A Trumped-up candidate
I didn't watch last week's GOP presidential debates, but I didn't need to watch them to tell you that Donald Trump is a self-important windbag who should never receive a single vote to become president of the United States.
Unfortunately, Trump still is the leader in an NBC News Online poll conducted over the weekend after the debates.
I'm not surprised.
Trump's appeal is his bravado. He talks tough and makes outlandish statements, and there is a certain segment of American society that buys into those sound bytes.
Trump says so many stupid things that it's hard to single out just a few. He started his campaign with racist comments about Mexicans, then said essentially that Hillary Clinton shouldn't be a legitimate candidate for president because "she couldn't satisfy her husband." This week, he's making headlines with insulting comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who served as moderator for last week's debate.
Trump also says that if he is elected president he will build a wall along the United States' southern border to prevent illegal immigration. Don't worry about the cost, he says, because he will force Mexico to pay for it.
Trump obviously knows a lot about making money. He knows a lot about grabbing headlines. He knows a lot about beating his chest. But does he know anything about how government really works? Does he know anything at all about foreign relations? Does he have a clue what diplomacy is?
"Speak softly and carry a big stick," President Theodore Roosevelt said more than 100 years ago, discussing his approach to foreign policy. I believe that's still the proper approach today.
Trump's bluster might be effective in attracting votes, but it would be a certain disaster on the global stage.
As I told someone today, if (God forbid) he were elected president, I would expect the beginning of World War III within six months.
I don't think Trump will be elected president; thankfully, most Americans are smarter than that. For now, I'll stand by my belief that Jeb Bush will be the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton will get the Democratic nomination.
Even if he's not the GOP candidate, however, Trump could be a factor. He hasn't ruled out running as a third-party candidate, and that could have a major effect on the race. Should Bernie Sanders choose to do the same -- less likely, for financial reasons -- things could get very interesting as voters' allegiances are divided.
Will Donald Trump ever be president of the United States? No. Will he keep saying ridiculous things to get his face on TV? You bet.
* * *
Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com.