Columns for The Lufkin News

Let's Not Get Trumped

Posted Apr 05, 2016 by Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

I am ashamed. I wrote that phrase recently on a Facebook post of two Finnish friends who are looking across the ocean with a combination of disgust and disbelief at the Trump phenomenon. Consider my vow to avoid public political commentary this year broken.

The first president I ever voted for was Ronald Reagan in 1980. I have voted Republican ever since. But I will not vote for Trump if he is the Republican nominee. Don’t worry… I’m not voting Bernie Sanders, either. The socialist movement in the Democratic Party is just as disaffected and radical as the Trump wing of the Republican Party… and just as dangerous to our American way of life. We are not Finland. But with Sanders, you know what you get. With Trump, all bets are off.

Trump's campaign speeches are bullying and belittling, full of empty rhetoric and supportive of (indeed, encouraging) violence. I don't care how angry you are at the “establishment”; there is no place in American politics for Trump’s inflammatory, derogatory speech. Yes, he has a right to say those things. But shame on each and every American who jumps into the pig sty with him, eggs him on, and actually votes for him! Regrettably, all of us on the sidelines have been stained by Trump’s mud.

To my fellow Christians in particular, Trump – in his campaign rhetoric, at least – displays no evidence of being a Christian, which he claims to be. There, I said it. Forgive me if you think I am being judgmental, but I simply don’t see the fruit. This is not about waffling on various social issues on which well-meaning Christians can and do disagree. Consistently, his public demeanor is far from “Love God”, much less “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” If Trump loved anything as much as himself, we’d all be better off.

I don’t get how so many people – Christians in particular – are following like lemmings in the wake of a reality show Pied Piper – one who plays an enticing (but fundamentally deadly) tune. It is ironic that Jerry Springer, who long ago helped set the nasty reality TV tone that is emblematic of Trump’s campaign, can’t believe we would elect Trump as president.

I get that Trump is tapping into popular themes like immigration and "making America great again" – whatever that means – but the reality TV emperor has no policy clothes. In effect, Trump supporters are saying they want an angry president who doesn't know what he is doing. That is both startling and dangerous. Anger does not lead to sound foreign policy.

Trump's narcissism, lack of a verbal editor and foul speech suggest a personality disorder at a minimum. More worrisome, they expose a disturbing lack of compassion and respect for the innate value of other human beings. Add in a questionable moral compass and I truly fear the international fallout with his impulsive finger on the nuclear trigger. He’s just plain scary.

Ultimately, this column is not really about Trump. It is about me. By what ethic do I live my life and cast my vote? Do I believe that might makes right? Does the end justify the means? God forbid!

What about you?

If the Republican Party implodes (or if the Democrat Party nominates a Socialist), I do not blame the "establishment". I blame voters on both sides of the aisle who can't tell the difference between a slot machine and a voting booth. They just blindly pull the red or blue lever hoping for a jackpot. If only they could see, with that approach we are all going to lose.

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Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Radiation Oncologist

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

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Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

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