Trump’s honesty is honestly troubling

(Michael Vadon/Flickr)

(Michael Vadon/Flickr)

Donald Trump continues to appease voters, leaving many asking: Why?

Trump is no stranger to speaking his mind; regardless of how controversial his statements have been, it could quite possibly be the reason why so many people support him in the first place.

But is his blatant outspokenness, or rather his offensive “honesty,” what this country really needs?

We have all heard at one point or another something Trump has said to publicly offend a person or group of people, or to shamelessly boast about his own success – behavior that is generally considered a turn-off, especially in the realm of politics. While his ratings are currently on a slight decline (whether he accepts it as reality or not), he is still pulling through strong.

For one GOP pollster, it is “totally conceivable” that Trump will become the Republican Party’s nominee for president. “It’s not like Ross Perot in 1992, where people were simply unhappy with the two major parties; they’re choosing Trump affirmatively. Honestly, my legs are shaking looking at these numbers,” said Frank Luntz, head of the top GOP polling and messaging consultancy, Luntz Global. “All those people who think he’s going to implode are wrong. He’s not going away.”

According to Public Policy Polling‘s (PPP) latest national Republican poll from Oct. 6, Trump is leading the field with 27 percent; Ben Carson comes in second with 17 percent, Marco Rubio in third at 13 percent, and the others follow in decreasing percentages.

On NBC’s Meet the Press interview with Trump on Oct. 4, he discussed the one and only reason he would leave the race: “I’m not a masochist… I believe in polls. How many elections do you see where the polls were wrong? …If I were doing poorly, if I saw myself going down, if you would stop calling me ’cause you no longer have any interest in Trump because he has no chance,’ I’d go back to my business. I have no problem with that.”

Although Trump’s support has gone down by two percent since last month, he still holds a ten point lead in the Grand Old Party – a margin that has Trump saying: “I’m going to win.”

A large number of individuals’ responses in support of Trump directly referenced his undeniable ego, success in business, and/or honest demeanor to be qualities worth voting for. Trump supporters advocate Trump’s antipathy with political correctness and the “politician’s filter.” This line of thinking is not uncommon – the number one quality praised by Trump supporters is his outspoken honesty. The “billion dollar baby” is still a very real competitor in the race to represent the GOP in 2016.

Trump’s brand of honesty, though, is not what America needs in a president.

During June and July of this year, Trump had repeatedly called Mexican immigrants “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.,” a bold claim that resulted in NBC pointing the “you’re fired!” finger back in Trump’s face – costing the real-estate mogul his Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants (annually aired on NBC) as well as his position as host of “The Apprentice.”

The “honesty” does not stop there.

Trump, on many occasions, has tried to illegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency, claiming that President Obama’s birth certificate, issued in Hawaii, is not real, and that he was actually born in Kenya.

On July 18, he belittled Senator John McCain’s service in Vietnam, saying, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” Trump’s “honest” opinion on the POW received a lot of negative feedback, especially from other Republicans, who stated that Trump’s comments were not aligned in any way with their own convictions.

On Aug. 6 during the GOP debate, Fox News political commentator and moderator at the debate, Megyn Kelly, questioned Trump’s description of women as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” Without hesitation, Trump responded: “Only Rosie O’Donnell.” The day following the GOP debate, Trump told CNN that Kelly asked him “ridiculous questions” because she had “blood coming out of her whatever.”

Still, regardless of who he has offended, Trump’s supporters still appear to be unyielding for the most part. With many voters having trouble trusting career politicians, Trump is at an advantage. When people discuss their reasons for supporting him, oftentimes they remark on his character. According to Luntz, Trump’s aggressive ‘can-do’ attitude fuels citizens with hope that Trump will “fix what makes them mad.”

Back in August, The Atlantic asked: What do Donald Trump voters actually want? The sample of individuals that responded were, surprisingly enough, as diverse as it gets when it comes to politics. Someone who describes his or herself as a 29-year-old serious liberal atheist said that, “Trump strikes many of my nerves, but one of the most accurate and dangerously true statements he has made is that ‘America doesn’t win anymore.'”

But does America want another Nixon-mouthed president? Considering the current condition of the societal atmosphere in this country, Trump is not capable of helping American citizens progress toward racial, gender, and LGBT rights and equalities. In fact, he has the potential to reverse the progress we have worked so hard to achieve. Trump has demonstrated loud and clear to the public what he thinks about minorities and women. How can we expect a man who is so self-involved that he shows no regard or respect for American minorities and women to represent the United States internationally, and show his utmost respect to the “foreigners” he is so disdainful of?

Trump, the self-made billionaire and American celebrity, is everything but presidential.

Email Léa Aliberti at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @leaaliberti.

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