Monday, August 10, 2015

Trump’s “Honesty” is a Dark Mirror

The Washington Post has an article that captures a Reddit thread where Donald Trump supporters explained why they endorse the real estate tycoon. One theme that ran through many of the responses was that Trump is “honest,” “says it like it is” and isn’t some wishy washy establishment politician reading from the teleprompter. 

There’s certainly no question the Donald says exactly what’s on his mind, and that can be an admirable trait in a political system that discourages honesty and candor.  The problem with Trump isn’t really his brashness or shoot-from-the-hip style, it’s the actual words that come out of his mouth that are troubling, and the ugly fact that people find them “refreshing” and “politically incorrect.”

Trump supporters are excited about a candidate who openly assails immigrants, treats women with contempt, calls his opponents childish names like a schoolyard bully, pretends to be a self-made man when he inherited a fortune, and who pushed the racist Obama birth certificate investigation long after the original birthers had slipped back into the crevasses and under the rocks from where they came.

Trump’s honesty is no virtue, it’s a dark mirror reflecting everything that is wrong with America, our racism, misogyny, bullying, uber nationalism, and disdain for science and knowledge.  His supporters are so blinded by their anger that they don’t even seem to realize he is an East Coast elitist who helped create an economy where they can never win, a character that in any other campaign conservatives would be railing against publically.

Trump supporters (and conservatives in general) don’t want honesty, they want validation, someone in power who says it’s okay to be racist, to treat women as second-class citizens, to hate people coming to this country looking for a better life. Your anger is justified, your fear is real, your bigotry is understandable. Trump is your reflection.

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