Tommy CarcettiTommy Carcetti's Journal
Yes, he talks. And talks. And talks. And talks.
But I'm not talking about talking. I'm talking about speaking.
And he seems completely incapable of giving an actual coherent, organized, thought out public speech.
Yes, the argument can be made that in politics, talk is cheap. And I'm sure we've all felt let down by at least one politician who gave great speeches but failed to follow up with concrete results.
But still, there's something to be said about someone who can speak to inspire or move, or make us think about something greater than just them. I saw it last week at the State of the Union. I beamed at President Obama's speech. He made me feel proud and hopeful, even despite the fact that we still have problems in the world. And while those are just feelings, I'm glad there's someone out there who can use the power of words to convey a idea of something more than yourself.
I actually tried listening to Trump's speech from Liberty University today. Because I wanted to know if somehow, there was something I was missing about the man's appeal. I knew I would vehemently disagree with his message, but that wasn't my purpose here.
But it was nothing. It was absolutely nothing. He talked about his poll numbers, then building a wall, then mocking his opponents, then China, then his poll numbers, then Iran, then building a wall, then mocking his opponents, then China.....no more than a minute on any subject before switching to another subject. There was no actual thought put into this. He was just talking and talking and talking. Not once was he actually speaking.
Today, we celebrate one of the greatest orators in American history, a man whose powerful words struck deep into the hearts of millions and help changed this country for the better. And thank God we have recordings of his speeches on records, so that people like me--who were born long after Martin Luther King was shot dead in Memphis--could continue to marvel at that awesome ability long after he died.
Martin Luther King did not talk. He spoke. And the narcissistic, incoherent drivel I heard today was as far from speaking as was humanly possible.
You might recall the Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry are discussing Jerry's nemesis/neighbor Newman with utter contempt, when George pauses and says, "Well, he's merry." Against all that he believes about Newman, Jerry is forced to concur: "He is merry, I'll give him that."
In the world of partisan politics, at times we are forced to admit that even the worst of your opponents might have some sort of admirable qualities when one puts everything else aside. Yes, Reagan traded arms for hostages, turned his back on the AIDS crisis, and was otherwise a clueless empty suit in the Oval Office....but he did have that vague Old Spice scented grandfather fogeyness about him where we'd all expect for him to pull out a quarter behind the nation's collective ears. George W. Bush plunged the nation headfirst into Iraq and the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, but there was the whole folksy faux cowboy thing about him that probably wouldn't have been so disconcerting had he not been the most powerful man on the face of the earth. And there was always a sense of classic tragedy behind Nixon's paranoia and feelings of inadequacy.
But that's all in the past. And now you get to this man, the current beast we have to deal with:
And for the life of me, I cannot think of one single quality or attribute about Donald J. Trump that comes off as likeable or admirable. I just can't.
He's ugly, both inside and out, but will insist that he's anything but that. He's not funny or original in his thinking. He's been a horrible husband, a horrible businessman, and really horrible about everything he's ever done in his horrible little life. His self-flaunted riches and fame are the result only of a situation he was born into and not in any way the result of anything he's actually had to work for. He's stupid, with his limited vocabulary that he only seems to use to bring other people down. He fails to put forth any ideas that could at least be praised for their ingenuity or specificity. He wants to kick old ladies out of their homes so he can build tacky casinos on their land. He breaks promises to pay for the medical care of his deceased brother's infant grandchild out of spite against said deceased brother. He gleefully cheers the loss of people's jobs at Macy's because Macy's previously had the gall to discontinue his cheap clothing line. He's a reality TV show star--need I say more?
And now he's using the bully pulpit to self-aggrandize himself in his own little Cluster B narcissistic bubble, and the fuel he's using is hatred and paranoia and whipping people up into witch hunt like frenzies against immigrants and refugees, Hispanics, Muslims, women, and anyone who doesn't genuflect before his own graven image.
So with all that in mind, I can't say but I'm rather non-plussed at the fact that this man has any sort of popular support, that anyone with even a limited amount of intelligence would consider him suitable for the Presidency. For some reason, I'd like to think there's something in the collective human mind that would make us automatically reject such an awful, horrible, terrible human being.
And yet, he survives. And he thrives.
The only other political figure in modern American history where I remain at a complete loss in trying to think of anything remotely positive or admirable about would be Dick Cheney.
But even he played a great Darth Vader. Trump, on the other hand, would be lucky enough to be Jabba the Hut.
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