Most rich people are hidden out of view, like the Great and Powerful Oz hidden behind the curtain. We don't see them, we don't get to know them, and we don't learn who they are as people.
Donald Trump's decision to run for president of the United States has provided a rare exception. With a net worth of $10 billion (according to himself), Donald Trump is one of the super-rich of this country. And the presidential campaign is giving us the opportunity to see what he is really like as a person.
It turns out that he is a clown. He is foolish, arrogant, immature, and quite frankly absurd.
But wait a second here. How did this guy get to be so rich?
This is not how the system is supposed to work. The system is supposed to reward people who are smart, good, and responsible. Success is supposed to come to people who are wise, who understand and care about other people, and who nobly apply their special abilities toward improving the lives of others and improving society overall.
Rich people are very important to all of us because they have tremendous power and influence in society. They effectively run things. They make decisions that determine the structure and direction of society, and this affects all of our lives.
Because we have faith that our system is fair, we make certain assumptions about rich people. We assume that they deserve their wealth. We assume that they are sophisticated and honorable, and that they did something to become rich that was good and in the best interests of other people. So we accept it.
But then we see Donald Trump. This is what rich people are like? This is who our system rewards? This is who is running things?
Oh my goodness. Something is terribly wrong here.
No wonder it feels like our society is careening off the rails. No wonder income inequality exists and has grown into such a drastic problem that is plaguing the nation. The people our society is rewarding are not, in fact, extraordinary, respectable, and virtuous. And thus the power they acquire with their vast resources is not being wielded for the benefit of ordinary people and the greater good of a more equitable society.
The root cause of the problem seems apparent. Capital in our society is not being distributed appropriately. It is far too difficult for most people to earn a decent living. Yet vast wealth is being concentrated into the hands of people who do not deserve it. Capitalism, it seems, has a fundamental flaw that is in desperate need of repair.
If the clown act of Donald Trump causes us to recognize this fundamental flaw in our system, then Donald Trump, albeit unwittingly, will have done a great service to the nation.
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General Election: Nov 3, 2020
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