Germany’s media are unanimous in warning against Donald Trump, but that’s not enough of a reason for me to be against him. Back when Ronald Reagan was running for America’s highest office, Germany’s journalists were against him too – and he went on to become one of America’s best ever presidents. Three decades later, they adored Obama, who has been one of the worst (Obama was a great mistake – only the Germans haven’t realised it, yet). The fact that 95 percent of the German population would vote for Hillary Clinton is not a reason for me at all – she would never get my vote. However, I have become a fierce Trump critic. How so?
I never was a supporter of Trump as a politician – my sympathies aligned more closely with Ted Cruz, who lost out in the primaries. The one thing I liked about Trump, at least in the beginning, was that he ignored the rules of so-called “political correctness”. He consistently ignored the specific code of language that one has to follow in order not to get in trouble. Not only does he obviously not mind causing trouble, he actively seeks it. But even that was no reason for me to be against him.
I understood the reasons for his success. He gave a voice – supposedly – to a section of the population that political parties in the US did not take care of anymore: white, heterosexual males. Democrats are increasingly focused on representing so-called minorities. Most recently, they explicitly focused on “transgender” issues. What to most people is a highly incidental question, i.e. which restroom should men who feel like women be allowed to use, was passionately debated in the US and resulted in many Americans wondering, “Who is going to stand up for me?” So, the reasons that so many white US males support Trump have always been clear to me. They are the only segment of the population where he holds a substantial majority.
Why did I become such a fierce Trump critic?
- Not only does he not know what he is talking about on many subjects, but he also has no idea which subjects he understands, at least partially, and which subjects he is clueless about. His claim that he has an understanding of Russia because that is where he holds the Miss-Universe contests speaks for itself.
- He is constantly lying. On example is his claim that the father of Ted Cruz (his opponent during the primaries) was involved in the murder of John F. Kennedy – without any proof whatsoever. The readers of Michael D’Antonio’s critical biography of Trump, which I have reviewed here (Book-review: 389 pages worth reading about Trump – the essence), will find multiple examples of Trump’s tall tales. By the way, his statements about his assets cannot be trusted. They are likely to be just as inaccurate now as they were in the past.
- He talks a lot of nonsense. An example: According to Trump the Republican McCain is “not a hero”. “He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that were not captured, okay?” McCain – a highly decorated military pilot – was in captivity and tortured for more than five years during the Vietnam War. When Trump doesn’t really know what to say, rather than keeping his mouth shut, he carries on talking and ends up saying things that quite clearly make no sense whatsoever.
- He suffers from megalomania and overconfidence. He is blinded by his success. Many of the comments the US media have criticized him for did not negatively affect his poll results. He claimed: “I could shoot someone in NY on Fifth Avenue and people would still vote for me”. That’s what he actually said and believed, for sure, too.
- He has no beliefs. He is not right, he is not left, he is not market-oriented, not socialist – Trump is Trump and only interested in himself. He might once have favored raising the maximum tax rate, but later he called for tax reductions. He claims to be a capitalist yet he unconditionally agrees with socialist Bernie Sanders’ criticism of free trade. He simply does not have a political compass.
- He is unpredictable – and has admitted that he is proud of this fact. This too, is only to be understood as a response to Obama’s politics. Obama was – many critics agree on this – too predictable. He always started off by explaining in public what he would not do. That only served to encourage power hungry politicians like Putin. Trump’s primitive motto apparently seems to be: “What would Obama do? I’ll do the opposite – therefore it’s best to be completely unpredictable. Of course, no one wants to see someone like that in charge of the nuclear codes.
All of these Trump characteristics were apparent right from the beginning, but became more and more obvious over the past months. What may have seemed to be nothing more than an embarrassing faux pas to someone – like me – who has not paid much attention to Trump in the past, is actually a deep-seated aspect of his personality, which he is unable to alter. Right now, it feels like he has lost any sense of self control.
Someone like Trump being so popular among US Americans after eight years of Obama, does not speak for Obama. People that are constantly politically correct – which includes Obama – made someone like Trump possible. However, the fact that they are trying to defeat him cannot be a reason for me to like him. The formula “My enemy’s enemy is my friend” is not a valid reference point for me when forming my opinions.
Will Trump lose the election? I hope so, even though I think very little of Hillary Clinton. I wouldn’t vote for her or Trump. Ted Cruz would have had my vote – or maybe the Liberals’ candidate, Gary Johnson (The alternative to Trump & Clinton? America’s liberals are actually the Libertarians). The outcome of the election is uncertain. Trump has been slipping in the polls of late. But he shouldn’t be underestimated. There will be three big TV debates between Clinton and Trump. During the primaries, Trump beat 16 intra-party opponents with an enormous victory that no one expected. It will not be easy for Hillary Clinton, who is unappealing and implausible. If she is to win the election, it will be because she is the lesser of two evils, which is probably true.