Saturday, September 17, 2016

Kathleen Parker: Trump, A Con Man Among Heroes

I continue to find it telling that conservatives and Republicans who all too often turned a willing blind eye to the ugliness that motivated much of the party base and the self-prostitution that GOP elected officials regularly engaged in are now shocked that the selling of the GOP's soul has finally culminated in Donald Trump as the party standard bearer.  While Kathleen Parker has strayed from the GOP reservation ,more than other conservative pundits shocked by Trump's rise, had she and others criticized Democrats less and addressed the hideousness in their own party, perhaps the Trump nightmare could have been avoided.  Her latest piece  in the Washington Post looks at Trump's unqualified nature for the presidency.  Here are highlights:
At long last, Donald Trump has set himself free.
At a highly choreographed event Friday, the Republican nominee for president of the United States finally issued his verdict on the birthright of our two-term president, who, it turns out, is a real American!
“Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period,” Trump intoned to the great relief of no one.
Well, howdy-do. Welcome to planet Earth, son.
But Trump’s announcement was merely a curtain call on a theatrical production otherwise known as Free Publicity for Trump.
For the preceding 24 hours, Trump gleefully baited and dragged the media through Con Man’s Swamp, first refusing to answer the question posed by The Post’s Robert Costaabout whether Trump still thought Obama wasn’t born in the United States, then building suspense Friday morning that he would make a “big announcement.”
Awaiting him on the dais was a gathering of war heroes, who spent 20 minutes extolling Trump’s virtues, many of which one has never before associated with the nominee — his intellectual curiosity, his great temperament and his raw intelligence.
Only Trump could believe such things about himself — and he obviously did. Nearly glistening from the mist of blown kisses, he beamed like a boy with a brand new toy.
Now, I don’t doubt that those on the stage sincerely support the Republican nominee. And nothing I say about Trump is intended to reflect on these extraordinary Americans, especially not on Michael Thornton, a retired Navy SEAL, whom I single out because he happens to be a friend. I commend his remarkable story to anyone seeking perspective and inspiration.
My heart sank just a little when I saw Thornton standing behind Trump, even though I’m aware that it’s difficult for many battlefield veterans, especially those from the Vietnam era, to find a Clinton acceptable as commander in chief.
Seeing Trump wedged among men who had served heroically, several of whom risked their own lives to save others, had an effect more minimizing than elevating. Trump avoided the draft, too, with a doctor’s excuse, often available to sons of the rich, and otherwise isn’t qualified to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Medal of Honor recipients.
“Selfish men, bullies, and braggarts don’t perform well in battle. And those believing in their own extraordinariness rarely if ever accomplish feats worthy of the MoH.”
Trump has finally owned up, if way too late to make any difference. But one should keep in mind that the birther movement was racist to its core. And the man who would be president led the charge. 
In case readers have not figured it out, Trump sickens me.  What sickens me even more is the number of Americans who are supporting a racist con man.  That speaks volumes about America and none of it good.  It certainly shows that claims of America's exceptionalism are untrue, especially in the day of Donald Trump.

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