This week we survived the Republican Convention. Looking back, it was a collage of bizarre images – an openly gay CEO on the stage for the first time, a platform that condemns gay marriage, a Trump daughter who supports equal pay for women, and a platform that extols the “traditional family.” A recognition by the candidate of the LGBTQ community while the same party in North Carolina focuses on who uses what bathroom. The disconnect between the candidate’s social beliefs and the party’s platform and stated goals and beliefs is to me mind-boggling. Social conservatives must be horrified. Since I am not a social conservative, I am amused by the disconnect between them and their candidate, and, since I do not support the Republican platform, I am pleased when someone disagrees with it, but not pleased enough to overlook other issues.
What I am concerned about is completely different. I worry that the man who claims he runs great businesses has had four bankruptcies and has no campaign staff to even check his wife’s speech for plagiarism. I worry that the man who says he will remember the individual and take care of those who are the “little people” is the same one who didn’t pay his contractors who were small business people or who pays below minimum wage at some of his projects. I worry that someone who says we should trust him and his word is also saying he will not support our treaties or our allies unless HE decides to do so. To me, it sounds remarkably like he thinks he is a demi-God and is the answer to everyone’s prayers.
He claims we should trust him to take care of us and elevate America to another level of greatness, but how do I trust a man who puts his wife out to promote him without making certain she has the support needed to not make a mistake? Yes, the plagiarism is a minor thing and was clearly an unintentional mistake, but why didn’t he make certain that she had the campaign support to make certain her deliverance was not marred by the plagiarism? It is but a small example of why I am nervous about a man who says he is the only one who can save this country. (And I haven’t even started on his foreign policy.)
Plato believed in the Philosopher King who clearly is an enlightened despot. That means that we are supposed to trust our leader to have good intentions and to do the “right thing.” Trump seems to think he is that person. But that is not how our democracy works. We don’t have one person who will lead us into the light and solve all our problems. We have a system of governance that has checks and balances and does not rely on one human being who by the fact that he or she is human is flawed. And Trump is clearly “no Philosopher King” to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen.
The dichotomies of this week and of Trump himself are laughable if it weren’t for the fact that he is one of two choices we will have for President. Next week we will go through the Democratic Convention and it will be interesting to see what amusement and horrors that will provide.