I believe character matters.
And for that very fundamental reason, I believe Donald Trump should not be our president for another four years. He has shown his true character during his time in office, and he has proven time and time again, that he is an ego-driven, self-serving, divisive man who is more interested in trying to prove that he is right than in doing the right thing for our nation.
At a time when we need unity and cooperation more than ever in my lifetime, it is clear that President Trump is more likely to fan the flames of conflict, blame others, favor one group or type of person over another, and deny responsibility than he is to speak and lead in a manner that might bring healing to our nation.
Consider the following, if you will:
When it became clear that our nation was facing a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases, and that a lag in testing was a failure on a national level, what we really needed to hear our leader say was:
“This pandemic is going to be tough, and perhaps we were not as prepared as we should have been, but we can do better. I’ll do my best to make sure we do better.”
Instead, we heard: “No… I don’t take responsibility at all”.
At a time when our country is facing racial division and strife unlike anything we have seen in decades, what we really needed to hear our leader say was:
“I hear your pain. I understand you feel marginalized and downtrodden. I know this must change, and I will do everything in my power to work for peace and justice for ALL Americans.”
Instead, we read: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
When our country is very clearly fighting for an understanding of its values and fundamental rights, and we are finding it so very difficult to have reasonable and respectful conversations, we have not heard our leader say:
“I know we disagree on many topics, but I believe that together we can work out a path forward that is right for the American people. I value your input and I welcome the conversation.”
Instead, we hear him refer to his political opponents as “Slow Joe” and “Nasty Kamala” – and call those who believe differently than he the “crazy left”.
They say that tough times reveal a person’s true character. I believe many of us had an inkling as to Donald Trump’s true character well before he became our president, but the challenges of a pandemic, and a dramatic escalation of the racial tension in our nation, has shined a spotlight on the true nature of the man.
His words and actions do more to tear us apart than bring us together. I happened to be watching his campaign rally earlier this week and heard him refer to a good portion of this country as the “crazy left.” Does President Trump not realize the people he refers to are Americans? They may have very different views than he does, but the bottom line is – they are Americans. He does not treat those who believe differently, or perhaps those who look or speak differently, as true Americans. His words and actions make it clear – he views those who believe differently as “lesser than.”
In tough times, we need a strong leader…a selfless leader…someone who is willing to put aside their own desires and preferences, and make tough decisions that are right for the people. ALL of the people.
Has President Trump called us together as a nation, during the pandemic? Has he worked hard to calm our fears, to settle frayed nerves, and restore hope to those who have felt hopeless for too long? Has he inspired the people of this country to work together? Has he encouraged us all to look out for our neighbors and let us know that we can and will make it through these tough times?
Quite the opposite. He tweets and speaks anger, pettiness, and strife on a regular basis.
He calls others names, much as a petulant child would during a temper tantrum.
He bends the truth in any way he can to make himself look better to his base.
I believe a man with this many character flaws cannot be trusted to do what is right for our nation, especially in these challenging times.
The character flaws above, when taken as a whole, are in my opinion more than enough reasons to not vote for Mr. Trump. But there is one final, fatal flaw that must be considered.
He has, by his words and actions, made it clear that he believes he is always the smartest person in the room. He brags about his intelligence. He refuses to follow advice from members of his cabinet, his advisors, and experts in so many fields. The number of resignations and firings that lie in his wake prove that very few can penetrate the inner sanctum of Team Trump, and gain the man’s ear in a significant manner. I don’t care how smart he thinks he is – no single man knows enough to lead this country, and to some degree the world, as a solo act. To attempt to do so is not only a fool’s errand, but may turn out to be deadly.
More than any other of President Trump’s character flaws, this one scares me. And it should scare you. A man with this “superintelligence,” combined with an extra-value-sized ego that must be constantly fed and an unwillingness to listen to even his own military leaders, may just push our nation towards a catastrophic encounter. If it were to arise, President Trump lacks the diplomacy and tact necessary to deescalate an international confrontation.
Character matters. In tough times it matters more.
There’s no doubt…these are tough times.
May we find our way through to better times.
This is certainly not the last word on this issue. I sincerely hope it leads to more conversation. Would you consider joining in?