• 64°

D.G. Martin: Worrying about Trump

What did Hillary Clinton tell Donald Trump when he invited her to his wedding?

She said, “I will come to the wedding if you promise to run for president.”

This joke from Winston Salem’s Steve Porter made me laugh, and it reminded me that we owe Donald Trump a thank you.

Why?

He has got us interested in politics again.

His presence on the political scene requires us to think seriously about what qualities we most want in our country’s president and those we most want our president not to have.

For me, I want a president who is calm, thoughtful, careful, and respectful of the ideals and objectives of others, both friends and enemies. I want someone who knows that moving forward requires compromises as well as advocacy.

Trump does not measure up to my ideal.

But many Americans do not agree with me. They think we need a leader with supreme self-confidence, someone who sweeps away the doubt and can promise to clean up the messes, get things done, and plow through anybody or anything that gets in the way.

Democrats now celebrating the disruption and turmoil that Trump creates for the Republican establishment may find that Trump is a bomb that could blow up in their faces, too.

Trump’s machine-gun-like attacks on Sen. John McCain, Fox TV’s Megyn Kelly, and others may ultimately bring him down. His tough-talking arrogance may wear thin with the public. His unwillingness to rule out a third party candidacy may cost him support of Republicans who are loyal party people.

If Trump is pushed into a third party candidacy, some Democrats would still be smiling, remembering, they think, how Ross Perot’s third party candidacy in 1992 pulled away enough votes from President George H.W. Bush to make Bill Clinton’s victory possible.

If not, and Trump becomes the Republican nominee, some Democrats think that his erratic behavior and his hard-line, simplistic, controversial, bombastic, and conflicting stands on issues would assure their nominee a victory in 2016.

There is a problem with this way of thinking. The American people sometimes prefer non-traditional leaders, even those so far out of the mainstream that regular politicians laughed at their chances.

For instance, Raleigh’s conservative publisher and commentator Bernie Reeves, quoted in the “American Thinker” magazine’s blog, compared the main street media’s coverage of Trump to “the condescending criticism dished to Reagan in 1981. The Donald is characterized as an egotistical real estate billionaire; in 1980, Reagan as a third-rate B-movie actor.  The Donald says build that wall (to curb illegal immigration) while Reagan said ‘tear down that wall’ that spelled the end of Soviet communism. The Donald says he will undo Obamanomics while Reagan said he would cut taxes and spending. Is history repeating itself?”

Reeves continues, “Trump is a valid contender for not being intimidated by politically correct blowback like the other candidates. He represents extreme change, what Americans want as fast as possible.

“Another similarity between Trump and Reagan: they both gained traction in reaction to a Democrat president who weakened America, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.”

While I disagree with Reeves, his finger may be closer than mine to the pulse of an important segment of American voters.

Progressive citizens in Minnesota had to get used to the bombastic and victorious Jesse Ventura as their governor. In California, they had to accept the leadership of blustering bodybuilding actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Bernie Reeves might argue that Ventura, Schwarzenegger, and Reagan turned out to be better choices than the traditional politicians who opposed them and that Trump would, similarly, be a better president than his more traditional opponents, both Republicans and Democrats, in the 2016 presidential contest.

I do not agree. But Reeves and Trump have got me worried.

D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Sundays at noon and Thursdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV.

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Man brandishes AR-15, runs over motorcycle at Rockwell-area gas station

Crime

Salisbury man charged with exploitation of minor

Crime

Road rage incident results in assault charges

Local

Dukeville lead testing results trickle in, more participation needed

Education

Faith Academy interviewing staff, preparing site for fall opening

News

Volunteers work around obstacles, alter procedures to offer free tax services to those in need

Education

Education shoutouts

Local

Retired Marine gets recognition for toy collection efforts

Local

March issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available

Education

Five get Dunbar School Heritage Scholarships

Education

Education briefs: Salisbury Academy fourth-graders think big as inventors

Education

Bakari Sellers keynote speaker at Livingstone College Founder’s Day program

Nation/World

Biden aims to distribute masks to millions in ‘equity’ push

Nation/World

Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot

Nation/World

GOP rallies solidly against Democrats’ virus relief package

Nation/World

FDA says single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson prevents severe COVID

High School

Coaches, lawmakers react to governor’s order expanding sporting event capacity

Coronavirus

Three new COVID-19 deaths, positives remain below triple digits

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces end to curfew, changes to restrictions affecting bars, high school sports

Crime

Blotter: Two charged after call about package

Crime

Salisbury Police investigating two shootings

Crime

Chase involving Kernersville man ends in woods behind Carson High School

News Main

North Rowan girls end season with playoff loss to Murphy

Education

Rowan-Salisbury EC department plunges in place after raising $1,300 for Special Olympics