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In Trump We (do not) Trust

By February 22, 2016 Jonathan, Politics

May I ask you to consider what kind of President would do justice to the words inscribed on every U.S. Passport quoting Abraham Lincoln, who would make the U.S. a country run “by the people and for the people”?

In my adopted home state of Indiana 589,416 people just voted for Donald Trump, with 18,555 of them being people in the county I call home when I’m in the USA.

Living abroad and in the U.S. both before and after I became a citizen has allowed me to see the country from many perspectives–outside and inside, as an outsider and an insider. And whether or not we realize (or want to realize) the influence the USA has on the wider world, each vote (or lack thereof) does affect those growing up in the USA and in communities around the world.

So perhaps I should ask you to consider who would NOT represent this diverse, culturally rich nation in national and international politics. And there is more to tell here than just letting the world know I will not be voting for Mr Trump as the the 45th President of the United States of America.

Mr Trump is not the hope of the USA, nor is he our champion to make the USA “great again”. Why is it that Mr Trump would not help the USA as a nation nor the world as a global community?

Mr Trump has always lived and will continue to live a privileged lifestyle. His business success began with an inheritance of somewhere between $40 million to $200 million US Dollars, and he has only ever experienced life as a super wealthy U.S. citizen. While wealth certainly does not disqualify one from running for President (sadly it seems almost to be a requirement for the huge amount of resources wasted on campaigning), a person’s wealth, especially if they’re leading a nation, needs to be balanced with a concern for others less fortunate, an understanding of different walks of life.

It could be that Donald Trump is not aware that he is a product of a corporate system of limitless greed that sells the illusive American dream attainable only to the elite. But he has stated: “I like money. I’m very greedy. I’m a greedy person. I shouldn’t tell you that….” Either way, a candidate with such blatant pride and ignorance of how the average U.S. citizen lives does not appear to be prepared to lead a nation that has huge wealth inequality. Would he be able to present a solution to “the richest of the nation’s rich holding as large a wealth share as they did in the 1920s”?

Mr Trump (along with other candidates) seems unwilling to conceive that there may be meeker ways of living life beyond the goal of accumulating a degree of wealth that is impossible to spend in multiple lifetimes.

The world needs stable, experienced leaders, who can approach difficult problems with solutions that create a better place to live for future generations in a globalized world.  Injustice, corporate greed, war, poverty and economic failure are not problems that Mr Trump would be able to navigate.

I believe in ideas articulated by people like Geoff Coventry, a proponent of sustainable capitalism, affordable university education (as in most prosperous nations besides the USA) and investing in infrastructure and sustainability for the environment that we pass on to our children. There are other, more just, expressions of capitalism than running hard after money, money, and more money.

Yes, you know that Mr Trump’s businesses include a strip club, yet did you know that statistics show his support among Caucasian evangelicals is as high as 33%? Meanwhile, other evangelical individuals, Catholics (including the Pope) and people from other faith backgrounds are clearly not supporting him despite his reference to the Bible being his favorite book. I wonder what would be his reaction to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount–“blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”–or Jesus’ response to the rich young ruler–“go and sell everything you have and give to the poor, then you will have treasure in heaven.”

In a tweet Senator Ben Sasse challenged Mr Trump, highlighting that there is a divide between evangelicals on whether Mr. Trump is a person of character who could run a nation.

The lives of presidential candidates, including Mr Trump’, are under pressure and scrutiny as we the people of the United States decide who will be the leader of  arguably the most powerful and influential nation in the world. This is why who you vote for matters.

For those still wondering if Mr Trump has or will use force to get what he wants regardless of who he has to step upon in the process; Mr Trump wrought legal force on a retired widow for refusing to sell her family home so he could develop it into a limousine parking lot. His attempts to remove her were nearly successful, but were overruled by a higher court. Does he remember the lines in his favorite book: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”?

Is Mr Trump someone to trust as a leader? Would you trust him to understand the average life of a U.S. citizen living on a budget, and to represent them well in policy-making? Will he be able to be in tune with the average U.S. work week and opportunities or challenges facing students with debt, individuals struggling with illness or hardship, families working hard to make ends meet?

By voting for Mr. Trump as the next President (or not voting at all), you may well be empowering an individual who cannot relate to anyone outside his wealth status, a rich kid playboy cover President of the Unites States of America. The world is trusting the voters of the U.S. to choose well. And it would be a sad day for the world to have a leader with such a lack of character at the helm of a superpower.

There is hope for Mr. Trump, his character may find healthier pastures. He obviously has the will power and determination to succeed, to wheel and deal recovery from financial disaster and back to the top. But more power is not what a person needs who lacks any sense of regret for his greed, his boasting of his unfaithfulness, or his ego. Becoming President is a responsibility far too important for him to undertake and would be to the detriment of his already uncontrolled personality.

Paraphrasing what a few people have said in the past, Mr. Trump was born on third base, voting for him would continue to instill the falsehood that he has hit a triple.

My hope and vote is that we the people will decide as the people for a future for all the people.

Be sure to register to vote and to vote in this election! Voting gives us the power to make a difference.

-Jonathan McCallum


(I’m just one voice amidst the 323 million people of the USA, I appreciate hearing from YOU and would ask for considerate feedback. This article is not an endorsement for any other candidate.)

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