It was the middle of June and as average person who every four years becomes extremely excited to watch CNN for 17 months straight I watched in awe as this business tycoon glided down an escalator to announce his intent to run for the highest office in the world. I, like many others, did not think Donald Trump would do much in the Presidential race, I mean he is a celebrity, a reality TV super-star, not a politician.
Even though I watched, and laughed at those that took him seriously; I kept waiting for the joke to end. I mean a Bush was running, there is no way this guy could beat a family that has successfully placed two presidents in The White House. I watched the debates and I witnessed level-headed republicans like Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio get over shadowed by the giant who commands attention on stage like I can only compare to one of his sky scrappers in New York’s Skyline.
Even after Trump became the front- runner and started gaining support I still kept thinking it was going to end. This is a guy who said “some of them, I assume are good people” about Mexican people, only after calling them rapists The same guy who’s first national security plan against Isis was simply “I would bomb the Sh** out of them”. When he started winning primaries I thought “man, these people in those other states are crazy to vote for this guy”. How can normal people respect a guy that spreads hate, violence, and ignorance?
Today however, Donald Trump held a rally right here in my hometown of Bloomington, Il. A progressive town in terms of business but a conservative town in terms of values. I watched my social media blow up with people who actually supported him. I mean smart people, who I thought I respected that were excited to go to a rally to hear this man speak. There were protests but far more people who supported him packed into an airplane hanger only to hear the candidate not back down from any of his now popular trumpisms.
I guess I never realized this was a problem until I witnessed it close to home. Donald Trump’s philosophy to “Make America Great Again” is flawed. He feels the only way for us to win is for others to lose and for the strongest office in the world to hold that view is very dangerous. Our country has been great, it has it’s imperfections for sure but the feeling of hope has always kept us moving towards progress and Trump does not offer hope but instead feeds on the dark fears that we have tried for generations to bring light towards.
This is not a political essay but instead a plea for both major parties to not allow hate and fear to become the driving force of our future. If you are republican make sure others know that this man does not hold you values. If you are democrat continue to engage in a healthy debate on how to solve some of our countries problems without lumping all of the Republicans in with Trump. If you are not political at all, do not let the loudest voice sway your moral stance. Remember the loudest leader is most often not the strongest leader.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick” — Theodore Roosevelt