Like most of us, I’ve pretty much run out of things to say about the election. Any thoughts — from salient points to outraged rants — have been expressed. I see many (cartoonists, commentators, Facebook posters) are settling now for “wow, what a messed up election season this has been” reflections, and that’s certainly understandable.
But I figured the most honest way for me to summarize would be to have one last go with Mr. Trump. He showed up again in Michigan this week, and I really, really, really tried to wrap my head around the idea of why I would consider voting for him.
A lyric from a song by the group Stars came to mind. (They’re Canadian, but it think it still applies.) It goes:
“When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.”
To me that means that if you reach a point of total desperation, there is nothing left to do but to take a chance on anything else. If you feel that the current America is completely lost and hopeless, then, yes, why not cast your lot with a charismatic promiser-of-things like Donald Trump? It has romantic appeal that satisfies passionate desires. I get that.
I just don’t agree with it. First, I have faith in the American system. It can be aggravating and slow, untidy and unfair. Sometimes it feels broken. But that’s the way it has always been — we’ve been much more broken than this (1860, 1932, 1968) and not turned to demagoguery to find a way forward.
Second, he is simply not suited for the job. Emperor? Maybe. Generalissimo? Probably. But President of the United States? I don’t think so.
But in an election where feelings have won out over facts, it comes down to this: Trump is exactly the person my parents brought me up NOT to be. Why would I help make him my country’s leader?