Monday, August 10, 2015

The Donald: Presidential Material?

I don't usually post about politics; though, I don't really think this one is political.

In light of the recent flak related to Donald Trump's response to Fox's Megyn Kelly's line of questioning in Thursday's Republican Debates, my wife shared a comment on Facebook that gets to the heart of an important issue.

Trump felt Kelly's questions were unfair and inappropriate. If he had left it at that, a worthwhile conversation might have been had. Trump evidently had support from the other debaters on the stage who stood along with him. However, in typical Trump fashion, he scooped a serving of vitriolic rhetoric, saying, "You could see blood coming from her eyes, and blood coming from ... wherever." A remark clearly referring to Kelly's menstrual cycle (no matter what he claims now).

With her usual clear insight, my wife commented: "Tell it like it is. Not politically correct, but simply misogynistic."

Trump responded to his critics who pushed back that our country is overly concerned with political correctness. He actually made this same defense during the Debate to the very question Kelly asked him in the first place, a question that drew attention to his habit of referring to some women in ways that demean and belittle. Much is revealed in such comments from our past and defended in the present.

In June, Trump made the same defense of political correctness when challenged for referring to all those who cross our southern borders as being murderers, rapists and drug dealers. He's sure about that while in the same breath being unsure that "some are good people."

You know, I understand to a certain extent the logic that leads people to bristle at political correctness. It requires work to pay attention to and change our language. It's embarrassing when the wrong thing is said - embarrassing for me and for the other and anyone around to hear it. Therefore, some claim that political correctness is silly or stupid or avoids getting at the truth. Maybe we really want to avoid facing ourselves honestly, our prejudices and preconceived notions that are false.

To my mind, if people express that they prefer to be spoken of in certain terms, why wouldn't I want to honor that? If someone is offended by certain words and terminology, why wouldn't I want to refrain from using it in order to respect and love that someone well. Why wouldn't I be willing to do the work to change my language in an attempt to foster a better relationship, a better community, a better humanity?

Whether you think he meant it or not, Trump speaks in ways that make me think his a racist and a misogynist; and his constant defense of his remarks only reinforce that sense for me.

Erick Erickson recalled his invitation to Trump to be a part of the Red State Gathering in Atlanta. His was a Republican response to Trump that I could finally applaud. He said simply, but profoundly, "Frankly, I don't want my daughters in the same room as Donald Trump." With three bright daughters of my own, I was thinking the same thing.

At some point you have to ask yourself a question: Is Donald Trump presidential material? Is this the kind of person we would want representing our country domestically or internationally? Do we really want a person with this way of speaking and this way of being to hold the highest office in the land?

Let me leave you with this. To those who want to dismiss Trump's comments as humorous and that in some way I and the rest of the world just need to lighten up, let me remind us of the old adage that is often true: "Many a truth is said in jest."

I think it can also be said, that jest can reveal the true character of a person. And as far as Trump is concerned, I don't like what I see.