It’s easy to caricature Donald Trump, too easy for my comfort. The man is a buffoon, pure and simple. Reminds me rather of the character Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, the father of the famous brothers in Dostoevski’s novel. And that is not a good thing. Certainly didn’t turn out well for Fyodor Pavlovich. He died friendless and held in contempt by most who knew him.
But there is so much more to dislike about Trump than his buffoonery. He is manipulative. He cheats; he lies; he steals. He is a cruel, arrogant bully of the worst sort, taking apparent delight in hurting people. He thinks customs, rules, and laws don’t apply to him. He has no compassion and is disrespectful and contemptuous of people he thinks are weak. (And he seems to think that everyone but he is weak.) He is selfish, stingy, and cowardly. He is racist, sexist and homophobic. In short, he seems to personify and appeal to the worst in American culture.
His attacks on the Khan family illustrate lack of understand of human nature. There is a difference between disagreement and attack that he does not understand. It is true that Mr. Khan expressed himself in strong terms, but all his rhetoric was in the expression of disagreement. Trump response to that disagreement was to attack Mr. Khan’s sincerity, honesty and credibility. And if that was not enough, Trump also tried to belittle Mrs. Khan.
And now ABC news is reporting that he seems to think he has earned a Purple Heart. And why does he seem to think that? Well you might ask. Because a vet gave it to him. A vet gave it to him?! You earn a Purple Heart for being wounded in action, and he has never been any where near combat. He may now own a purple heart, but he has certainly not earned it. Trump hasn’t the slightest idea what military discipline is about or what it means to be in the service. (There is a reason, after all, why it is called the military service.)
Trump claims to be a Christian. The core of the Christian message, as I understand it, is love. Jesus taught us in every action he took and everything he uttered, to love one another. The most important teaching from the Torah? Love God and love one another. How shall we treat our enemies? Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you. Whom shall we serve? Even the least among you. The list goes on and on.
I cannot speak to Trump’s love of God, but his actions certainly belie any claim he may make to loving his neighbor or loving his enemies (who are, in his eyes, anyone who has the temerity to disagree with him). And far from serving the least among us, he heaps contempt on the majority of Americans as “loosers”.
One final point about this, though. We all know the story of the rich young man who asked Jesus what he must do in order to be saved. By the end of the conversation, Jesus told him that he must sell all that he had and give it to the poor, something the young man simply could not do. And Jesus’ remark was “It is easier for a camel to through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Anyone want to place any bets on Trumps ability to sell all that he has and give it to the poor?
There is absolutely no way this man is fit to govern the American people. Or so I think.