This is my first, but definitely not my last, question about our newly elected president, Donald Trump. As a liberal, I tend to vote based on what I believe is right for the country and the world, rather than voting on what might best serve me as an individual. But the recent outcome of our presidential election suggests that many people went further and allowed their base emotions to control their decision. I get that many were dissatisfied with the last 8 years under Obama (although I do not agree with the vast majority of complaints) and felt that a complete change was necessary. But Trump? I know there are many other Republican politicians who have at least some experience in government leadership, as well as some degree of dignity. So why him? What did he manage to tap into in the minds of so many Americans? With his most consistent campaign rhetoric, he has shown himself to be anti-environment, racist, sexist, sexual assault proponent, isolationist, and uncaring of the working people of this country. And someone who mocks a disabled person at a huge public gathering does not deserve any respect from anyone.
During his entire adult life, when he wasn’t partying at exclusive nightclubs in NYC, his only goal has been profit regardless of how unethical his methods were. Clinton, on the other hand, has spent decades in public service and has championed children’s health care, national health care, and international aid work (through the Clinton Foundation). So who’s heart has been in the right place?
There is a documentary on PBS (Frontline) comparing both candidates that is worth watching – The Choice
Another interesting perspective on our society’s view of candidate behavior is this article in the NY Times – If Hillary Clinton Groped Men?
So again . . . why Trump? My darker opinion is that he was able to tap into a “beneath the surface” set of fears and beliefs in American white people, especially white men. Racism, sexism, assaulting and degrading of women and disabled people, anti-environment, war-mongering, and bullying are only a few of these characteristics. My more positive opinion is, well, non-existant.
Rational and intelligent people of this country should not stand for this. We may not be able to do anything substantive for the next four years, but we can prepare to return this country to sanity in 2020.