A concept in ancient Jewish wisdom speaks positively of one whose, “tocho k’varo;” whose inside reflects his outside demeanor. This motto reflects reality. In general, people tend to put on a pleasant, sometimes false, face to the world. Leaving aside extreme examples such as the mass murderer who is the neighborhood Boy Scout leader and who won the ‘husband of the year’ award from his church, most of us have had the experience of exhibiting patience in public while losing it in private or using a tone of voice to our spouse that we wouldn’t use with the mailman.
Is it possible that politicians fall into two groups? Those who speak of high-minded ideals and those who practice them.
Is anyone shocked when that self-proclaimed champion of women, Hillary Clinton, turns out to pay her female staff less than her male staff? Or when Al Gore lives in an energy guzzling mansion while pontificating about how others should care for the environment? President Obama can denounce schoolyard bullying all day long, but his own actions reveal that he thinks having the bully pulpit means that he should be the nation’s chief bully using government resources to carry out his wishes. Republican politicians who trumpet family values while carrying on affairs are, sadly, too frequently found.
Donald Trump is the opposite. My guess is that Mr. Trump hires the best people he can—period. Male, female; Black, Hispanic; Olympic athlete or handicapped. Whoever can get the job done best gets the job. Yet his public statements make him sound like a bigoted, racist cad. Or rather, like a ten year old schoolboy. That schoolboy will pick on any feature that he can to ridicule someone he dislikes and whom he wants to make lose his cool. His best friend may have braces, but the bully will call the nerd who annoys him ‘metal mouth.’ ‘Four-eyes,’ ‘teacher’s pet,’ ‘fatso,’ and other puerile barbs spring from his lips while those he likes who wear glasses, are good students or overweight receive affection and protection.
Personally, I prefer not to have a ten-year-old schoolboy as President. However that is preferable to a politically correct hypocrite whose actions belie his or her words. Donald Trump’s gift to the country has been his fearless exposure of those who speak one way and act another. Unafraid of the Clinton’s, he challenged Hillary on her public defense of women despite having trashed women her husband likely abused. We needed that. He exposes those who want to let potentially violent refugees into the country while personally living in gated estates with armed security guards. We needed that. He has served warning that even liberals’ actions are open to scrutiny whether or not the New York Times wants to talk about them. Along with that, he has coarsened the debate and encouraged adults stuck in ten-year-old bodies to tweet, post and shout.
Despite his welcome lack of timidity, Mr. Trump’s own proclamations often don’t match his past actions. There are numerous valid reasons to oppose his candidacy. Yet, every one who is not a ‘cause-of-the-month-liberal’ should be grateful for his laying to rest the idea that Republicans should be timid, scared of the Clintons et al., and apologetic about expressing ideas in a forthright manner.