As I look forward to an early fall weekend in Chicago that is going to feel like exactly that, I'm pondering this entire Donald Trump situation. It's weird, because previously the only time I really needed to give any consideration to the name "Trump," is when I've crossed Wabash anywhere within two-three miles south of the Chicago River and seen the name standing about as tall as the new video board at Wrigley Field, reminding me.
I don't know about you, and I imagine there must be some out there that are either really a supporter of Trump, or are just getting their jollies, but I don't know a single soul who takes this guy seriously as a presidential candidate, much less would vote for him. I kind of think those that like him are in the latter camp.
I haven't watched what I hear is the wall to wall coverage of Trump on some cable news networks, so I don't know what they're saying about who the folks are that are behind his surge. But, as John McEnroe, the tennis star and fellow New Yorker to Trump used to yell at the chair umpires "You cannot be serious!" Funny that particular anecdote is one I bring up, because though I like Mac, his pomposity was the main quality that divided his fans from those that didn't like him, yet the same attitude is what seems to draw some Americans to his fellow Empire State man. You can say whatever you want and get away with it, if you have that certain quality. And, that certain quality seems to be "I wish I could say that."
Yes, this is what it's come down to in America. It's gotten so far away from us, the pendulum of political correctness has swung so far, that people are now afraid to say anything for fear of being labeled, whether it be a bigot or an ***hole. Or, find themselves quoted on Twitter, and even lose their job. So, Trump, he of "You're fired!" fame, whom nobody can fire, can say whatever the hell he wants to without fear of penalty or recrimination. He's like, invulnerable, right? He doesn't care what you have to say, he's not afraid of anything anyone says, and he has nothing to lose because he's got more money than you and he can always make more, anyway. Kind of what we all aspire to, if we don't really care about anyone else.
What's so disconcerting about the whole thing is what seems to me the continuing deterioration of the American standard. I mean, if you want to be something great, or even good, you have to hold yourself to a higher standard. You have to expect more from yourself than anyone else would expect of you. That's what made America great. And, we seemed to have leaders that Americans looked up to, people that held themselves to a higher standard.
And, then came Nixon and Watergate, and that has always seemed to me to be the watershed moment in America. Yes, I know Kennedy was screwing around in the White House, but we didn't know it at the time. But, Nixon lied, and he got caught lying. And then, well, it just seems like that whole leadership thing went down the sewer. Because one thing led to another, we got an American president having a shoe thrown at him by some dude in a press conference, and we have a congressman yelling at the president "You lied!" before a national television audience in the Capitol.
We don't hold ourselves to a higher standard anymore. We accept mediocrity. We aspire only to be a bigger blowhard than the next guy. Our leaders "lead" only because they want the job that pays so well, one that's hard to lose, because they get to play with power, or they think they know better than everyone else. They don't lead anymore because they want to make the world a better place, and they don't hold themselves to a higher standard, because that's not what the people want anymore. They want their leaders to say stuff they wish they could say. They vote for people that they would be comfortable having a beer with.
So, ask yourself, you who would actually want to see Donald Trump sitting as President of the United States of America. What standard do you think this man holds himself to? Come on. Really.