It is very hard not to erupt into fits of uncontrollable derision as the presumptive GOP Presidential nominee stumbles, bumbles, fumbles and embarrasses himself on issues of serious importance. As he vaingloriously basks in the glow of the spotlight he has legitimately earned by virtue of the GOP’s embrace and creation of the cancer which affects that party there is a certain irony that may have escaped many reviews. Let me explain.
Trump has made it abundantly clear that his major qualification for the Presidency is his finely honed business acumen. His ability to negotiate, to cut the deal, to stand tall in the face of crafty adversaries are his primary selling points. Where he has fallen flat is any consideration whatsoever of a set of rational policy positions that might be used to outwit the opposition as opposed to annihilating them. In a very real sense he has become a politician, quick to decry the shortcomings of others without having to offer alternative solutions for actually solving problems. In the laboratory where this political monster was created there was not enough time to implant the right side of the brain, the one that helps us make sense of what we see. It is hard to solve a problem if you're incapable of seeing it and that is a real problem here.
Donald Trump has shown himself to be simply overmatched by the magnitude of the issues that he will be expected to deal with. He has exhibited a disdain, if not outright rejection, of the notion that complex decisions require careful examination of potential consequences.
Consummate business persons almost always prides themselves on their ability to “get things done.” In this regard Donald Trump has shown himself to be simply overmatched by the magnitude of the issues that he will be expected to deal with. He has exhibited a disdain, if not outright rejection, of the notion that complex decisions require careful examination of potential consequences. This can be achieved either through exhaustive study of issues on his own or more conventionally through consultations with knowledgeable advisors. He has shown a shocking propensity to rely strictly upon gut instinct, braggadocio, and finger pointing as a deflection from any prescription for what he would actually “do” to address the problem. He doesn’t see the problem and does not trust those who might to enlighten him before he tweets. The tweets then become the white paper for his policies or lack thereof.
His basic strategic default is to double-down on bluster. But the leader of the country is more than just a politician. The person must exhibit some degree of comprehension of policies and issues beyond sound bites. His baseball hat strategy, which is his new version of a bumper-sticker policy playbook, is quite simply inadequate to the task before him. Not once since the horrible disaster that played itself out in Orlando over the weekend has he offered anything approaching a solution to the problem. Compare that to the measured, deliberate, and sensible diagnoses offered by Clinton and Obama. The difference is as palpable as it is disturbing.
In fact, he refuses to even offer any evidence that he understands the problem. We are just now sifting through the forensic evidence as to what may or may not have motivated this individual to carry out such a horrendous action. But what is abundantly clear is that this individual, an American citizen, born in NYC, used a weapon of war, purchased legally, to inflict unspeakable damage on more than 100 individuals. That is an indisputable fact. Calling him names, banning immigration on religious grounds, and of course blaming Obama are kneejerk political slogans that have absolutely no bearing on the facts at hand. One can only imagine his reaction to an international crisis where issues as grave as war and peace hang in the balance.
That none of this matters to his loyal followers is not an issue here—it should be but I concede it is not. What is important, however, is to allow this farcical charade of a campaign to unfold before the eyes of moderate Republicans, Independents, and yes disaffected Bernie supporters. It is there that the greatest damage can be inflicted upon a party that has sold its soul to the proverbial devil. The potential for down-ballot repercussions now looms larger and larger and a clearer path is developing that could see control of the legislative chambers shift from Republican control.
In summary, Trump is intoxicated by the elixir of political relevance, nowhere to be found is a semblance of problem-solving skills, the no-nonsense practicality of accomplishment that catapulted him to the top of the heap of a soulless, vacuous, and floundering political party that has ensnared in its web any semblance of political leadership or rational policy-making.
As the Democratic Party coalesces around a unified front to combat the intensely destructive proclivities of what is left of the party of Lincoln, a progressive agenda that actually moves the country forward becomes more and more of a potentially practical reality. Where there was once an air of resignation to the fact that regardless of the Democratic nominee progress with a Republican Congress would be exceedingly problematic, there is now an opening that provides real hope and change.
Lance Simmens is the author of The Evolution of a Revolution and Fracktured.