Second thoughts about Trump are about the same as my first
It was the day after the second so-called presidential debate that I inadvertently caught a few minutes of an episode of "All in the Family," which taught me that comparing Donald Trump to Biff Tannen, as I did in an earlier column, is not as appropriate as comparing Trump with Archie Bunker.
Perhaps people who support Trump do so because his complaints about government seem valid. Trouble is, like Archie Bunker, Donald Trump offers only complaints. He has no solutions, only lazy, silly threats and vague, sweeping promises.
He hasn't a clue about specific problems, how they were created, if, indeed, the problems are valid, or how to address problems that are. He seems oblivious to the process necessary to affect change. I cannot imagine the man dealing with Congress. And the thought of him negotiating foreign policy changes with representatives of other countries is positively scary.
Donald Trump is an overbearing ignoramus. Someone should tell him he is running for president, not king. And if Donald Trump were king . . . well, heaven help us. (Among other things, I can picture the Trump Tower becoming a prison for his political enemies, though it certainly isn't large enough to hold all of them, many of them members of the Republican party. I was going to say "Trump's own party," but clearly Trump is a party of one.)
The second presidential debate — if it could be called such — produced another embarrassing performance by Trump, though his supporters, as delusional as the candidate himself, claimed their candidate was the victor, apparently because he out-interrupted Hillary Clinton.
Granted, both candidates carry heavy, shameful baggage, but the fact remains — Mrs. Clinton is qualified for the job of president, Donald Trump is not. Trump clearly lives in his own world; he doesn't even extend the courtesy of responding to questions, he merely resumes his latest rant, filling it with gross generalizations, repeating them several times. I was reminded of one of my favorite lines from "Justified" — "Repeating a lie does not make it true."
He never really apologizes for his mistakes — though he occasionally uses the word "sorry." Instead, he uses the other-people-are-worse defense. In his case, the "other people" are Bill and Hillary Clinton.
This raises an interesting point. If it is okay for Trump to be an insensitive bully, who has no respect for women — as his statements and his behavior would indicate — then it must have been okay for Bill Clinton to behave inappropriately with women during his long political career. Trump is the pot, Clinton the kettle.
Also, Trump would have us believe he only engaged in "locker room talk," but it was during this "locker room talk" that he bragged about things he had actually done. If this was merely "locker room talk," then what are we to believe any time Trump opens his mouth? ("Hey, I was just kidding.")
It's hilarious that this man, who seldom seems to tell the truth about his behavior, calls other people liars.
Hillary Clinton has her own issues, and in the best of all possible worlds — hell, even in a world just slightly better — we would be choosing between two candidates who are more admirable and forthright than the pair who emerged from our rather strange political process that allows people who support one party to vote in a primary held by the opposing party.
Like Donald Trump, I can complain about something — in this case, the primary system — without offering a solution. Oh, I have one, though it might not lead to any improvement, because it would take us back to the days party leaders gathered in smoke-filled rooms and selected the candidates.
But if we are to have political parties, they must stand for something, and people must be willing to join these parties and proclaim their membership. And only party members should be entitled to a voice in the selection of party candidates. I believe in the caucus more than the primary.
If we are to continue holding primaries, then hold all of them on the same day, no more than two months before election day. The way things are, candidates — Trump being the perfect example — can win a nomination before most people have given the matter serious thought.
Of course, the fault is ours. Donald Trump certainly did not sneak up on us. Fittingly, considering the animal that symbolizes the Republican party, Trump is the elephant in every room.
I pray, however, that he never reaches the Oval Office, because the man obviously belongs in Queens, in the living room at 704 Hauser Street, which Archie Bunker frequently listed as his home address.
But even Bunker, who often called his wife "a dingbat," wouldn't approve of Trump's "locker room" language regarding women.