What a load of politically correct hogwash! I am not a Trump fan but the man does love America and has two citizen parents. America needs to rebuild the gutting the military has taken during the last 10 years and our Sovereignty as a country and a Nation need to be re-established!
By Markus Feldenkirchen, Veit Medick and Holger Stark
Donald Trump is the leader of a new, hate-filled authoritarian movement. Nothing would be more harmful to the idea of the West and world peace than if he were to be elected president. George W. Bush’s America would seem like a place of logic and reason in comparison.
Donald Trump recently spoke about American football. No other game more fully embodies his country’s character. The sport is about capturing territory, and players need to be tough and fearless to win. A player who is afraid of being tackled by someone from the opposing team while running has already lost the game. “I don’t even watch it as much anymore,” Trump told a crowd of his supporters in Reno, Nevada. “The whole game is all screwed up.”
A growing number of studies point to the devastating consequences of the many tackles in the game, in which players try to stop their opponents by throwing themselves at them head-first: brain trauma, depression, suicide. New rules have been created, and there are now stiffer penalties for the most glaring fouls.
On the stage in Reno, Trump said he missed “what used to be considered a great tackle, a violent head-on tackle.” He slammed his fists together and repeated himself, vulgarly pursing his lips as he said the word “violent.” “You used to see these tackles and it was incredible to watch, right?”
And today? “Bing! Flag!” Trump shouted. “The referees, they want to all throw flags so their wives see them at home.”
“Football has become soft,” he said, repeating the sentence as if it were a key hypothesis on the state of the nation. “Football has become soft like our country has become soft!” As he held up his index finger, the crowd cheered and people held signs up in the air that read: “The silent majority stands with Trump.”
Trump Wants A Ruthless America
“Believe me, I’ll change things. And again, we’re going to be so respected. I don’t want to use the word ‘feared,'” he told the audience. But that is precisely what Trump wants: to be feared. His bid for the White House, long ridiculed, is a fight for a ruthless, brutal America. Behind his campaign slogan “Make America great again!” is the vision of a country that no longer cares about international treaties, ethnic minorities or established standards of decency.
Trump wants to attack head-first again. The 69-year-old embodies a new harshness and brutality, and both a physical and emotional crudeness. Trump has launched an uprising of the indecent, one that is now much bigger than he himself, a popular movement of white, conservative America that after eight years under Democratic President Barack Obama, yearns for a leader who will usher in the counter-revolution.
Former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod wrote recently that Trump’s success is based on the same principle as the campaign victories of his former boss. In fact, he added, he had explained this recipe for success to Obama himself when he first ran for president: When a president leaves office after eight years, voters tend to prefer a candidate who is as different as possible from the incumbent, in terms of politics, character and habits.
By that logic, Obama the integrator, who fought against discrimination against blacks and gays, would be followed by a President Trump who stirs up hatred against minorities and claims that “political correctness” is the greatest threat to the United States. While Obama sought to explain complex problems, often sounding like an intellectual in the process, studies have shown that Trump speaks at a fourth-grade reading level. Problems, according to Trump, are “totally easy” to solve. And while Obama appealed to the common “we” in his campaign slogan “Yes, we can!” Trump’s version reads “Yes, I can!” — the solution of a strong leader.
Currently, America is running the risk of falling for a self-proclaimed leader with a low opinion of fundamental democratic values. Shortly before the Iowa Caucuses on Monday, all national polls showed Trump as the leading Republican candidate by a wide margin. He is also polling at the top of the Republican field in almost every state in the country. In Iowa itself, with its large religious population, the race could end up being a close contest between Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Christian hardliner.
Desire for a Strong Man at the Top
Trump takes every opportunity in this campaign to portray his country as a down-and-out weakling. According to his strategy, when a nation’s feeling of self-worth has hit rock bottom, it experiences a growing desire to overcome the “status quo” — and for a strong man at the top.
Trump is a unique figure. He is so wealthy that his campaign is almost entirely self-financed. Thanks to his colorful life as a New York real estate mogul and star of the reality TV show “The Apprentice,” he enters the presidential race with a celebrity factor like no other candidate before him.
