The GOP’s coronation of a charlatan

July 19, 2016

The GOP’s coronation of a charlatan

Years from now, bright-eyed children will look up at Grandma or Grandpa and ask, “Where were you when they nominated Donald Trump?” Far too many prominent Republicans will have to hang their heads in shame.

As the garish imperial coronation in Cleveland reaches its climax, there will be much commentary — some, no doubt, from me — about fleeting events. Did So-and-So’s speech help Trump or hurt him? Did one line of attack against Hillary Clinton seem more or less promising than another? All of this is news, but we must not lose sight of the big picture: The “party of Lincoln” is about to nominate for president a man who is dangerously unfit for the office.

Trump is a brilliant showman, no question about that. His life’s work has been self-aggrandizement, not real estate, and all those years of practice served him well when he turned to politics. He knows how to work a crowd. He understands television and social media. He dominated and vanquished a field of experienced campaigners as if they were mere apprentices.

But he lacks the knowledge, curiosity, temperament, wisdom, compassion and resolve to be president. The GOP is about to formally endorse a charlatan for the most important job in the world.

Great political parties do not do this. They might nominate a candidate who is too conservative or too liberal, too wooden or too glib, too inexperienced or too much of a warhorse. They do not nominate the likes of Trump.

The shameful thing is that so many of those scheduled to speak at Trump’s convention know full well that he should not be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office. Former Texas governor Rick Perry had said that Trump’s candidacy was “a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.” Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), set to appear by video, called Trump a “con artist” and an “erratic individual” who should not be trusted with the nuclear codes. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) reluctantly endorsed Trump and has since spent more time criticizing the loudmouthed mogul than praising him.

Explain yourselves, Republican officials. You know that Trump should not be president. Do you secretly assume he will inevitably lose to Clinton? In that case, perhaps you think your support makes sense as a way to promote party unity or self-interest. (I’m being redundant; most politicians believe party unity and self-interest are the same thing.)

But what if Trump wins? Surely you are not under the illusion that Trump would follow the advice of more experienced hands and allow himself to be molded into a statesman. Anyone clinging to that fairy tale paid no attention to the final months of the primaries, when Trump would give a conventional teleprompter-aided speech and the very next day go back to raving like a madman.

Anyone wondering just how bad a Trump presidency would be got a preview from the joint interview he did Sunday with his vice-presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, on “60 Minutes.” It was unintentionally hilarious — but also chilling.

Asked whether Trump “went too far” when he criticized Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as “not a war hero” because he was shot down over Vietnam, poor Pence hemmed and hawed until Trump gave him permission to speak freely. “That one, you could say yes,” Trump told his running mate. “I mean, you’re not — it’s fine. Hey, look, I like John McCain. But we have to take care of our vets.”

When Trump first came out with his proposed Muslim ban, Pence called it unconstitutional. Now he loyally says he supports Trump’s idea, which seems to have morphed into something Trump calls “extreme vetting” and applies only to Muslims from “territories and terror states and terror nations.” When Trump went on about how he would declare war against the Islamic State but without dispatching U.S. troops, Pence said that “this is the kind of leadership that America needs.”

It is not leadership. It is gibberish. And Republicans in Cleveland will pretend the emperor is wearing clothes.


8 thoughts on “The GOP’s coronation of a charlatan

  1. Trump win is at least a critic of the selection process. The process is too much about command of the media and the poor state of media consumption of the masses. Like reality TV, boy or girl band, porn and gambling on the internet., the masses find it challenging to consume better content.

    It’s time to admit, the selection process is not an intellectually challenging enough, it’s too pop media.

  2. A good article. It is unbelievable that the Republican Party — the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Reagan — is going to nominate this man. I fear for the future of my country if Trump becomes President.
    Ambassador Malott,

    I trust you to do the right thing and in the wisdom of the American people. America is no island onto itself. GOP convention speeches so far are shocking and jarring to me. Former New York Mayor Rudy was playing with fire with his speech.–Din Merican

  3. #“Where were you when they nominated Donald Trump?”
    In a place, where my vote really does not matter due to the “big sort” that happened naturally. In any case, on a side note, it is reported the Clintons were there at Trump’s last wedding. It speaks volume to the kind of hair splitting differences between the two candidates. Clinton or Trump, little difference.

  4. Dato

    I am not surprised about the people would vote for Trump. This situation on police killed might help him get votes if he does not make any stupid comments from now on. Talking to folks it seems like they are sick and tired of Obama and Hillary.


    I have to wait to next week for the Democratic Convention at Philadelphia before I can make a reasonable judgement. Who will be Hillary’s running mate? Her choice will be decisive. That person should be able to make Hillary electable. The former Secretary of State has a serious trust deficit with the American voters, although she is most qualified to occupy The White House in my view. At this stage, however, I am not ruling out the possibility of a Trump Presidency.–Din Merican

  5. Look at the positive side, folks. America is truly a land of opportunity, if Trump wins! I will pack my bags and migrate. Who knows, one day my great grand children may become POTUS, the land of the brave and free! 🙂

  6. Make no mistake. A Great Leader has a Collection of Great People around him. The leader himself may not have depth but has that ability to pick those individual Great Ideas and turn them into reality.

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