There are many things that should make Americans wary if not outright scared about a potential Trump presidency.
It is not necessarily his narcissism and pompousness. Sadly, there have been and there are too many self-absorbed, arrogant politicians -- one or two may even come close to Trump in this department.
It is not only his flip-flopping on issues. Again, there are too many politicians who have conveniently "evolved" when it is their turn to pander to their base.
Similarly, way too many have made truly offensive and disgusting comments about women, minorities, undocumented immigrants, etc.; albeit Trump's recent misogynist insults and unforgivable characterization of Mexican immigrants are hard to match.
His calumny about Vietnam War hero John McCain and our prisoners of war will live on in ignominy.
While this man should have been disqualified a long time ago from even contemplating a run for the highest office in the land for the above reasons alone, there is something much more sinister, frightening and repulsive that makes Trump such a danger to our country, should he ever reach that high office.
I am talking, for one, about the cavalier, irresponsible way this man talks about having broken the rules, about "just taking advantage of the laws" to amass his fortune.
Over at Newsweek, Nina Burleigh puts it all into perspective.
She writes how Thursday night over at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland one witnessed "the singularly nauseating spectacle of a billionaire with an American flag in his lapel pin boasting that he used the bankruptcy laws to pull his business out of a dying American city before he went down with it, without offering either a word of condolence to the people left behind or a single idea about how to put it back on its feet..."
Burleigh puts Trump's "just taking advantage of the laws" into perspective by contrasting it to how "[t]he millions of Americans who filed bankruptcy when they drowned under their mortgages in the crash understand bankruptcy as an advantageous law":
...what Trump did was to share one of the myriad little ways the 1 percent, like him, game the same system. A Trump bankruptcy doesn't save him from sleeping in his car, it enables him to get even richer while leaving creditors (albeit "killers," he noted, perhaps to differentiate his lenders from the nice mega-banks that bleed most debtors dry) counting losses to the tune of a billion dollars.
With respect to Mike Wallace's question "about a 2009 bankruptcy filing by Trump Entertainment Resorts, which left thousands of casino workers jobless, and without health and retirement benefits in a dying town," Burleigh recalls Trump's answer:
Trump boasted that his bailout was perfectly timed. "Every company in Atlantic city went bankrupt!" he whined. "I had the good sense to leave Atlantic City before it totally cratered. I made a lot of money in Atlantic City and I'm very, very proud of it."
How will a President Trump understand the dire economic needs and pains of "real Americans" (in the non-Republican sense of those words), when he has viewed laws all his life as just a system to be taken advantage of to grow millions into billions, and not as laws to be designed and enforced to advantage the poor and the middle class.
But, more important, how will a President Trump ensure that he and his administration do not view the buying of influence by the rich and famous as business as usual -- since that has been, by his own braggadocio, his modus operandi.
At the Cleveland GOP debate, Fox News host Bret Baier reminded Trump how Trump has "explained away" donations to several Democratic candidates. Baier continued with a Trump quote, "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do," Trump, without hesitation, said, "You'd better believe it."
Later Trump added, "And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me."
Is this the mentality America needs in the White House?
By boasting that he gave politicians money so they'd return his calls, Trump is a betrayer to the 1 percent, yes, but he's certainly not a friend to the working class. He can argue that fixing immigration helps some working people, but he put his money where his mouth was when filing bankruptcy as a smart business strategy in Atlantic City and leaving thousands of workers behind to fend for themselves in "cratering" Atlantic City.
While some have suggested that a super-rich person cannot be easily "bought," there are other ways by which influence and favors can be obtained from an incorrigible narcissist.
When no one thought Trump could be more offensive, caustic and misogynist he outdid himself over the weekend by spewing additional vulgarities about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
Reports are circulating this weekend that the backlash to Trump's unacceptable behavior "has threatened to knock the wheels off the bandwagon of support that had Trump leading early polls in the race for the Republican nomination for the 2016 election." That perhaps the Party that created Donald Trump may be becoming disenchanted with its own reflection.
Sadly, I would not hold my breath.
In a piece at the New Yorker, Andy Borowitz satirizes that despite the "fact" that Trump's performance in Cleveland proved to be "considerably more heinous than [the American people] had previously thought...[P]artially as a result of his debate performance, the poll shows, Trump is now the first choice of seventy per cent of Republican voters."
It is disconcerting to realize how closely life imitates satire these days.