Wednesday, April 27, 2011

America's Nightmare

To call Donald Trump a buffoon unfairly denigrates that species. His personal attacks on President Barack Obama are the act of a desperate and delusional man who thinks his insatiable ego is more important than his country.

America is suffering through difficult economic times with high unemployment, record deficits and millions of its citizens struggling to make ends meet. The U.S is also immersed in two costly wars and it is involved in an ongoing military action in Libya. These are the grave and onerous issues that should dominate our great national debate. The nation is crying out for leadership, solutions and a brighter future.

But Trump chooses to tear at old wounds for personal gain. He exploits deep-seated racial hatreds and petty jealousies by attempting to undermine the truth with preposterous allegations and poisonous lies. It is the politics of hate. And, sadly, he has found a following.

For Trump it is all black and white. He proudly brags that he has a "great relationship with the Blacks." As in, "they know their place," a common phrase used in parts of this country not too long ago. Still today, regretfully, there are many who believe "they" do not belong in the White House.

While President Obama is not the first president to be attacked by opponents out of personal animus, none before were the victims of such virulent hostility. And Trump has taken to the assault with selfish passion and misguided purpose. It is unclear whether his offensive is part of a marketing campaign for the renewal of his NBC reality show, "Celebrity Apprentice", or if he is actually going to run for president in 2012.

For the past couple of weeks Trump repeatedly questioned whether the president was born in the United States. "Where's the birth certificate?" He even claimed to have people investigating it--though there is no evidence that was the case. When the state of Hawaii made an exception, at the request of the White House, and released the president's birth certificate, Trump proclaimed himself proud of his achievement.

But that is not enough for The Donald. He now wants to see the president's college grades and he is asking questions about how the president was able to get into Columbia University and Harvard. He suggests the president was the beneficiary of affirmative action. If he was, so what! The fact is the president overcame a difficult childhood to rise to the nation's top office. This is a powerful and compelling American story that would normally be celebrated and not besmirched.

For sure, there is plenty to debate when it comes to the president's policies. But with all the challenges the country faces today discussion of his grade point average in college, whether he's an anti-colonialist or even whether he is the beneficiary of affirmative action is ludicrous.

The president once autographed a note card for a little girl adding, "Dream big dreams." Perhaps had Donald Trump autographed the note card he would have added, "You're fired." But it is clear that if he were elected president he would be America's greatest nightmare.

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