The conventional wisdom among the political punditry is that Donald Trump is popular because he "projects strength." When Americans fear terrorism, especially in the wake of the recent Paris attacks, the perception of foreign policy and homeland security weakness is a campaign killer. Just ask Ben Carson.
But Trump's macho reputation among his 25% rabidly loyal base is incredibly misguided, counter-intuitive and, worse, actually a threat to America. Trump is not "tough." He is not "strong." And he most certainly does not have the qualifications, or the temperament, to be president and commander in chief. Rather, his inflammatory, divisive, hate-filled racist rhetoric demonstrates unprecedented recklessness. His "character" is therefore not an asset in these globally challenging times. It's a severe liability.
In his bid for the White House, Trump has grossly offended just about every ethnic and religious group, women, gays, immigrants, refugees, war heroes, people with disabilities and anyone who's raised his ire. He is angry, petulant, belittling, demeaning, polarizing, patronizing, dismissive and a blatant propagandist and liar. A delusional narcissist. Imagine that these are the qualities of the man sitting in the Oval Office. The leader of the free world, whose job is not just to protect America's interests and security, but its respect, integrity, principles and reputation in doing so.
Are we to accept Trump's empty promise that if elected he'd suddenly, after decades of being a nasty, condescending, confrontational, self-aggrandizing, verbal-diarrhea-inflicted, my-way-or-the-highway buffoon, become a consensus and coalition-building diplomat? A statesman who commands respect at home and abroad?
Trump's "strength" is confused with bullying, intimidation and rabble-rousing bluster. This is not presidential behavior. Is this what we could expect from President Trump when he's dealing with difficult heads of state, or U.S. enemies, including Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and Bashir al-Assad? His "bomb-the-shit out of-them" cowboy rhetoric could greatly hinder our ability to engage our allies in the fight against terrorism.
And let's remember something about Mr. Tough Guy: when other American young men and women enlisted or were drafted to fight in Vietnam, Trump received multiple student deferments and a medical exemption which kept him from serving. There are many people who believe he was nothing more than a draft dodger. And he has the audacity to attack Sen. John McCain's highly decorated war record?
Sorry, Trump "fans." Your hero is no tough guy. And he's not strong. Don't let him fool you. He's an Ivory Tower-living billionaire whose rich, connected daddy kept him safely at home while your loved ones fought and died in Vietnam. He's a self-serving coward who lies through his teeth and mocks the military service of heroic prisoners of war like McCain. His dangerous 'bring it on' demagoguing would likely alienate our allies, incite terrorists and provoke our enemies.