Leadership and (Lack of) Character- What Trump Signifies

August 21, 2015

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In my posts on character and what makes a “good” person I wrote that no political party or ideology corners the market on good or bad character or “morality”.

That being said, we all know of an American political party that for years has proclaimed to be the bearer of good character and “traditional” morality. The Republican party since the moral majority days of the 1980s have positioned themselves as the moral party. Ironically, their formation by a Christian fundamentalist base (spearheaded by Rev. Jerry Falwell) began by thwarting the reelection of an avowed Bible-reading Christian peace-maker (Carter) to win a victory for a Hollywood secularĀ  pro-business pro-war candidate (Reagan). That’s a story for another day (and covered excellently and in depth in Michael Sean Winter’s “God’s Right Hand”)

Whatever loose claims the GOP have left to morality and character are severed with the emergence of Donald Trump. There is nothing moral, ethical or of “good character” in Trump. Those that champion him as a “truth teller” must think xenophobia, casual sexism, unabashed greed and unchecked ignorance is “truth”.

He may very well have a chance. That is the scariest part of the equation–a candidate who stands for nothing but his own crass self-promotion may be ushered into office to wreak havoc simply because he’s loud and shares the fears and worst impulses of our nation. With his consistent place at the top of the polls Trump signifies something alright–if not the death of the Republican party as some have forecast then certainly the final severance between any semblance of “morality” and the Republican party.

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