Trump

Within 72 hours, hopefully, we will conclusively know the outcome of this agonizingly- long, historically ugly and downright exhausting 2016 presidential campaign. Some voters are enthusiastic but most are alternatively holding their nose, or wanting to just blow up the whole system. I’m somewhere between hopeful and scared to death.

Of late, I’m thoroughly depressed that Donald Trump, favorite of the KKK and the neo-Nazis, could become president on November 8. If he does, I won’t be moving to Canada as some are threatening. But I will consider changing the banner for this column from “Laughing Matters,” to “Crying Matters.” (Sigh.)

Of all Donald Trump’s seemingly insane, reckless and ignorant comments, none frighten me more than his flippant remark concerning the Iranian Navy in late August of last year. Apparently, an Iranian boat came within 100 yards of a U.S. Navy patrol ship in international waters in the Persian Gulf. Evidently the Iranian sailors gave the American sailors a “harassing maneuver.” (Reportedly the “middle finger.”) Trump’s response haunts me of things to come.

“When they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats” Trump shouted at a rally of frenzied supporters, “and they make gestures that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water!” Typical Trump, oblivious that such an action would be viewed as an act of war. Apparently, President Trump would be fine with a war against Iran over the issue of …“flipping the bird.” And here’s the really scary part. As President, he could do it!

Then there’s also the frightening reports of Trump’s reaction to an international affairs expert briefing him on nuclear weapons. Trump, who had no idea of what the “nuclear triad” was at a Republican debate, apparently also doesn’t comprehend the purpose of nuclear weapons as deterrents. “Why do we have nukes,” he asked in puzzlement, “if we can’t use them?” Yikes!

From the scary to the despicable. Trump has insulted many groups, i.e. Mexicans, Muslims, POW’s, a Gold Star family, African-Americans and women. (When not too busy grabbing their genitals.) But, for me, among the worst was his mocking of a disabled reporter.

In November, 2015, following terrorist attacks in Paris, Donald Trump asserted that on 9/11 “I watched in Jersey City thousands and thousands of people (Muslims) cheering as that the building was coming down.” Never mind that there is no video news footage backing up Trump’s claim. None!

And never mind that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said Trump’s claim was “shameful” and Rudy Giuliani, NYC Mayor on 9/11, said “it didn’t happen,” Trump swears he saw it. (And Trump is clearly psychologically unable to admit he’s ever wrong.)

Part of Trump’s defense was an article by journalist Serge Kovaleski on 9/18/2001, that referred to “authorities detaining and questioning a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks.” The key word being “allegedly.”

Kovaleski, who currently writes for the New York Times, suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that involves contraction of the joints in his body and results in his hands being contorted and leaving him unable to open his fist.

When Kovaleski didn’t back up Trump’s claim, the GOP nominee seemed to take it as a personal betrayal. At a S. Carolina rally, Trump mocked Kovaleski with an unflattering impression, flailing his arms wildly.(Google: “Trump mocks disabled reporter.”)

Trump responded to criticism by asserting that he could not have been mocking Kovaleski’s disability because he did not know what the reporter looked like. However, Kovaleski, who had reported on Trump for 30 years, said he had been on a first-name basis with Trump and had a dozen face-to-face encounters.

What disturbs me most is Trump’s obsession with “getting even” with anyone whom he perceives has slighted him and how low he will stoop to do so. He clearly can’t handle criticism and being president, especially in our current polarized political environment, is a job that receives severe criticism on a daily basis.

Think about it. Who and what type of person mocks someone with a disability? A kid in grade school? Maybe. Surely any normal, sane adult would not delight in ridiculing a person afflicted with a disability.

As Trump appears to be gaining in the polls, I shudder as the Klan and Nazis openly rejoice. It’s disheartening what’s happening right before our eyes. (Another sigh.)

With just 4 days left, I can only hope that someone who wants to “blow ships out of the water;” who casually asks, “Why do we have nukes if we can’t use them;” and who doesn’t seem to have an ounce of basic human empathy, doesn’t become our 45th president. If he does, God forbid, my column icon of a man laughing may have to be replaced with a box of Kleenex.

 

Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and jnsmdp@aol.com.