A re­sound­ing no to Groper Trump

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

IN THE nor­mal course of things, the choice a coun­try makes as to who be­comes its leader ought to be its own busi­ness, es­pe­cially when the de­ci­sion is the sub­ject of a demo­cratic elec­tion. Out­siders are ex­pected to re­spect the process and its out­come. To do oth­er­wise is re­garded as in­ter­fer­ence in their in­ter­nal af­fairs.

With re­gard to the United States of Amer­ica, it was rel­a­tively easy for out­siders to re­spect this prin­ci­ple. The choice for the pres­i­dency would come from ei­ther of its two great po­lit­i­cal par­ties, the Democrats or the Repub­li­cans, and their poli­cies, while dif­fer­ent in em­pha­sis, would largely com­port with longestab­lished doc­trines. Amer­ica’s be­hav­iour was, by and large, pre­dictable.

This mat­ters. The United States is a great democ­racy whose Jef­fer­so­nian pre­cepts give it great moral weight glob­ally. Amer­ica is also an eco­nomic and mil­i­tary su­per­power; in­deed, the only re­main­ing one in this class. The ac­tions of the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent of­ten have con­se­quences for the rest of us.

It is im­por­tant for the world, there­fore, that who­ever sits in the Oval Of­fice, is com­man­der-in-chief of the US armed forces and is en­trusted with the awe­some re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that come with be­ing the most pow­er­ful per­son on earth must be ra­tio­nal and thought­ful and not likely to act on base im­pulses.


Don­ald J. Trump, the real-es­tate de­vel­oper and re­al­ity TV star, who is the Repub­li­can Party’s nom­i­nee for the pres­i­dency in the Novem­ber 8 elec­tion, con­tin­ues to prove that he is not qual­i­fied for the job, ei­ther in­tel­lec­tu­ally or tem­per­a­men­tally, and cer­tainly not morally. Mr Trump’s misog­yny has been ap­par­ent in the year and a half he has cam­paigned for the job. He has in­sulted women for their looks, calling them pigs and slobs, and has broadly de­meaned them as chat­tel for men.

If some rea­son could be con­trived for ex­cus­ing that el­e­ment of Don­ald Trump’s of­fen­sive­ness, noth­ing can elim­i­nate the stench from the re­cently sur­faced video record­ings in which he was caught brag­ging about what tran­scended sex­u­ally preda­tory be­hav­iour to as­sault, in­clud­ing kiss­ing women with­out their con­sent and grab­bing them by “the p***y”.

He has dis­missed his state­ment as “locker-room ban­ter” and sought to find moral equiv­a­lency be­tween his own ac­tions and al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­be­haviour of Bill Clin­ton, his ri­val’s hus­band. We don’t buy that. And Amer­i­cans shouldn’t.

There are other rea­sons that make Mr Trump un­fit for pres­i­dent. He called Mex­i­cans rapists and crim­i­nals and de­clared a judge of Mex­i­can de­scent in­ca­pable of do­ing his job be­cause of his eth­nic­ity. He has dog-whis­tled racism against African Amer­i­cans and feels that the way to fight Is­lamic ter­ror­ism is to ban Mus­lims from en­ter­ing the United States.

If we could get over those causes of dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion on an ar­gu­ment of their do­mes­tic ap­pli­ca­tion, the world has rea­son to worry about Mr Trump’s dec­la­ra­tion of a love for war; his will­ing­ness to use Amer­ica’s nu­clear arsenal; and his readi­ness to “bomb the sh**” out of for­eign ad­ver­saries whose naval sailors make rude ges­tures at their US coun­ter­parts. We fear, too, his seem­ing ea­ger­ness to tear up global pacts, such as the Iran nu­clear deal with Tehran and a slew of other na­tions.

By all and ev­ery mea­sure, Don­ald J. Trump is un­wor­thy of the US pres­i­dency.

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