Ask my parents what kind of a child I was growing up and they will likely tell you how easy I was to raise. Quiet, respectful and courteous, they’d taught me well. Of course, I did have my moments.
For example, one time when I was four, I had had a meltdown because I didn’t get a particular toy that I’d wanted. Whining, yelling and even stomping my feet, I can recall my mother giving me one stern warning before she swatted me on my rear and made sure I knew that no one who acted that way was ever taken seriously and certainly would never end up getting what they wanted.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
And while I learned that lesson before I could dress myself, it doesn’t seem like some people were ever taught such a thing. Said people grow up to be rude, disrespectful and tend to feel entitled. That’s fine, I suppose. Unless they’re running for president of the United States.
Donald Trump is a guy I’ve read and heard about all my young life because the media is infatuated with him.
As a business man, I never cared how he had succeeded or failed. That was his professional life. As a husband, I never cared about his reported infidelity. Those were his relationships. And as an entertainer, I never cared about his persona or brand. That was his shtick.
Unless someone is affecting my life or those that I care about directly, I don’t care what anyone does. Each of us are free to live our lives with all of the abundance and failure we can handle.
But now that Donald Trump the citizen is running to be Donald Trump the potential leader of the free world, I do care. And you should, too.
I’ll admit, at first I thought Trump in the midst of all of the buttoned up politicians was hilarious and in a way, refreshing. He could be funny sometimes and out of all of my millennial friends, only one ever took his candidacy seriously. I think like most people, we all assumed that Trump himself wasn’t serious about his candidacy and would have disappeared by now.
“Make America great again!” was a good slogan. And had it been backed up with more than just meaningless babble about how we’d all get “bored with winning”, I might have entertained him a minute or two longer.
It was specifically that language that reminded me of another former candidate who used generic expressions like “hope and change” and also had no real substance to back it up. Although his story ended with him actually becoming president, and we all know how that ended up.
Over the last year I’ve watched Trump go from being a funny guy with no real substantive take on policy to a nasty, angry, loudmouth who now disgustingly tries invoking Sept. 11 to score political points when he fails to win an argument.
When on the debate stage he’s basically the school yard bully who rails against anyone—even moderators—if they dare try to challenge him. The only other candidate that has stood up to Trump on a regular basis is perhaps the candidate that he mocks the most, Jeb Bush.
From week to week Trump’s memory and comments on policies change based on what’s popular and somehow it’s acceptable. Ask him to elaborate on his new policy position and he’ll tell you how it’s “huge,” “beautiful” or “tremendous.” But that’s as far as the explanation wagon goes.
When he isn’t cursing or mouthing disparaging remarks at campaign stops, he is on radio and TV as everyone’s feature story because he makes such malicious and outrageous comments.
When he won the New Hampshire caucus, it only validated his behavior as acceptable.
If we treated people the way Donald Trump treated people we’d have no friends. If we spoke to other professionals or colleagues the way he did, we wouldn’t have a job. If we were the face of an institution (like the GOP), we would justifiably be excused from such a position of influence and example.
During the most recent debate in South Carolina, Trump really lost his cool. Like a petulant child, he whined, yelled and may have even stomped his feet behind that podium of his. Again, if that had occurred on some TV show, I wouldn’t have cared.
But this isn’t a TV show. This isn’t a game. This is about our future and the future of those we care about. We are a nation of principles, decency and people that understand basic social life skills.
You’re running for president, Donald. Think it's time to grow up?
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