Does It Matter How Adults Behave Short Of Committing A Crime?


Leonard Zwelling

         I am still trying to wrap my head around how any thinking adult can support the re-election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

         First, I never at all wonder why they might have voted for Mr. Trump in 2016. We were going to get a new president as Mr. Obama’s two terms were done.

         The Republicans had gone through a rigorous and fair primary process pitting a slew of interchangeable conservatives of varying stripes against a populist with a simple message. Mr. Trump’s simple theme was “I can fix this.” In fact it was “ONLY I can fix this.”

         The Democrats ran a fixed primary process in which Mrs. Clinton was designated the nominee from the beginning by the Debbie Wasserman Schultz-led Democratic National Committee that was going to do whatever it took to make Hillary the first woman president and Bernie an also-ran. They got it half done. Mrs. Clinton ran a terrible campaign, was an unpopular figure with way too much baggage and was combating a sense that the country had to finally move on from Bushes and Clintons. So the country did. I get it.

         What I cannot understand is why after three years of Mr. Trump not keeping most of his substantive promises (a middle-class tax cut, the border wall, a fix to the immigration dilemma, “cleaning the swamp,” and a lowering of the national debt), these people are lining up to vote for him again. Okay, if Bernie wins the nomination, I get it again. America is not ready for a socialist president and won’t have one. But if Klobuchar or Buttigieg or Bloomberg wins the Democratic nomination, why not them? Anyone but Biden, I get that one, too. Talk about being out of it!

         The commonest explanation I get from my friends who are Trump supporters on why they will vote for him again is that they like his policies. Which ones? Just as Biden said Bernie has been talking about universal health care for 35 years and has gotten nothing done, so too has Mr. Trump talked about being president for the middle class when he is clearly the president of the rich and white collar criminals. He’s done nothing to help the farmers, the factory workers, the clerks at Wal-Mart or even someone making $80,000 a year at a desk job. He has packed the judiciary with conservative justices with the help of Mitch McConnell, but is that enough to make you want to vote for him? Not I, and here’s why.

         I still think it matters how adults behave and Mr. Trump behaves like a two-year old. He pouts about being treated unfairly. This in a man who has stiffed creditors for years. He pardons felons simply because they are famous and have behaved themselves like two-year olds. Mr. Trump kind of likes the rich, crooked kids. It takes one to know one. He treats our allies dreadfully, talks trash about everyone and praises Putin and Kim Jun Un. Surely a country as great as America can elect someone who is not a personal embarrassment, can’t we? 

         I am personally thrilled that Mr. Trump has not screwed up the economy for me. Wall Street and my investments are doing great, but I am not the yardstick by which such things ought to be measured. Most Americans don’t own stock. The price of their health care and prescription drugs keeps going up and Trump has not even addressed this. We still have a broken health care delivery system that favors those with gold-plated insurance and penalizes those on Medicaid. Our standing in the world is not what it was when Ronald Reagan was president. He meant business with the Russians. Trump does business with them. We had Iran in a box that it is threatening to break out of and Trump’s idea of a Middle East peace agreement is everything Israel wants without even acknowledging that the Palestinians exist. That’s what we have waited for? Jared really is the Prince of Darkness or is that Don, Jr?

         We need an adult in the White House not a mean-spirited vengeful small man who has yet to prove to me that he has the slightest grasp of any complicated problem facing the nation or articulating a meaningful solution to those problems.

         It matters how adults behave, especially when they are the leaders. Trump does not behave like an adult and he forgives the other adults who behaved as he did. Can pardons for Paul Manafort, Roger Stone or Michael Cohen be far behind?

         To all my good friends who back Mr. Trump, please reconsider. I am not one who wants to return to the Obama Era or even the W. Era. We need new leadership with keen intelligence and a grasp of reality. Reality TV stars tend not to have that.

         I voted today. For Amy Klobuchar. I hope I can do it again in November.

Leonard Zwelling