Sometimes parents are anxious that their children should have a positive role model: someone who, by their words and actions, by the way they live their life, illustrates the notion of a life well-lived. I have an alternative suggestion: go instead for the anti-role model, someone whose words and actions are low and nasty, who uses their life to bully and scorn others. Step forward, Donald J Trump.
For years now he has been coarse and contemptuous of just about anyone who didn’t agree with him. JohnMcCain wasn’t a war hero because he got captured by the North Vietnamese. “George Bush didn’t have the IQ to be president”. “Jeb Bush has to like the illegals because of his wife”. Hillary Clinton “was the worst secretary of State in the history of the United States.” And for good measure: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?” On Bill Cosby: “He’s guilty as hell. I think he is a highly overrated guy both in terms of talent and many other ways.” Of his fellow-Republican Congressman Lindsay Graham: “What a stiff, what a stiff, Lindsay Graham. By the way he has registered zero in the polls.” President Obama was “the worst ever president”.
There are countless other stupid and nasty attacks on people he sees as his enemies. But yesterday on TV he reached, even for him, a low point. Announcing the death of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he told the American people “He died like a dog. He died like a coward, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.”
Footballers, singers, artists are often denounced when their sins are exposed because, it’s claimed they should be role-models for younger people. I’m not sure about that but I am sure that the US president – or the leader of any country – should be modeling on a daily basis how to speak and act so that young people will aspire to show similar compassion and dignity. Leaving aside the number of Kurds who died recently because of Trump’s bumbling Middle-East policy, his “he died like a dog” remark shows that Trump, quite simply, shouldn’t be US president. In fact I wouldn’t employ him to go to the corner store for a carton of milk, if I’d any respect for the store-owner.