But his most unique characteristic is his lack of scruples. When speaking about his amiable rival Jeb Bush, he has often said that Bush is such a “low-energy person” that no one can even look at him anymore without seeking signs of his lack of energy. Trump has repeatedly said that Marco Rubio, another Republican contender, “sweats a lot,” which, according to Trump, would be a little embarrassing for a president who has to negotiate with “strong leaders like Vladimir Putin.” He recently began claiming that his strongest rival at the moment, Ted Cruz, lacks the legal qualification to become president because he was born on Canadian soil. And last year he tweeted: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” All of this profanity and scrupulousness would have forced anyone else to resign. But for his millions of supporters, they are further evidence of Trump’s boldness and strength.
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?,” Trump said at a rally in Iowa a week ago Saturday. He mimicked shooting a pistol with his finger and added: “It’s like, incredible!”
No Longer the Laughing Stock
Salon.com wrote: “(Trump) embodies that well-worn if still stinging observation about the country he hails from: that ‘America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without passing through civilization.'”
Trump announced his candidacy just over seven months ago. Since then, much has been written and said about his hairstyle. His plain and sometimes embarrassing statements, his muddled speeches and his incomprehensible narcissism have been a source of amusement. There are lists of the most outrageous statements Trump has made in the past, such as this one about women: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what (the media) write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
But his candidacy ceased to be amusing long ago. Trump’s demands are too extreme for that, and his view of the world and humanity too dangerous. And the chances are too great that he will be named as the Republican presidential candidate. Some polls show that Trump even stands a realistic chance of winning the White House in a possible face-off with Hillary Clinton. The combination of his views and the possibility that he could soon hold the planet’s most powerful office make him the most dangerous man in the world at the moment.
For a long time, neither Republican Party officials nor the media recognized the true dimensions of the movement that Trump was forming. They continued to poke fun at him, even as he was creating a revolutionary mood on the right margin of society. Now it could be too late, and Trump could be the one getting the last laugh.
Like it or not, it is time to take Donald John Trump seriously. So what can be said about the character of this man who is determined to capture the White House? And what could America and the rest of the world expect if he truly became the 45th president of the United States?
New Yorker writer George Packer’s book “The Unwinding” describes the gradual economic and, more importantly, moral decline of the United States. It is perhaps the most astute book about the country’s condition today. Sitting at Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, Packer says that Trump now exhibits several of the characteristics of a fascist.
In the past, as a reality TV star, Trump had to come across as somewhat likeable, says Packer. But now that he is playing the fascist, he suddenly resembles one, with his grim face, his pursed lips and the threatening and intimidating look in his eyes.
It’s no accident that Trump expresses great admiration for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, who seems to impress him far more than politicians seeking to champion the values of democracy with their painstaking and often vain search for compromises.
“He is a nicer person than I am,” Trump said of the Russian president. “In terms of leadership, he’s getting an A.” The reason, according to Trump, is that Putin is “making mincemeat out of our president.”
Putin returned the compliment in December, when he said: “He’s a really brilliant and talented person, without any doubt. He is the absolute front-runner in the presidential race.” Trump, who judges people purely by whether or not they praise him, promptly shot back: “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia.”
Packer says many Europeans are currently looking at Trump’s success and thinking: “Those Americans are crazy!” But Trump isn’t some strange US mutation, says Packer, who instead sees him as being evocative of European right-wing populists, à la Marine Le Pen in France and Viktor Orbán in Hungary.
While politicians like Le Pen and Orbán inveigh against “Brussels,” Trump rails against “Washington” as the symbol of a degenerate political system “that doesn’t get things done anymore.” Just like his European counterparts, Trump is calling for isolation in the form of protective tariffs, entry bans and border walls. He inflames tensions against ethnic minorities and offers anxious citizens the authoritarian vision of a strongman who will solve all problems on his own — while ignoring democratic conventions. Trump is presumably only the shrillest and most prominent embodiment of a trend that is becoming pervasive throughout the Western world.
