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August 30, 2016

Now, Consider This

Patricia A. Kelly

The presidential campaign, no surprise here, is on fire. We’re waiting to see how the other shoe falls for Hillary Clinton, as more government-related, destroyed emails surface from the accounts of people who received them.


She and the Clinton Foundation are under scrutiny, as reports of meetings set up by the Clinton family foundation between donors and the then-secretary of state are uncovered, not to mention the many donations made by foreign governments to the foundation during her tenure as secretary. Is it okay to take foreign government donations while secretary of state, but not while president?


Her head down, using historically successful Clinton family delaying tactics while concentrating on fundraising, and responding with statements such as: “There is no fire behind the smoke.” She soldiers on, demonizing Donald Trump, and calling him names.


Mr. Trump has finally embraced the Teleprompter, thank goodness. There’s no doubt what he’s reading reflects his message, and it’s keeping him on point, where he needs to be. Tapping into the anger and frustration of a large segment of American society worked in the primary, but it is past time to move on and show thoughtfulness and restraint, not to mention a clear plan.


Ms. Clinton asserts that we have seen the real Donald Trump during this campaign, and, no matter how he attempts to change his image, he can’t.


Consider, though, the comments of many people who knew Mr. Trump before he used dramatic rhetoric to get free publicity, and votes, during the primary. They say the Trump of the primary was not the Trump they know.


Until the GOP Convention, I was adamantly opposed to Mr. Trump. I believed him to be a pathological narcissist, impulsive and unable to control himself. I wondered at his great success, although narcissists are often achievers.


During the convention, my stance softened, as I saw expressions of genuine, normal emotion from him, and looked at how healthy and functional his children appear. They say he was always attentive as a parent and put them first. He always answered their phone calls, paid attention to their achievements, and filled their lives with both opportunity and awareness of how blessed they are. Extreme narcissists usually don’t demonstrate such behavior as parents.


So, consider that we may be seeing more of the real Donald Trump now, that ruthless, but charming, generous, effective, and caring guy so often described.


He’s a businessman, spending his working life making money. He may have pushed too hard, and he certainly filed some bankruptcies, but his mission was to make money.


Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has been a public servant. Somehow, she and her husband, while and after receiving government salaries and running a charity, have amassed a net worth of $100,000,000. It’s an odd outcome in a life spent working for the people, rather than for personal gain. There can be no question that a businessman and a public servant should be held to different standards.


Now that Mr. Trump has begun to deliver a more specific message, his ideas and policy make more sense than they did before, not less. The evolution of his immigration policy, reflecting more learning, or possibly a response to feedback from voters, is a great improvement over his initial brief statements on the subject.


We may not need a wall, but we do need border security, unhampered by presidential dictates. Mr. Trump definitely lacks tact, has an outrageous sense of humor, and is certainly brash, but many of his ideas, school choice, for example, deserve a hearing after decades of school failure, especially in poor communities. It works in New York. Why, indeed, shouldn’t small children in inner cities have an equal chance to fulfill their dreams?


It’s an old argument. What will work? Free gifts, placation, globalization, nation building, or fiscal restraint, accountability requirements, creation of a safe environment, and the opportunity to achieve? Why should government entities be protected by law from competition? Do we want a Supreme Court that bases decisions on the Constitution, or on interpretation of current social theory?


So, consider. We may be seeing the real Donald Trump now, and, possibly, the real Hillary Clinton. Maybe we have the opportunity to actually shake up our secretive, controlling, self-enriching establishment. Maybe this is why so many establishment players on both sides are opposed to Mr. Trump, rather than the reasons they suggest.


We’ll soon find out.


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