Why Trump shouldn’t be the next US president

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Basant Gupta, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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The trouble with Donald Trump is not that he’s not a true conservative from any perspective. The trouble with Trump is not that his policy positions on immigration, ISIS, health care, Social Security, or whatever don’t stand up to a moment of casual scrutiny. That we’re even talking about his “positions” means that we’ve already progressed to the dangerous Stage Two of the Trump phenomenon, as if his stated views are the standard by which Trump ought to be judged—a huge victory for him right there. The trouble with Trump is that he is, by temperament, by experience, and by character, utterly unqualified to be president of the United States. He is a buffoon. That’s why his campaign is a joke, not the merits or otherwise of his alleged policies. All he brings to the table is a lot of money and a talent for publicity. These are not worthless assets in a presidential candidate. Trump is right, unfortunately, that his billions free him from the need to raise money, with all the dispiriting and time-consuming compromises that that entails. And, of course, he is not the first politician with a knack for drawing attention to himself.

But he may be the first who offers little more than that. Oh, a bit of wit and charm. A sense of humor that always leaves the listener wondering whether he’s serious or not. But where’s the wisdom? Where’s the gravitas—or, as the Brits call it, less pretentiously, the “bottom”? Trump’s self-designated role in our culture has been the clown who, because he doesn’t give a damn, will say anything, including truths that more serious people will not utter. That’s fine. I wouldn’t mind having that job. But Trump is apparently tired of playing the Fool. He wants to be King Lear.

Even the most cynical and demagogic politician usually has something he or she truly wants to accomplish, some ideological goal or vision. Trump seems to be running because he thinks it would be cool to be president. No doubt that plays a role in the thinking of even as philosophical a candidate as Hillary Clinton. But with Trump, that’s all there is.

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