Trump is following 0bama's Script

It’s impossible to get through a day without hearing the name Donald Trump…over and over again.  His name is plastered across the pages of newspapers and magazines.  His speeches and interviews are continuously replayed on television, radio and the Internet.  Friends, family, and colleagues bring him up at every opportunity as if the most important topic in the world today is whether Trump will win the nomination.  And perhaps it is.

Barack Obama has almost single-handedly destroyed America’s standing in the world and certainly our relationship with our allies.  He has aided and abetted the rise of ISIS and other terrorist organizations as well as enemies such as Iran, Russia, and China.  And he has fomented division and unrest here at home. 

I say “almost single-handedly” not just because his administration has been filled with accomplices to his destructive policies.  I’m referring to the American people who elected him -- twice.  Americans enabled Obama to accomplish his promised transformation of the country -- and the world -- as they bought into his false promises and messiah-like personality cult.  They are blameworthy for our situation today because they were blindly ignorant and ideological then. 

Some blame Obama’s rise on Bush Derangement Syndrome.  Americans were tired of war and distraught over the results of GWB’s policies, including the economic crisis, so they fell for Obama.  Today, many Americans abhor Obama and what he has wrought.  We are aware that San Bernardino, the Boston Marathon, and Fort Hood were not anomalies.  We are witnessing the changing demographics of the country, as America appears to be virtually borderless.  We are living through a deep and widening divisiveness across the nation as his policies and language incite groups like Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, and CAIR to take to the streets and airwaves ranting about faux abuses and infringements on non-existent entitlements.

Enter Trump -- and the country’s newest cult of personality, driven by deep dissatisfaction, frustration, and anger at the sitting commander in chief.   Notwithstanding differences between Trump and Obama, the factors that led to each of their enormous and hastened popularity appear quite similar.  A feeling of isolation, resentment, fatigue, and disgust has taken over the GOP just as it did with the Democratic Party eight years ago.  Obama attracted massive crowds of swooning fans who melted at the sound of his voice and cheered at his empty promises.  Now Trump is attracting huge crowds of adoring supporters who see in him the personification of their desire for a radical change from a dangerous and incompetent incumbent

Just as we heard with Obama, today people exclaim that Trump is the man the country needs to turn things around.  In 2008, that resulted in the election of the narcissist and bully-in-chief.  In 2016, the best result would be a bloviating, know-it-all, bully-in-chief.  The more likely result will be President Clinton.  That the Right is about to repeat the mistakes of the Left, after witnessing the results of those naïve, idealistic hopes and dreams is incomprehensible and yet manifesting before our eyes. 

Wikipedia describes a cult of personality as something that “arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized, heroic, and at times, worshipful image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.” Obama did not need much help to grow his messianic cult, although the media and other tools of his propaganda machine certainly helped lead to millions of voters becoming intoxicated on his Kool-Aid.  While Trump’s celebrity status is not new, he is currently worshipped by an electorate fed his vision 24/7 by a media fascinated by the cult of his persona.

The obsession with Trump however seems to be bipartisan.  Perhaps this is because it’s not even clear that he actually is a Republican.  Some argue he is a RINO at best as he previously supported Democrats including Clinton and spouts views hardly aligned with a conservative vision (especially economic policy).  Others contend he is a right-wing extremist for his stance on issues like immigration.  And serious thinkers wonder if he’s Hillary’s secret weapon -- a plant in the Republican Party who is helping to brand the GOP as a bunch of radical whack-jobs as well as her most effective WMD (weapon of mass distraction).

But no matter how one views Donald Trump, there is no doubt that he is a major distraction from the issues at hand.  While he often says something unconventional about an issue of the day that should result in a substantive debate, it seemingly never does.  Instead, the media have a field day discussing Trump as if Trump is the issue of the day. 

Announcing his intention to build a wall across our southern border is not a policy.  Promising to prevent every Muslim in the world from entering the U.S.  is not a serious policy.  Suggesting that we extra-judicially murder the families of terrorists is an un-American policy.  Promises of “Believe me,” “It’ll make your head spin,” and “I’ve thought it through in depth” are not policies.  Policies require details.  Details require knowledge.  Knowledge requires a depth of understanding on a vast array of complicated issues that the next president must be capable of addressing on day one.  There is no time for a learning curve.  There is no time for figuring out how to accomplish the impossible.  There is no room to roll the dice on hopes and dreams of another longed-for messiah saving the country.  Been there; done that; failed.

Can we afford to risk nominating the guy who will stand on a debate stage next to Hillary promising to “get stuff done” with no ability to articulate how, all the while calling her ugly and making fun of her pants suits?  Is this likely to succeed against the most skillful player of the victim card ever to run for the presidency?

More importantly, will a Trump presidency lead to “morning again in America?” Will Trump make us “prouder, stronger, and better” -- or is he just writing the script of a sequel to the story of a false messiah who led us down a path of divisiveness, chaos, and decline?

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