Our first and, we hope, last commentary on Donald Trump

MSR-Editorial6The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) has urged its Black Press members to rally against recent Donald Trump statements critical of the Black Lives Matter movement. The MSR is glad to do so, not only because it’s necessary but because it’s such an easy thing to do. Trump is an inviting target, from his silly hair and surly pout to his even sillier and more surly policy statements.

Still, we must resist the temptation to respond to Trump’s weekly provocations against black and brown people and women with a barrage of censure and disapproval. This will only give him exactly what he wants — far more attention than we believe he deserves.

It’s tempting enough to resort to Trump’s level of discourse and call him names as he did former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who he called “a disgusting little weak pathetic baby.” We could have our fun calling Donald a disgusting racist sexist narcissistic bully, but that would only distract people from the real question raised by his attention-getting candidacy: Why is this happening?

Donald Trump’s origins alone discredit his ability to govern a pluralistic democracy. There is nothing whatever democratic known about the man. Quite the contrary, he appears to cultivate an aggressive, blowhard, domineering, take-no-prisoners image more characteristic of a totalitarian tyrant than the leader of a democracy.

Trump was driven to and from his high school in a chauffeured limousine, and the rest of his life has kept him equally aloof from the common lot. He’s never mingled with the masses. There has never been anything remotely democratic apparent in the man’s business affairs, which have always served the richest of the rich (except the casinos, which will take anyone’s money). He has no humble beginnings to draw upon, only the egocentricity that often accompanies inherited privilege.

Given that the man knows nothing of how the great majority of the American people live their lives, nothing of their hopes and wants and needs, what about him appeals to so many ordinary people? Our view is that Trump’s greatest service to the country is to show us how many of our fellow citizens, god bless them all, believe such a man could best lead what is called by some the greatest democracy in the    world. At present it seems about one-fourth of the Republican Party are Trumpers, exposing some dirty GOP laundry — just look at the sort of people they have depended on and must continue to please if they hope to win elections.

Only if American democracy is, in fact, already captive to the billionaires and their minions could a Donald Trump, by any stretch of the imagination, actually become President of the United States. For a nation openly ruled by an oligarchy of corporate plutocrats, sure, The Donald might be the perfect CEO — if he could ever learn to take orders.

In our view, things have not yet reached that sorry pass. Donald Trump is just showing us that somewhere around one-eighth to one-fourth of our fellow citizens are inclined, some fanatically, to act so contrary to common sense it’s beyond rational explanation. We may just have to write these folks off as Incomprehensibles, like the local working class Black woman who says she voted twice for Obama but now she’s a Trumper. Go figure that leap of logic.

Meanwhile there’s the other seven-eights to three-fourths of us, a great majority of Americans, who we believe will do the right thing and keep our democracy alive to fight another day. Our faith in this democracy promises that by next spring the Trump surge will be a curiosity of the past, the fire-breathing Donald dragon will retreat back to its Manhattan lair, and this will be the last MSR editorial space we will need to waste on his sorry behind.

Oh, and what did Trump actually say about Black Lives Matter? He said, “I think they’re trouble. I think they’re looking for trouble.” What’s wrong with that? Wasn’t he simply making a calculated risk assessment as an astute businessman?

We happen to concur with Mr. Trump on this point. We sincerely hope that Black Lives Matter does indeed mean trouble for Donald Trump and all like him. What’s trouble for Trump is progress for the rest of us. If Black Lives Matter is not looking for trouble with Donald Trump, it’s not yet the movement we need.