Just a little over four years ago, I posted a piece entitled; Looking for a Jack Ryan President.., in which I posted the political dream of having a President said what he meant and asked the American people to break the vicious cycle in Washington D.C. by electing non-career politicians to Congress in the aftermath of a national tragedy...
Sad bit was, this call for a return to sanity for American politics didn't come from any presidential hopeful, it came from a fictional character in a book written by the late-author Tom Clancy back in 1996.
Amazing how in four years, sadly nothing has truly changed in American politics. Political wannabes promise if elected, they will do everything in their power to undo all the terrible things POTUS has done and not let him get away with all his shenanigans anymore...Just a few months into office and most GOP voters are already having "buyer's remorse" with the GOPers they elected to Congress in 2014. Time and time again, GOP congressional leadership, who made their bones calling POTUS everything short of a traitor to get into their positions of power, have instead rolled over and allow the very things they said they would stop, happen anyway.
Even worse, when some young anti-establishment politicians try to make a political stand (whether for good reasons or not), these same GOP leaders beat them over the head with talk of lacking "professionalism" in their duties as congressmen.
So after getting taken for a ride by the GOP leadership over the last two years, many within the GOP's ranks (and some outside of them) have rallied around a candidate who have never been taken seriously under any "normal" circumstances.
That's right, I'm talking about Donald Trump.
At first, I didn't understand why anyone was taking Trump seriously as a candidate for the GOP, especially considering that last election cycle, he had crowned himself the King of Birtherland and was even mocked by POTUS during the White House Correspondence Dinner (aka "Nerd Prom").
Now, four years later, it's like the world has been turned upside down.
After a few weeks of listening to Trump bloviate on television (especially on CNN, folks who know a strange phenomenon when they see it), I started to realize what Trump's appeal really was:
He is the imperfect manifestation of the disgruntled GOPers who are fed up with the GOP "establishment" and are craving a candidate who says whatever is on his mind and isn't afraid of the media's reaction to it.
The things Trump has said over the last few weeks would be nearly impossible for any "normal" candidate to get away with and yet Trump has not only survived, he has thrived on it! "Teflon Don" would be a very appropriate nickname for Trump this election cycle..
For many years before I wrote my piece on a "Jack Ryan President", I have longed for a candidate I could truly feel good supporting, regardless of party.
And in a scary kind of way, Donald Trump is that kind of candidate: Non-career politician, brass, outspoken, and utterly unafraid of what anyone thinks of him/his positions.
For me though, Trump will never be my candidate. While I admire his "I don't give a damn" attitude, I don't honestly think he believes in half the things he says, let alone if he has any idea on how he will carry them out if ever made it the highest office in all the land. Ultimately, it's his arrogant attitude the turns me off the most, because I sense he will not treat the Presidency as what it should be: an honor & privilege bestowed on you by the American people, not for advancing an already extravagant ego-trip.
Donald Trump's candidacy is not without its value. It is a testament that non-politicians can run real campaign and run very successful ones. This idea has been even further reinforced this cycle by the shockingly successful candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson (who is running a distant second to Donald Trump in several recent polls) and the more insurgent candidacy of Carly Fiorina.
So while I'm still looking for my "Jack Ryan President", this election cycle has certainly given me some hope that such a candidate is not just a work of fiction...