Sunday, July 10, 2016

Character, The Presidency, And The Patriot’s Quandary: A Coda

     Over the past couple of days several persons have sent me some very nasty email over this article. I’ve received enough nasty email that I’m inured to it. That doesn’t mean I like it. Nor does it mean that I’ll shrug it off as “part of the deal.”

     I’m sure there are sincere supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential bid. I’m equally sure that those supporters capable of reading at the level required by Liberty’s Torch are aware that opinions will vary, and that each of us has his own priorities. What puzzles me is why persons who claim to be pro-freedom are unwilling to let my difference of opinion over their preferred presidential candidate pass without hurling insults. Does it take a Certified Galactic Intellect to understand that insulting a man is no way to change his mind? Or have we descended so far into the gutters of incivility that the insult is now the preferred entertainment even of persons of high intelligence?

     Allow me to present a home truth:

We are judged, in large part, by the company we keep.

     If you want Trump to gain the presidency, your best hope lies in persuading others that he’s a good fit to the office. But to persuade others of that requires that both the message and the messenger appear attractive. Insults, no matter how cleverly crafted, will have the opposite effect.

     One of the things I hold against Trump is his proclivity for insulting those who differ with him. His chances – with me, at least – would be greatly improved if he were to give that up at once. Your chance of persuading me that his is a character – a character, not a sheaf of policy prescriptions – that’s worthy of the effectively unbounded powers conferred upon the president of these United States in the year of Our Lord 2016 depend heavily on persuading me that your character is good enough that I’d be willing to have you as a neighbor. If it isn’t, why on Earth should I listen to you?

     That’s as plain as I can make it. It’s something my disparaging correspondents desperately need to know. Insult me if you prefer, but don’t think you have the smallest chance of changing my mind that way.

1 comment:

Pascal said...

You brought to mind a favorite quip of my late wife when observing activities of one soul or another. "You either have character or you are one."

Quite a stringent litmus test to say the least.

It often left me perplexed but appreciative that the insightful lady chose yours truly as mate.