Saturday, July 4, 2015

Open Mouth, Insert....?

"How does your knee taste?"

One of my college roommates used to skip making the comment, "Open mouth, insert foot," and went right to the question above.  Her tone dripped with sarcasm, usually, and the glint in her eye used to scare me.  She was a philosophy major and most of the time I didn't understand what she said about what she was studying.  But I asked questions, and I tried to understand.  Sometimes the proverbial light would snap on, sometimes not.

So, Donald Trump, how does your knee taste?

Photo courtesy:

Donald Trump thinks that he'd make a good next President of the USA.  He announced his candidacy earlier this week, and followed it with comments about immigration in which he made extremely disparaging remarks about our neighbor to the South.  You'd think that Trump would be a bit more media savvy than that, right?  I mean, in this age of the internet and instant news, his remarks would be seen and heard around the world in a matter of seconds, and he would not be able to take them back or explain them away.  Open mouth, insert.....

Not very diplomatic, Donald Trump.  You do know what the job description for the U.S. President is, right?  If not, I wrote it back in February 2012, and you can review it.  But one of the responsibilities, of course, is that the President "receives Ambassadors and other public Ministers."  He also is responsible for making treaties with other countries.  So, he has to know about the other countries, the cultures, the people, and how to get along, plus have some diplomatic talent.  Donald Trump may have a ton of experience at negotiation and in business, but he definitely does not have much talent for diplomacy.  Maybe he thought he was speaking to his supporters only the other day when he announced his candidacy.  If so, that was truly naive.  

It would seem to me that you'd want to demonstrate, when you announced your candidacy, Mr. Trump, that you possessed all the qualifications and experience you'd need to be an effective and successful President.  Right?  When was the last time you were interviewed for a job?  If you are truly serious about your candidacy, and I believe you probably are, then brace yourself for the next 16 months because this time period is just one very long job interview.

You may point out to me that you have surged in the polls during this past week.  Well, people enjoy hearing someone speak his mind, especially if it includes taking a big bite of knee along with it.  They may even agree with your viewpoint on Mexicans.  However, is that what they'll be thinking about when they're filling out their ballots?  I doubt it.  There is a gap between responding to a candidate's personal beliefs and the actual vote.  At least, I like to think that voters do give their choices more thought than just, "Hey, I like a guy who speaks his mind." (I overheard a woman say that on the street this week when talking with another bus rider about your speech, Mr. Trump.)

Are you qualified to lead the USA as President, Mr. Trump?  How?  What is your experience in foreign affairs and policy creation?  What is your experience with military matters?  Do you think Edward Snowden is a patriot or traitor?  And by the way, it's not the responsibility of the President to create jobs.  That part of your speech was truly pandering to the 99%.  Job creation is just one element of a much bigger issue.  Do you know what that issue is?

Your business interests took a significant hit this past week as a result of your disparaging comments about Mexicans.  Frankly, Mr. Trump, you deserved that hit.  I understand that now you are endeavoring to make lemonade out of the lemon of a week you've had -- more power to you.  Your track record in business of bouncing back after significant setbacks will probably help you now.  But it won't help your presidential campaign.  
Will people remember what you said this past week about Mexicans?  You bet they will, especially the Latino population, you know, that part of the American population the GOP would dearly love to have in their pocket.  Will it save you to become a Goodwill Ambassador to Mexico?  Well, first you need to apologize sincerely for your comments, describe why they were wrong, and make amends.  Then maybe Mexico will be open to talking with you.  



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