There are so many problems with our political system, our political process, our political "leaders" and how we select such "leaders". At times, the problems seem so intractable that we throw up our hands in exasperation and figuratively walk away. Trust and engagement in political life is plummeting to new lows. Few would argue with the statement that "the political class is holding America back". We would have a better economy, better military, better standing in the world and a better society if politicians would just show courage and lead, or barring that, just get out of the way.
And then, every once in a while, someone comes along that brings us that hope. Hope that with his straight talk he will be able to enact common sense solutions and overcome the gridlock that has consumed Washington. Hope that because he is not a politician he can use his anti-establishment momentum to get Washington working again.
A solid and consistent 25% of Republican primary voters believe Donald Trump is that man.
The sad irony is that Trump is the exact opposite of what America wants/needs him to be. He is not a straight talker; he is telling us simple things that some want to be true. He is not an anti-establishment outsider; he panders more than any politician. The Paradox of The Donald is that he is the worst of politics wrapped in a deceptive cloak of a savior from politicians. The Paradox is that with his antics he is driving the political discourse away from serious issues that may help Make America Great Again and instead is making our process more of a circus than anyone thought possible.
You don't like illegal immigrants? No problem, he will deport them (no Mr. Trump, you will not).
What about new immigrants illegally crossing the border? No problem, Trump will build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it (no Mr. Trump, you will not).
Mad that the Chinese have "taken" American jobs? No problem, he will get them back (no Mr. Trump, you will not).
Concerned that Putin is violating the sovereignty of his neighbors? No problem, Trump will stop him (no Mr. Trump, you will not).
You will not do these things simply because you cannot. There are no simple solutions for complex and nuanced issues like these, nor to countless other challenges we face as a nation. Telling people you can fix everything so easily just puts off and drowns out the serious debate we as society need to have on these challenges.
So Mr. Trump if you truly love America, if you truly want America to be great again, then it seems you have two choices. Stop this charade and end your campaign, or be the man people want you to be. Be the leader the country needs you to be. Put forward common sense solutions to difficult problems. Tell us that parts of our social contract are unsustainable and we have to make hard choices. Explain that the benefits of globalization come with costs. Acknowledge the reality that 11 million illegal immigrants can't just be ripped out of the American fabric. Hard problems require hard solutions and compromises.
America desperately needs real political leadership. The paradox you offer is doing the opposite of what you preach. You are not making America great again; you are making us worse.
But his momentum, his money and his moxie have too many believing. Don't. His bullying will go too far (a mock Asian accent?). His antics will get old (The Apprentice ratings have been plummeting). His style and lack of substance means he can't hire real campaign strategists and operatives (cue the guy who told a Latino-American reporter to "get out of my country"). This too shall end.
Still worried that The Donald will be President? Well four years ago the leading Republican was a fine man named Herman Cain. Who is that you ask? Exactly.