-interest loopholes and lowering the corporate tax rate.

Trump is an excellent dealer. Sure, Trump has made some major mistakes in life, but on the most part, he's turned a million dollars into billions. He may possibly be able to win over the establishment Republicans and Democrats, and help them work together -- if he tones down his ego.

Ironically, many people think that Trump is "anti-establishment," but as my wife and others like to point out: His wheeling and dealing would help him feel right at home in office. He'd do all the back-door deals that establishment politicians do all the time. In fact, Trump has already played the corporate side of politics, which basically makes him "establishment" from the other side.

Trump is not racist to black people. Maybe he is, and maybe he isn't, but all I've been able to find is circumstantial evidence. Sure, there are plenty of video clips of black people being treated poorly at Trump rallies, but then again, the "Black Lives Matter" group protests everything and everyone. When a majority of protesters are black at a Trump rally, then that's who's going to be roughed up. If you watch carefully, you'll see that Trump treats white protesters the same way. So, yeah. Trump is equal-opportunity when it comes to that.

More Republicans like Trump than they do any other one Republican candidate. The numbers don't lie. Most Republicans hate Trump, but they refuse to rally behind just one alternative. Cruz is too radical for many conservatives. Kasich seems too unknown. Rubio would have been nice, but he needs a few more years to grow up. Trump can rally the troops and get them out to vote. He also seems to execute effective campaign strategy.

I still don't like Trump. Part of me hopes that if Trump becomes president, all the good things I listed would come out, and the bad things would tone down considerably, but the realistic side of me seriously doubt this will happen. Even after a week of considering his good traits, I still see that my concerns about him far outweigh the good. Does that mean that I failed in my experiment?

Trump still shows he would perform terribly in regards to foreign relations. He still wants to build a wall across the whole geographic border against Mexico, which even the Border Control leaders themselves say is unnecessary. He wants to apply religious tests on immigrants in the name of safety, which goes against fundamental American principles. He still agrees with the idea of requiring ID badges for Muslims, that we should use waterboarding and worse kinds of torture, and that we should kill the innocent family members of terrorists. I fear that if he's elected, he would push away our Muslim allies in the fight against terrorism, and ISIS would become much stronger, making us much less safe.

I think Trump would make a terrible leader, worse than Obama in his first term. His big ego would likely cause Democrats to close up such that it would be their turn to be the obstinate party in Congress. The way he disrespects opponents is childish, unnecessary, and nonproductive. Could you imagine him getting into a pissing match with Putin or Kim Jong Un?

And I still see that Trump incites violence at his rallies in two ways. He directly encourages supporters to hit protesters, saying he'd pay the legal fees, which in turn incites a violent response from his opponents. Luckily, this has been toned down considerably, but I think these protests may become more numerous if he actually becomes president. It would all depend on what he actually does once in office.

Finally, I'd like to point out that there is no "silent majority," but rather an "angry minority." Trump supporters are still outnumbered, but they are very loud, and very supportive. They have a real chance at winning.

As for me, I don't seem to have a candidate who I feel represents my beliefs. Cruz is close, but he's not as moderate as I would like. Trump definitely would not represent me. In fact, I've already left the Republican Party to become an independent, in anticipation of the Republicans allowing Trump to win.

Oh well, at least it was a fun experiment, and it will be fun to watch what happens next.