On Donald Trump and Keeping Promises

Of course, political correctness being what it is, wives to be don’t promise to honor and obey any more, they promise to honor and cherish. But anyway, you get the meaning of the subtext. When you get married, you make a promise not just to each other, but to God, to stick with it. And 90 percent of the time, that’s what you should do. Mere annoyance, unhappiness, bad breath, weight gain, flatulence and other issues should not be grounds for release from a promise made to God. All these things are really unpleasant, but the consequences of divorce for children are such that none of them is a really good excuse.

But then there are extraordinary circumstances. Dr. Laura, who is pretty strong on staying together, lists three reasons for divorce that are acceptable: she calls them the three A’s. Adultery, Abandonment and Abuse.

So the application of all of that to the Republican party stalwarts is pretty obvious now. Donald Trump is rapidly abandoning any pretense of loyalty to Republican party principles. But far more important is simply abuse. The vulgar insults really are important. They are an assault and attempt to degrade our culture massively. Its one thing when Andrew Dice Clay talks that way. Its another when a Republican nominee talks that way.

Trump’s constant verbal abuse and lies toward other candidates, should be viewed as intolerable. It is destructive not only because of the vulgarity it makes acceptable but also because of the way it will and demonstrably has torn apart the party. There was a reason Reagan promulgated the 11th commandment (Thou shalt not speak ill of other Republicans) in both the long and short run it destroys party unity. Now, nomination virtually in hand, Trump demonstrates what is not just a childish tantrum but a truly demented belief that he can command and demand that other people fall at his feet and worship him. In the name of party unity. At a time when any other candidate would be trying to soothe hurt feelings and win back the people that he alienated in his own base, Trump has repeatedly said he doesn’t want their support. This is simply insane.These are the words of a man so narcissistic that he cannot do simple math.

And he inspires the same sort of rhetoric from many of his supporters. One of them, a Facebook commenter, friend of a friend, tells me I better get on the Trump train NOW. Really? Or what? A bouquet of roses and a handwritten apology saying he didn’t really mean all the things he said what be much more persuasive.

But, no, this isn’t about hurt feelings. It is about what his behavior in any number of situations reveals about a narcissism so extreme that he cannot apparently imagine or care about consequences. His near paranoia, imagining every rejection as a slight requiring retaliation is, frankly, scary. Exhibit A is his repeated justification of the slur against Ted Cruz’s father because he heard, in a statement that Rafael Cruz made to the effect that people should vote for his son because otherwise it might be the destruction of America, a prayer that something bad should happen to Donald Trump. Let me reiterate. Cruz pere in the specific statement didn’t even use Trump’s name. He said the failure to vote for his son Ted, might mean the destruction of America. Over the top? yes, but not uncommon rhetoric in a political contest. But a prayer for bad things to happen to Donald Trump? No. Not even remotely. Trump’s inability to brook any dissent is frightening. His willingness to repeat and enhance the most vile calumnies against people who are his opponents is even more frightening. His statement, made in the same interview where he brought up the JFK assassination issue, that Rafael Cruz should NOT be allowed to say such things is confirmation of a pattern of behavior that he has demonstrated before.

Trump, when faced with the Michelle Fields accusation, before it went public, could have settled the whole issue by directing Lewandowski to issue an apology. Instead he used his pulpit as a presidential candidate to defame and verbally attack the reporter as a liar and delusional. Demonstrating, by his actions, a thin skin that is a very bad characteristic in a Chief Executive. In his business life he is famous for fighting back. It is that characteristic which his followers love. In a lawsuit arising out of the Trump University alleged scam, filed in California, Trump retaliated by filing a suit for defamation against one of the women who brought the suit. I cannot know what legal advice he received from his attorneys, of course. I can tell you as a California lawyer, I would have advised him that it was not a good idea. Why? Because California has what is called an anti-SLAPP statute.

Statutes which protect people from Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, are designed to prevent exactly the kind of lawsuit that Trump filed. Their purpose is to provide a remedy for what the legislature sees as an attack on people for exercising their first amendment rights. The way the California statute does that is that it allows the person unfairly sued, in this case the woman who sued Trump claiming Trump University was a fraud, to obtain an early dismissal of the lawsuit AND reimbursement for said person’s attorney fees and costs in defending against the bogus lawsuit. The woman in question obtained a judgment of $798,000.00 against Donald Trump just for attorney fees and costs. This was a court ordered amount. A jury had nothing to do with it. It is based on the amount of work her attorney had to do to get the lawsuit dismissed In my experience, the award was that high because of the extreme lengths Trump’s attorney went to to maintain his lawsuit against her. I have to seriously question the judgment of someone who would let his vindictive anger go that far. Keep in mind that this amount is just for the opposition attorney fees, it doesn’t include the amount Trump paid his own attorneys. Keep in mind the amount Trump paid out in attorney fees probably dwarfs the amount that would have been necessary to settle the lawsuit.

And of course, this was about Trump University. Most sane people look at the ads he made for that venture and come to the conclusion its a scam. But just as there are people who have fallen for his promises in this election cycle, there were many people who fell for his promises in these ads. Yes, the people who believed these ads were gullible, but between the gullible and the con artist, I blame the con artist.

So, when you find out the person to whom you pledged your loyalty and your vote is a fraudulent con artist who leans toward the paranoid, who is a vindictive narcissist who seeks to destroy anyone who disagrees with him, I think you are let out of any obligation you had to stay with him. Just as a husband cannot be expected to stay married to a wife who has plotted his murder or a wife cannot be expected to stay with a husband who beats her.

And, while I have some sympathy for those who extend Donald Trump the opportunity to demonstrate that he really isn’t the person many of us have come to conclude he is, having known the mates of serial liars and abusers, I am inclined to say, nah, there’s nothing you can say to make it better because your history demonstrates that you are a liar. All the time. Every. Word To quote Gertrude Stein. I don’t believe a single word that comes out of his mouth including “and” and “the”.