So, Barack Obama believes that Donald Trump could never be president of the Unites States because that job is a difficult and demanding one.
I wish Obama’s assessment, not so much of the presidency, but of Trump, were true! Unfortunately for the U.S., and for the rest of the human race, Obama’s opinion is based upon his own deep-seated democratic attitudes, and does not take into account the gradual erosion of democracy in his country in recent years.
Trump is wealthy, and there is a widespread belief among American voters that wealth is more important than any other personal attribute. Intelligence, honesty, compassion — what we used to call the “virtues” — have been abandoned in the scramble to gain wealth. “The Pursuit of Happiness” has become “The Pursuit of Money.” There seems to be a naïve belief that wealth is the key to happiness; and while it is true poverty does not lead directly to happiness, neither does money.
Trump represents plutocracy, not democracy, and the U.S. has been resolutely transforming itself, over the past century, into a plutocratic state. Without exception, every presidential candidate, both Republican and Democrat, is a wealthy person. It has been observed many times that it is virtually impossible for any but the very rich to aspire to a seat in Congress, let alone aim for the presidency. In many ways, Trump represents the embodiment of this faith in money, and it will be interesting to see just how deeply the American electorate has been drawn into the “American Dream” of wealth and power.
Trump also proposes to “Make America Great Again,” which is a fairly transparent code for “We will terrorize the world with our military might.” Such an attitude does appeal to the gun-happy segment of the U.S. citizenry, and there are always plenty of nations out there who, according to the Pentagon, “need to have their asses kicked.” Obama has not entirely succeeded in resisting the lure of military aggression, but it seems very likely that a President Trump would be more inclined to “let slip the dogs of war” at the slightest provocation.
If Trump’s brand of loutishness were backed by the power of the presidency, the rest of us would find ourselves in a very precarious position. The aggressive person always finds targets for his aggression, especially among the weaker members of society, and I fear that a President Trump would act out his aggression on countries that we democracy-lovers are trying to help out of their destitution.
Trump appears to be without any diplomacy or altruism, which makes him a direct threat to the world outside the U.S. Far from being entertaining, Trump is threatening. We must hope that the more thoughtful of our neighbours to the south will see through the bluster and the bluff, and vote in “Anybody But Trump.”