Friday, June 3, 2016

President Trump: America's Worst Reality TV Show

As more and more Establishment Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan fall in line (read: accept their fate) with the notion that reality TV star Donald Trump will be their standard bearer for the 2016 Presidential Election, the vision of what a Donal Trump presidency begins to take shape. What would a Trump Presidency look like?  Perhaps no other recent event encapsulates the essence of a Trump Presidency more than the most recent remarks made by "The Donald" against the federal judge who is presiding over one of the several Trump University fraud suits alleged against him.

Per the WSJ:

Donald Trump on Thursday escalated his attacks on the federal judge presiding over civil fraud lawsuits against Trump University, amid criticism from legal observers who say the presumptive GOP presidential  nominee’s comments are an unusual affront on an independent judiciary.

In an interview, Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said.
For judges, being criticized for rulings comes with the territory, but court watchers say it is a degree far different when the critic could win the nation’s highest office, is involved in a pending case and references the judge's ethnicity.

University of Pennsylvania law professor Stephen Burbank said it was “absolute nonsense” that the judge shouldn’t be able to preside over the case because of his ethnicity.

“If this continues, I would hope that some prominent federal judges would set Mr. Trump straight on what’s appropriate and what’s not in our democracy,” Mr. Burbank said.
Judge Curiel is presiding over a pair of cases in which the plaintiffs alleged Trump University duped them into paying tens of thousands of dollars on the belief they would be trained to learn Mr. Trump’s real-estate strategies. Mr. Trump denies the allegations, saying the students got their money’s worth, with many offering positive evaluations of the program.

The judge has issued pre-trial rulings against Mr. Trump and has unsealed documents in the case offering a detailed look at the business’s operations and scathing assessments from some former workers. One case is set to go to trial in November, after the election. No trial date has been set in the other case, with the next pretrial hearing set for July.
There's so much to unpack here with these statements.  The wall.  Mexicans.  Immigration.  Contempt for anyone and anything that disagrees with Mr. Trump, including our own federal judiciary.  We could go on for days.  The most important takeaway is this one: what you see is what you get, folks.  This is what a Trump presidency looks like.

Say what you will about President Barack Obama, President George Bush, President Bill Clinton, President George H.W. Bush, President Ronald Reagan or President Jimmy Carter, for all of their flaws (and let's be honest, every President has them) and for all of their mistakes, each person who has run for this office and sat in that chair has understood the gravity of the office.  They've understood that although there's a time for jokes, the Presidency is by and large not a joking matter.  This is an understanding completely lost on Trump.  He has no respect for the Presidency and doubles down on antics like those described above because he, a product of the reality TV world, has long realized that antics = TV ratings.  That's about the extent of what motivates Trump.

So take a good look America, because if you're expecting this guy to change once he sits in the chair then you're sorely mistaken.  We are witnessing in real time what a Trump Presidency would look like.  In essence, it would be a reality TV show where America's traditions and Constitution are tossed to the side and replaced with divisiveness, racism, sexism and other similar off-the-cuff antics akin to those made by a 12 year-old child...a 12 year-old child, that is, who has been raised by Reality TV.
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