Running a Presidential campaign is extremely stressful. It requires constant travel, talking, planning, decision making, and perhaps most importantly a level of verbal and emotional abuse from multiple fronts. Many candidates have fallen based upon this stress and it appears that Donald Trump may be the latest victim.
Before his supporters decry this concept, it’s important to understand a few things. First and foremost, I really like him. I think he has turned many of the GOP’s conversations in the right direction and has demonstrated with the unaffiliated assistance of fellow candidates Ben Carson and Ted Cruz that you don’t have to be politically correct to be truly, well, correct. This will be viewed by his strongest supporters as an unfair hit piece, but it’s not. I’m disappointed to have to point out these things because he was one of the candidates I supported the most.
The second reality that has been creeping in bit by bit as the campaign continues but that really came to a head with videos released in the last 24 hours is something he probably didn’t expect. I didn’t. He’s tired. What some perceived as a shift in his campaign to a more “stable” Donald Trump in the last debate and in recent talks was clearly in part due to fatigue. That’s not to say it wasn’t strategic as well, but his performances have been more hollow of late. The passion has turned more towards animosity and frustration. Both are signs of the strain that the oldest GOP Presidential candidate is experiencing. He would be 77-years-old at the end of his second term if elected.
Third, he’s continuing to push the rhetoric of “trust me” on everything. As more of his policies come into view and specifics are starting to be laid out, the go-to answer is “trust me” or “believe me.” It’s one thing to follow him and believe in the tremendous success that he’s had over the decades. It’s another thing to hear pundits on both sides of the aisle question the validity of his plans. He can’t be against everyone on everything, particularly the logistical and economic roadblocks to his plans. On immigration, he’s becoming more incoherent. The question of “how” has to be pressed multiple times for him to get away from the talk track that they’re here illegally, many are good people, but they need to go. When asked “how” multiple times he finally shoots back numbers that aren’t even close to those proposed by others who have tried to do the same thing.
Listen to him dodge, redirect, and then muddle his way through explaining how he’ll deport them. Other than E-Verify, his claims had to be given the “believe me” asterisk.
Regarding E-Verify, it should be noted that the concept is sound but there are consequences that need to be addressed. I support it but it’s not perfect. However, it’s the closest thing we have to a viable solution for finding illegal immigrants. This is one of the reasons that I migrated towards Trump in the first place back in August. He needs to focus more on this and less on creating a deportation squad knocking on doors and asking people for their papers.
Then, there’s his Iowa speech. There are multiple things that Trump said in his hour and forty minute speech that should give people pause, but his nine-minute rant about Carson was really the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. It isn’t just the direct attack against Carson’s activities five decades ago that turned me sour. It’s the realization that his temperament towards other people is unacceptable for the leader of the free world. Many of us like straight talk, but there’s a limit and Trump continually crosses it.
After comparing Carson’s “pathological disease” from 50 years ago with child molesting, he continued to call the press “scum.” Perhaps worst of all is what he said about the people of Iowa. “How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe that crap?”
I will not be voting for Ben Carson for other reasons, but I can tell you this, Mr. Trump. I believe him. There’s no reason not to if you are an evangelical Christian who has experienced life-changing events. When I hear the story and see what Dr. Carson has achieved in his life, I firmly believe that his story is true. Trump’s arguments to the contrary are very disappointing.
Some are insinuating that Trump is trying to tank his own campaign. The more likely scenario is that after criticism of his mildness in the last debate, his campaign has decided to up the ante on straight talk. Unfortunately, he’s fatigued and has taken things too far. He will not be the GOP nominee.