On Donald Trump

"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half."
-Gore Vidal
Before I begin this post, I'd like to clarify a few things. First, I would like to remind you that disagreements are welcome here. It is perfectly acceptable for you to comment on the post or on Facebook expressing your disagreement, provided that you do so in a logical manner. That is to say, don't type, "you're wrong," type, "here are my reasons for disagreeing." There should be reasoning behind what you say. Saying "you're wrong" doesn't convince anyone. Next, I would like to address any potential concerns stemming from my opening quotation. There shouldn't be any, but you never know. After all, Gore Vidal was a Democrat. Some Republicans would discount my entire post based on that quotation. But if we make the assumption (for the sake of argument) that Democrats are a bunch of idiots and don't know anything, then we can bring into play the saying that says, "even a broken clock is right twice a day." Finally, I would like to clarify what this post will be covering. I will not be addressing Donald Trump's policies or background. I will be addressing first his temperament, and then his popularity. While his policies and background may be relevant to the conversation in general, they are not relevant to this post. Just in case they're brought up in the course of conversation, I'll make the assumption that his policies are good and that his background is bad. Both of those could be argued for or against in various ways, but I'm not mentioning those to convince you, I'm just putting a starting stance in place for the sake of context within following conversations.

First, we'll look at his temperament. This is the most controversial aspect of his campaign, bringing him extreme amounts of both popularity and hatred. If you are reading this post, you clearly have access to the internet, so I'm going to assume that you know at least the basics of who Donald Trump is and what his personality is like. When he entered the race for the Republican nomination, he was an instant success because of his straightforward way of speaking. I've never been good with names, faces, or people in general, so I originally didn't know who he was. (In fact, the only candidates I knew on either side before the first debates were Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson.) As I saw his candid manner, I started to lean in his direction, thinking that the only way to change the way the nation is headed is to speak the truth regardless of people's feelings. (After all, the idea of truth trumping feelings, pun intended, is something that I try to hold to in my day-to-day life.) However, my thoughts on Donald Trump's attitude quickly changed as time went on. His way of speaking is very blunt, which some see as good, and others see as bad, but I would contend two things about his temper.

The first would be that his temper has a different purpose than people think. Or should I say, a different backing. There are two potential reasons for speaking the truth when it conflicts with somebody's feelings. The first reason is because you care about the truth. The second is because you don't care about people's feelings. Donald Trump's reputation is for caring about the truth, but when we look at his comments, is that really true? While we can't read people's hearts, we can look and see if a person's actions are consistent with what they say. Do you speak the truth with a purpose, regardless of feelings? This would exclude things like insults. Insults don't have a purpose, or anything to be gained. They tear people down, but that's it. Someone who speaks the truth for the gain that it brings wouldn't insult people. Insults aren't a fight against political correctness, they show that the person speaks the truth because they just don't care about people.

My second contention regarding his personality is that fighting political correctness isn't unique to Donald Trump. Let's assume for the sake of argument that my last point is wrong, and insults are a fight against political correctness. Plenty of people have been willing to insult Donald Trump, and he hasn't been very fond of it. Aren't those people, who were willing right from the start to insult Donald Trump before it was even popular, fighting against political correctness just as much? There are a few candidates on the Republican stage who haven't attacked Donald Trump. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, in spite of occasional attacks from Donald Trump towards them, have not struck back. I believe that they recognize the difference between insults and fighting political correctness. See, Donald Trump has a reputation for standing up for the truth, but he's not really speaking out on political issues any more than other candidates are. What sets him apart from the others is only his insults.

Finally, I would like, once more, to make the assumption that my previous points were incorrect. Let's make the assumption, for the sake of argument, that Donald Trump is the best candidate on either stage, and that he would be the best choice for president. If that's the case, he still can't win. "But Jared!" you say. "He's at the top of the polls! Why do you say that he can't win?" He's at the top of the polls in the Republican field, but look at how much hatred he's getting at the same time. Look at how many Republicans hate him. I've seen any number of articles talking about large groups of Republicans threatening to boycott the general election if Trump is the nominee. The common response to that is, "they're not true conservatives! They're a bunch of idiot liberals!" Again, let's make the assumption that that's true. If even registered Republicans wouldn't vote for Trump, then how could he win a general election? He could easily win the nomination at this point, but the assumption tends to be that if he's nominated, he'll get the support of the Republican party. That's how it typically works. I'm sure that many Republicans would support him, but many wouldn't. And what about the independent vote?

Donald Trump's lack of political correctness stems either from a love of truth or a neglect of people's feelings. Many believe the former, and many believe the latter. Because so many believe the latter, he won't be able to win a general election unless he changes his stance. With that in mind, it would seem prudent for his supporters to pick a second-favorite candidate that may have a chance of actually winning the general election.
"Working with him was sort of like trying to defuse a bomb with somebody standing behind you and every now and then clashing a pair of cymbals together. In a word, upsetting."
-Stephen King

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