In our sound bite age, where context cannot be squeezed into a five or ten second bite, we tend to only hear or see someone say sensational things. Someone who is provocative and uses slogans will get on the air twenty times before someone of substance can get any footing. We are seeing this in the presidential race in America, where one person dominates the news.
The sad truth which this candidate knows, it does not necessarily have to be great publicity as any publicity works. And, if he said something truly awful like is his wont, he will accelerate a replacement sound bite for the next news cycle. The news stations do not have time or interest in offering context as his pace is relentless. So, in his view, give them something new to talk about.
in the US, we crave entertainment in everything. We would rather have an interesting buffoon as president, than a boring competent one. Many may be too young to remember a very smart presidential candidate Senator Paul Tsongas (pronounced Song-as). He was a marvelous policy wonk and may have been a good president. But, he spoke quietly in a monotone and came off as boring. It was so bad, his critics used Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Sound of Silence” and called him “Sound of Tsongas.”
Yet, context does matter. Words matter. We have a presidential candidate who is an embarrassment to our children, with his language, name-calling, bullying and narcissistic persona. How can we as parents tolerate such behavior, if we don’t want our children doing it? He does this as he is short on substance and reasonable policy ideas. Much of what he speaks of doing is illegal, immoral, infeasible, or goes against the grain of our country’s ideals. And, per our many retired generals and current and past defense leaders, much of what he says will not make us safer.
We cannot torture people unmercifully and it is illegal to go after the relatives of the captured suspects. Building a wall between Mexico would cost roughly $30 Billion and cost that much to maintain. Plus, it would do little to stop immigrants. Global warming is not a hoax invented by the Chinese to steal our jobs; it is a real problem and we need to accelerate doing something about it. We are not the most taxed country in the world, not even close. Reducing taxes under his plan would increase our $19 trillion debt by $12 trillion. Yet, he says he can reduce the debt in eight years – how?
Please ask lots of questions. Please read and watch reputable news sources. Understand the context, but listen to the words not the style. Being politically incorrect does not give someone license to lie or be a bully. Those who use name-calling tend to have the weakest argument.
Addendum: I read this morning about violence that broke out outside of a Trump rally in California. Folks, that is not what civil debate needs to look like and it needs to stop. Protest is one thing, but violence serves no purpose, regardless of who instigated it. Trump supporters have the right to assemble, just as Sanders or Clinton do. This takes the debate off the issues.