I forced myself the other night to watch in totality Donald Trump speak at two rallies in Ohio before that state’s primary — and initially I had great reservations about voting for him.
At these rallies Trump rarely spoke more than five or six words in a sentence. When he was not repeating his canned slogans against Mexicans and the Chinese, he embraced an exaggerated confrontation with demonstrators, urging his security forces to “get ‘em outta here.”
You would expect more from a 69-year-old billionaire with his background and intelligence.
Up to now, Trump has been the “wise guy” candidate who spits out wisecracks and who masterfully plays on the frustrations of the average American. This “Trumpist” strategy has worked well so far. A political phenomenon, he has so far badly beaten a crowded GOP field of candidates.
Trump has separated himself as the “anti-politician” in the race through callous rhetoric and manipulating the media.
His arrogance was not countered effectively by the younger candidates such as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or Chris Christie. There was no older wise man or woman in the GOP contest. Instead, most showed a remarkable lack of maturity and depth.
All of Trump’s opponents, except maybe John Kasich, failed to understand what ails America.
Trump, on the other hand, continues to say what most Americans think, but don’t say because they fear it might be politically incorrect. It’s a brilliant gimmick that is working well.
Growing old makes most people a bit wiser. Reflection and learning are the key to gaining wisdom.
At the time the Constitution was written, our forefathers made sure to impose what was at the time a high age requirement on elected federal officials.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution provides:
“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
The average life expectancy during that time was close to the age required to be president, so obviously the framers wanted American presidents to be reflective, wise old men.
Indeed, many of our founding fathers were truly wise in their writings and their actions. In the 21st century, the presidency of the young and charismatic Barack Obama proved the opposite — he was a decade or more too early to be a great president.
I regret that Trump and his shallow, reality television approach toward politics (that I would define as “Trumpistic,”) so far is chiefly characterized by a lack of innate wisdom. It’s made me have grave reservations about his candidacy.
But there’s something inside me that says that Trump will prove himself — that he will be an evolutionary politician that will lead America into an era of prosperity and democratic leadership in the world.
Despite his rhetoric, Trump is a great man already. He has achieved remarkable accomplishments as a developer and entertainer. He has experienced great personal and business failure too, which in my book is more important. That’s because old men often learn from their mistakes.
So at the wise old age of 58, I can forgive Trump for all his nasty crap and vile gimmicks displayed in his campaign. It’s a shtick, that’s all.
Deep down, I think Trump is the anti-Obama who will prove once he steps into the Oval Office that he has the same attributes that the founding fathers had.
It’s that instinctual thought of mine, which is (secretly) shared by many angry Americans like myself, that will cause me and many others to vote for Trump.
We’re not interested in a worn-out Hillary Clinton, despite Trump’s nasty theatrics on the campaign trail.
Steven Kurlander blogs at Kurly’s Kommentary (stevenkurlander.com) and writes for Context Florida and The Huffington Post and can be found on Twitter @Kurlykomments. He lives in Monticello, New York.