Packer sees the 2008 financial crisis, which caused parts of the US economy to unravel and deprived millions of Americans of their economic foundation, as the main reason many Americans are receptive to a man like Trump. The economy has been growing again since then, but in absurdly unfair ways, says Packer, as inequality becomes more and more glaring. According to Packer, many Americans feel they have been left alone with their concerns, and they feel disconnected and betrayed.
The current primary race underscores how much this frustration has already changed the country. It has enabled Bernie Sanders, an extreme leftist by American standards, to become a serious threat to Hillary Clinton. And it is preparing the ground for Trump’s campaign against all the elites, even though Trump himself has spent his entire life as a member of the country’s economic elite.
Many Americans, especially whites and those with relatively little education, are now more receptive than ever to audacious promises and simplistic solutions. But they are also receptive to a form of politics that blames immigrants and minorities for their own fate, and for the race-baiting that has been part of every authoritarian movement to date. Trump offers all of these things, and he offers them more skillfully, professionally and self-confidently than all other candidates.
‘It’s a Miracle Trump Didn’t Invent the Selfie’
Michael D’Antonio is sitting in an Applebee’s fast-food restaurant on Long Island, speaking quietly. He’s a cheerful, thoughtful man with a white beard, the polar opposite of Trump. D’Antonio has delved a lot deeper than most others into Donald Trump’s world.
D’Antonio recently wrote a biography of Trump, who was enthusiastic about the project and gave his cooperation — at least initially. Trump granted the author several interviews, which were usually held in his penthouse inside the Trump Tower, behind the kinds of double doors that would normally be used in castles. D’Antonio was granted free access to Trump’s family and associates, and spoke with his grown children and all three of his wives. But when Trump realized that D’Antonio was also one of his critics, he immediately canceled the project.
“What I noticed immediately in my first visit was that there were no books,” says D’Antonio. “A huge palace and not a single book.” He asked Trump whether there was a book that had influenced him. “I would love to read,” Trump replied. “I’ve had many best sellers, as you know, and ‘The Art of the Deal’ was one of the biggest-selling books of all time.” Soon Trump was talking about “The Apprentice.” Trump called it “the No. 1 show on television,” a reality TV show in which, in 14 seasons, he played himself and humiliated candidates vying for the privilege of a job within his company. In the interview, Trump spent what seemed like an eternity talking about how fabulous and successful he is, but he didn’t name a single book that he hadn’t written.
“Trump doesn’t read,” D’Antonio says in the restaurant. “He hasn’t absorbed anything serious and profound about American society since his college days. And to be honest, I don’t even think he read in college.” When Trump was asked who his foreign policy advisers were, he replied: “Well, I watch the shows.” He was referring to political talk shows on TV.
In all of the conversations about his life, Trump seemed like a little boy, says D’Antonio. “Like a six-year-old boy who comes home from the playground and can hardly wait to announce that he shot the decisive goal.”
According to D’Antonio, American society revolves around two things: ambition and self-promotion. This is why Trump is one of the most appropriate heroes he can imagine for the country, he adds, noting that no one is more ambitious and narcissistic. “It’s a miracle Trump didn’t invent the selfie.”
The Dark Side of Trump’s Narcissism
During an appearance two weeks at a Toyota dealership in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a young woman in the crowd said she had two questions for Trump. The first one was about the college financing system. Trump’s reply contained the word “college,” at any rate. This was her second question: “Can I take a selfie with you?” The owner of the dealership felt that the question was inappropriate and quickly said that perhaps she could do it later. But Trump was already saying “Of course! Of course!” and waved the woman onto the stage.
His biographer talks about the dark sides of Trump’s self-absorption. “Trump lacks any self-irony, any form of critical self-perception.” The entire family is like that, he explains. When he tried to joke with Trump’s children about their father’s penchant for gold and glitter in his buildings, none of them understood what he was getting at. “They don’t notice when something is ridiculous,” says D’Antonio. “This is the most telling characteristic of the entire Trump clan: the persistent denial of reflection.”
But what worried him the most, says D’Antonio, is Trump’s belief that he is genetically superior to most people in the world. In all of their conversations, he notes, Trump kept returning to the notion that by virtue of his birth, he is simply better than other people in many areas