There is a new export in the Tump Enterprises portfolio. Last week on twitter he bragged about a hotel he did not own in Waikiki. At his victory rally he also rolled out vodka, water, and wine that bears his name, and he daily claims business triumphs in everything from airlines to a university of higher education. Now there is another product that bears his name, likeness, and image.
The difference is, he has personally offered to finance those who end up in legal jeopardy for practicing it.
The cancelled rally in Chicago on Friday night was but the latest in a long series of evidence that points to physical danger when Trump’s persona and bluster run counter to those who happen to disagree.
In the last month at rallies where protestors got verbal but not violent Trump responded:
“I’d like to punch him in the face.”
“In the good ol’ days they’d have ripped him out of that seat so fast.”
“Knock the crap out of him would ya?”
“Seriously, OK, just knock the hell. I promise you I will pay for the legal fees, I promise, I promise.”
Nobody likes to be interrupted at their own events and its understandable that any person would become frustrated. But Trump in his frustration encourages those that are dealing with the protestors to “knock the crap” and “knock the hell” out of the people that are protesting him. He appeals to the lowest instincts of our human nature. He has the mindset of a mob boss. He feigns that toughness on the debate stage where he then feels the need to defend the size of his own manhood. He’s insecure. Bullies usually get that way because they are.
So is it presidential?
This narrative of Trump’s allowance of punitive violence to be exercised against those that seem to oppose him feeds the rhetoric that he’s a bully and incapable of exercising true leadership beyond that of brute force.
That in turn dismantles the entire caricature that he has painted of himself in this election cycle. He’s constantly posed as the “tough guy who will find solutions.” So is he going to be tough on Iran? Or cut a deal with them? Or tough on Mexico and China or more deals? His past has consisted of paying off whoever he needed to in Congress to get deals done. Who does he pay off when he represents us in the White House?
Trump is no innovator. He doesn’t use creativity to solve problems. He’s not even especially equipped in the area of thinking on his feet. His debate performances have demonstrated this in spades. He mumbles repetitive answers with little detail and has such thin skin that he feels he must respond to almost every perceived slight from opponents or moderators.
His most consistent claim through the campaign thus far is that he can strike deals better than anyone. That may be. Bullies are usually great in negotiations. Exploiting those who are weaker, dumber, and smaller than you doesn’t take a great amount of skill. It just requires larger resources.
It is however notable that Trump may be the thinnest skinned candidate to run for office. Lashing out at people is a habit for him. He does it because he has been able to his entire life. His inability to be criticized, critiqued, or in some cases just analyzed speaks to things that go beyond his control, and his response more often than is comfortable for me has been disastrous.
It is so because it speaks to a deeper issue, which is, the character involved in dealing with people.
Former FoxNews contributor and reporter for Breitbart.com (the most pro-Trump website on the web) Michelle Fields saw such a bad backhand from the “taking care of business” attitude that #TrumpTrain gives off that she found it necessary to file assault charges against Trump’s campaign manager.
Trump’s response—even after evidence surfaced that showed his campaign manager pulling on Fields, and her social media feed documented the bruises that ensued?
He blamed the victim.
“I think she made it up.”
Of course Trump isn’t responsible for any of the bad behavior of other people. And it seems that around him there is an epicenter of justified violence that breaks out no where else. A thinking person might ask, “why?”
But while he can’t be held responsible for the initial acts, he can and should be held accountable for the responses—particularly irresponsible responses—that encourage more violence to be allowed, occur, or even encouraged.
Trump often likes to compare himself to Ronald Reagan.
The problem being that Ronald Reagan had an element of character that while it suffered no non-sense, his inner circle, campaign, and staffers never found themselves constantly having to defend themselves against accusations of physical violence.
Reagan even engaged protestors in his runs for President.
The one thing he never did was give a racist attending his rally a blank check for legal support for “knocking the hell” out of someone for merely disagreeing with him.