To the Editor:
To the amazement of many, the Republican Party – the party of Abraham Lincoln – is apparently being led into a presidential election by Donald Trump.
It is hard to imagine someone less suited by temperament, outlook, and, yes, experience to lead America. In fact, his tyrannical nature – he's shown us his unpredictable impulsive bully disposition: ready to carpet bomb or sue at the drop of a hat – and his pugnacious incendiary personality are such that the thought of him as president is deeply unsettling.
His ascendancy to claim for himself the role of GOP presidential nominee is happening through an unwitting and unintended convergence of American fear, fantasy, a desire for authoritarianism within parts of the country perhaps as a reaction to the cautious peacemaking approaches of President Obama, wishful thinking, and moth-attracted-to-the-light media obsession. Until recently, he's also benefitted from the opportunistic ingratiating deference of most of his rival GOP candidates.
Nobody has any idea what Mr. Trump would do in a crisis or really what he stands for – except to strike back at others. Among his many bizarre positions is advocacy of killing the families of terrorists to deter terrorism. Much of his speech time is spent maligning or ridiculing other candidates, and sophomorically calling anyone who confronts him or asks him tough questions: stupid or weak or "a loser" – or worse. Yet, he racks up state after state in the primaries.
What are his supporters thinking? Some state that he says what they are feeling. That is more than a little scary. Others say that in this primary test he is just playing a role. Yes, he is. What that role is or means, other than presenting yet another face of the Trump "brand," is very unclear. Further, some argue that beneath the buffoonish posturing he is a pragmatic successful businessman who likes to cut deals. They say that as president he would appoint experienced advisers to guide him, and he would function as a chairman of the board much as supposedly Ronald Reagan did.
Is this unsupported wishful thinking? He gives every appearance of complete confidence in the correctness of his own often outrageous opinions. There is nothing in Mr. Trump's glitzy but flawed and somewhat dodgy business history, which includes several impulsive and seriously failed endeavors, as well his close control of all aspects of his businesses to suggest the he would change into a wise and benign chairman ready to take counsel from experts who are familiar with governing, military and foreign affairs, and domestic policy.
One of the ways we can evaluate aspirants to high office is whether they appeal to our better natures. Mr. Trump fails this test miserably. Can his supporters face the fact that the things Mr. Trump has said in his campaign make him unworthy of leading the U.S.?