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President Trump: The Little Boy With the Big Gun

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 30/03/2016 Jon Eig
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Real Clear Politics is a fun website. I assume that 99% of its traffic occurs in the run up to any big primary or general election, because it is a very good repository of current polling data. But it also has lots of good political essays, both self-generated and culled from the web. Read through these essays and you begin to realize that whoever devised the name "Real Clear Politics" has a wry and ironic sense of humor. Because you realize that politics, circa 2016, is anything but "clear."
You will find essays from leading thinkers declaring that Donald Trump's candidacy is a foregone conclusion next to essays about how Donald Trump is doomed to fail. One expert will prove that Hillary Clinton has the necessary delegates sewed up while the next will prove that Bernie Sanders is destined to be our 45th president. I remember reading recently that the Trump surge means the Democratic Party is on the brink of collapse. Being a Democrat, this bothered me, until I read the following day that the Trump surge means that the Republican Party is - you guessed it - on the brink of collapse.
Real Clear Politics. What a sense of humor.
Being the open-minded guy I am, I read all of them. And being the opinionated egotist I am, I agree with the ones that say what I want to hear - logic, reason, or fact notwithstanding.
Of course, logic, reason, and fact seem to be in short supply when assessing Donald Trump. This isn't entirely his fault. He simply doesn't have much of a coherent public policy track record to go on. Of the five remaining major party candidates, three of them have long records of public service. Clinton, Sanders, and Kasich have certainly evolved and changed over time, but I think we can safely evaluate their core beliefs. A fourth, Ted Cruz, may not have a long track record, but he has been consistently ideological in his statements and actions. I think we know where he stands and how he would act on crucial matters.
One of the many scary things about a prospective Donald Trump presidency is that we have no clue as to how he would act. He is just as murky as the opinionistas on Real Clear Politics. It is not simply that he has changed positions over time. He changes positions during the course of an answer. The only thing we know for sure is that Trump has updated Teddy Roosevelt's classic mantra for the 21st century - Speak loudly and carry a huuuge stick.
As we scour his behavior for clues as to what a Trump administration might actually look like, we do get some moments of clarity. One of them hit me late last week while watching a debate between three Republican women discussing the latest dust-up - the war of words between Trump and Cruz over the treatment of their respective wives.
You probably know the story. A super pac which may or may not be affiliated with the Cruz campaign published a nude photo of Donald's wife Melania. An outraged Trump, in the guise of defending his wife, said some nasty things about Heidi Cruz, Ted's wife. And it got uglier from there. No need to rehash. That's what Google is for.
As the panelists - Trump supporter Crystal Wright and Trump detractors Mary Katharine Ham and Jennifer Rubin -- debated Trump's attitude toward women, I began to tune out the argument. Wright, echoing Trump's main line of attack, insisted that her candidate loves women (his public comments to the contrary) and that women love him (polling data to the contrary.) No argument from Ham or Rubin could shake this belief.
What I started thinking about instead were patterns of behavior. If elected, Trump will be commander in chief. Now let's imagine that someone launches an attack aimed an interest of the USA. Trump suspects, but can't know for sure, that this attack was sanctioned by an enemy - oh, I'll say North Korea, but it could be China or ISIS or Megyn Kelly if you prefer. Donald is pissed. So he nukes Pyongyang. Welcome to WWIII.
This is what he did to Heidi Cruz, and when you consider that this is the same man who has proudly advocated killing the families of suspected terrorists, I think you begin to get a genuinely clearer sense of how reckless and dangerous a Trump presidency might be.
I understand many Americans are desperate for a powerful leader who will not back down from the challenges posed by amoral murderers seeking to eradicate freedom and democracy. But do you really want a president who will throw a tantrum the first time a kid with access to clip art and photoshop posts a picture of Ivanka and Kim Jong-un in a compromising position? Because rest assured, that will happen. If his thin skin bruises from dirty campaign tactics, what will happen when President Trump has to contend with the barrage of insulting pokes and prods from silly kids and from mortal enemies alike.
And that, in a time of great uncertainty, is too clear to ignore.

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