By Nick Riebel || Staff Writer
Donald Trump isn’t a very nice guy. You may or may not like him, you may or may not like his policies, or his incoherent ramblings he passes off as campaign speeches, or his attitude towards Mexicans, Muslims, or some other group that this demagogue has demonized. But it would be very hard to deny, and quite implausible to claim to the contrary, that Trump has a pleasant personality. He seems to have textbook narcissism and egomania, which together make for a dangerously arrogant attitude to have towards oneself, because someone suffering with that mentality will tend to be rude, insensitive, or even cruel to others.
This is not a matter of personal opinion: it is a well-documented fact that Donald Trump is disrespectful, dismissive, and outright mean to others. One can look at his years of “feuds” with other celebrities, or his comments to participants on his old show “The Apprentice.”
To me, even as a young kid who did not much care about celebrities or their shows, I was perturbed out how Trump seemed to make a sport out of, and enjoy, firing people. In reality, this can be the most mentally difficult part of running a business or organization: having to dismiss employees. Trump, then and now, seemed to have a sociopathic glee in controlling the destinies of many in his totally-normal-sized hands.
When he started getting involved in politics, do not forget that he began by questioning the legitimacy of President Obama, questioning his faith and heritage. Trump, though, was not taken too seriously back then, even though it was rumored that he may run for president in 2012. I truly thought then, and now, that if he were to run he would have defeated Romney much as he did Jeb Bush, and would have become the Republican nominee for that year. Nevertheless, after Obama released his birth certificate officially, largely in response to Trump’s allegations, Trump went mostly silent, only occasionally re-joining the political fray on social media.
This man is well known for his questionable tweets. While there is little doubt that he understands the media in a way that even most politicians don’t, there is even less doubt that he has trouble controlling what he says, even on a forum in which he is entirely in control.
At the Commander-In-Chief forum, Trump was confronted about a 2013 tweet about sexual assaults in the military, and his implied reasoning behind why they happened: (http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37303432 ). Stunningly, Trump defended this old tweet of his, because in his mind, he is always right, never mistaken.
Surely, a great quality in a commander-in-chief: stubbornly persisting one is right even when all the evidence in the world demonstrates that you could not be more wrong, especially wrong in such a horrible and offensive manner. It reminds me a little bit of former president George W. Bush, but even he, I think, was not this ignorant and moronic.Trump’s treatment of his rivals during the 2016 GOP primaries was infamous for his nasty rhetoric and bombastic (and often untrue) claims about Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz (amongst others).
There are too many examples to list in my little article here, such as Trump’s allegation about Ted Cruz’s father, Jeb Bush’s “low energy,” or comparing Ben Carson to a child molester (which Ben Carson seems to have gotten over or forgotten, shockingly enough: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ben-carson-donald-trump-endorse_us_56e2054be4b0b25c91816a29 ).
But I will leave you with this, which, to me, is the ultimate proof of Trump’s horrendous personality and manners: shushing Jeb Bush as if he was a disobedient child or mistreating his wife: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/02/06/trump_to_bush_let_me_talk_be_quiet.html . Yet, all of this seems to matter little, as tens of millions of Americans still plan on voting for this man to be our next president.
Even after Trump’s beyond-the-pale attacks on the Khan family, he has regained most of the support he had during the Republican convention. So, at the Commander-In-Chief forum, (which, by the way, Matt Lauer did astoundingly poorly at) when he got a question from a veteran suffering with PTSD, who had lost comrades to it as well, he proceeded to patronize and correct her (wrongly!) on the actual number of veteran suicides per day: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/294931-trump-corrects-marine-on-veteran-suicide-statistic . One may think that this is a minor thing, And even if you think it was an honest misunderstanding (Trump may have remembered old data on this subject), just the audacity to correct that veteran, in that manner, on that topic, in that way almost made me gasp out loud.
Will this man’s disposition truly improve by having greater power? Should we trust Trump with our military, our intelligence, our futures? Should we trust this man with nuclear weapons? Can we trust that he won’t start World War III over a Twitter feud with a foreign leader?
I’m not a big fan of Hillary Clinton. But Gary Johnson is a bad punchline to a worse joke (who should be our next president?), and cannot win anyways. Jill Stein is a nice woman, but at this point, all she can do is ensure a Trump victory. Unfortunately for America, our next choice for president with either be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The former I find infinitely preferable to the latter.
I will leave you with this, though. Win or lose, the fact that Donald Trump has gotten this far demonstrates I think, quite clearly, that something is very wrong with American politics, culture, society, or some combination of this or other factors. Something is broken, and Trump is just the latest symptom. And he may not be the last: who’s to say there won’t be someone worse than him in 2020 or 2024?
Senior Nick Riebel is a staff wrier. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.