The Demagogue in the White House

Demagogue: a popular leader, a leader of a mob, or rabble-rouser, in a democracy who gains popularity by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among people, whipping up the passions of the crowd.

This message is especially for people who hold different views than mine about the election of Donald Trump. It is an expression of deep concern that he is a bad choice. I am not a sore loser. Other people became the president that I did not vote for, and I welcomed them with the hope that they would do well by our country. This is not the case with Donald Trump. In fact, he is every day more clearly showing that he is unhinged and will be a problem for the well being of this country, possibly the world. Anyone who thinks that my deep concern is about being a sore loser is not willing to really look at him.  By ignoring him, they become part of the problem.

I have been around senior leaders, CEOs all of my professional life. I do know what good looks like. He's clearly not even close to being fit for the office.

·      He is far too self centered, has no interest in the country or in anybody but himself.

·      He doesn’t learn anything new, even though he very much needs to.

·      He sneers at people who disagree with him, does not debate with them.

·      He has little or no integrity; creates fake news and then accuses others of doing so. He lies or    covers up his many conflicting interests, including especially his interest in Russia.

·      He is too secretive. We see no tax returns we see no blind trust that would protect the office of the presidency from conflicts of interest and self dealing.

·      He doesn’t know how to create and lead effective teams, selects people for his cabinet who are grossly unqualified. Think of Ben Carson, Mike Flynn, Rick Perry. These are people who clearly do not know how to lead (or really care about) what they have suddenly inherited.

Some have told me to wait and see if Trump changes, if he grows up into the office. We now clearly know that he won't. His recent ranting about Nazi like behavior in the intelligence community, disavowal of the need to put his assets in a blind trust, are just two of the clear indicators that he is not going to change. What you’ve seen is what you will get, once he is in office. And he is not going to change; he is immature, ego-centric, petty-angry at slights at a level that indicates he is unhinged. And that makes him a danger, nothing less.

It is time to stop belittling anyone who opposes him. Instead, it is time for all of us to take action, but that begs the question what action will be effective. Individuals will need to express their concerns, call (don’t write to people in Congress). The media and Congress should be taking the lead. The media need to not back down no matter what is said about them. 

Congress is perhaps an even more important vehicle for change. As I said above: We see no tax returns, we see no blind trust that would protect the office of the presidency from conflicts of interest and self dealing. How can congress let that happen?  The people in the Senate no less those in the house need to stand up and be counted as caring more about country than their party. It is OK to take a fresh look at Obama Care. It is OK to take a fresh look at how to address immigration, climate change, or build our infrastructure. It is not OK to allow a demagogue to run our country who has no coherent views on any of these matters.

This is clearly not as bad a situation as it was in Berlin in 1933 when another demagogue and the Nazis took over. There are no people who are wearing brown shirts but there are evidently people (see internet trolls) who have in mind great malice towards Others who disagree or who are Mexican or Muslim.  People back in 1933, including Jewish Germans, somehow hoped that they should wait-and-see, maybe things will get better. But it is worth noting that people today are denying the data that sits right in front of them.

This situation has our country in a perilous position. It is the first time in my long life that I truly have become worried about who will be president. And I have seen a lot of presidents who I clearly thought were not the best choice.  Tough luck, but that's a democracy. Donald Trump is not only not the best choice, he is a very bad and dangerous choice. And it is time for all of us, but especially the media and Congress who have the most leverage to speak their mind and put limits on him.