Will the Trump Insults Wear Thin?

Donald Trump

It’s been pretty well established at this point that Barack Obama is very thin skinned, unable to take criticism without reacting to it in a manner many see as less than Presidential.  But Obama looks like a graduate of finishing school next to Donald J. Trump.  Trump’s presidential run has been very entertaining for those of us watching it.  His disdain for convention has at times been a refreshing departure from the phoniness of political campaigns.  It can be exhilarating to watch a candidate express hostility to their opponents.  There is something rather honest and candid about that.  But Trump has shown a penchant for the personal insult.  This should be no surprise to followers of Trump.  Over the years, he’s had notoriously public and personal spats with people.  But all that was before becoming a Presidential candidate.

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Since becoming a candidate, Trump has treated his public to a never ending stream of personal insults against anyone getting in his way.  At first, Trump explained, “I only hit people back who hit me.”  And in he beginning, that was true.  But Trump’s last two targets, Dr. Ben Carson and Senator Ted Cruz have done nothing to provoke Trump, except challenge his lead in the polls.

What does it say about a man who can never apologize?  Even after he mocked a reporter with a serious disability?
 Trump, no matter what the circumstances, can never seem to step back and act with humility.

In politics, one must expect to be held responsible for positions on policy and performance in office.  Seldom do politicians attack their opponents personally.  Donald Trump is predisposed to attacking people personally.  During this campaign, he’s attacked Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina’s appearance.  He’s challenged the religious conviction of Dr. Ben Carson.  He’s belittled Jeb Bush easy disposition as “low energy.”  He denigrated John McCain’s was service and years in captivity as a POW.  He’s referred to one of the most respected conservative intellectual pundits in Washington, Dr. Charles Krauthammer as “totally overrated.”  He called Megyn Kelly of Fox News, “a light weight.”  And more recently, referred to Senator Ted Cruz as a “nasty guy nobody likes.”

Until now, Trump’s disrespectful tone mostly echoed the frustrations Republican voters had with elected Republicans who lacked any fighting spirit.  But as the campaign has wore on,  these outbursts from Trump have taken on the character of someone who doesn’t like opposition of any kind.  It began with his comments challenging Ben Carson’s religious conviction and later even challenging his enormous accomplishments as a world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon.  Now, they are focused on Ted Cruz.

But the attacks on Ted Cruz were entirely unprovoked and seemed desperate.  Ted Cruz, according to all the polls, is neck and neck with Trump in Iowa.  Cruz is well thought of among conservative evangelicals.  While Trump is also popular with evangelicals, he’s also said a few things that might ultimately put off an evangelical caucus goer.  For example:  Trump has said he never asked God for forgiveness.  Evangelicals may frown on a man who’s never shown enough humility before God to ask for forgiveness.

 

In another speech, Trump voiced his frustration with Iowans by asking, “what’s wrong with you people?”

In 1999, Trump also said his values and way of thinking were typical of New Yorkers and not people around the country, and he used Iowa as an example.  

There are signs that the public may be growing tired of Trump’s constant attacks on his opponents.  It’s one thing to attack the candidates perceived as establishment.  It’s something else when Trump attacks those the voters tend to favor like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson.  The longer this continues, the less Presidential Trump appears.  His campaign is degenerating into point and hate.  It’s time he elevate his rhetoric.  It will help him in the polls by assuring voters he’s someone who can take the heat and remain poised and dignified.

 

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