Of course, he's mildly creepy and he has weird hair, but if I had to choose among Republican candidates for president in case Obama loses (which today seems less probable than yesterday), I'd choose Trump. The reason why I think he'd be better than all the other candidates from that party is that he is not a religious fanatic. Better yet, after all the divorce proceedings, casinos and TV shows, he will not be able to sell himself as a religious fanatic. I believe that there is nothing scarier in the world today that religious fanatics of any persuasion.
Religious fanaticism today is a symptom of not being able to accept contemporary reality. The hysteria of religious fanatics betrays how confused and lost they are in the world they simply don't get. Learning to live with the new and constantly changing realities is an impossible proposition for them, so they'd rather the whole planet went to hell in a basket.
Trump is obviously not one of these folks. He is the exact opposite. He has found a way to manipulate the existing realities to his own advantage and turn them into opportunities. This is a person who thrives and flourishes in today's world. I don't see him buying into the fundamentalist propaganda, not even to win an election.
This is a big country with a huge variety of opinion (I think I deserve the right to an occasional platitude, especially on a Monday). If there is a Progressive movement, there has to be a Conservative counterpart. "Audiatur et altera pars" is a principle that I hold near and dear. For the longest time, I've been hoping to hear what the Conservative discourse in this country is. However, the Conservative movement in the US has been hijacked by a minority of crazed fundamentalists. There must be intelligent, non-hysterical, educated Conservatives who don't evoke Jesus, sin and evil every fifteen minutes and who are as comfortable with today's realities as we are. A candidate like Trump could help such people take back the party. This would be the kind of a Republican party that I would still not support, but at least I'd be able to respect it. Difference of opinion is a great thing, and it's precisely that which no religious fanaticism can allow to exist. I'm a lot more comfortable with (mind you, not happy about but comfortable with) an administrator who asks me to demonstrate how my existence is profitable to the university than the one who requires that I demonstrate how the teachings of Jesus will be integrated into my course on Spanish grammar (a true story).
"But he is a ruthless capitalist who will walk over everybody and everything in search for a profit margin," people say. That he is. And for many people this is what this entire country is about: being able to do whatever is needed to become rich and assume the risk of failure. A Democrat in office is supposed to make sure that we have some protections in place in case we fail. A Republican's job is to remove such protections based on a belief that this will make us try harder to win the competition. One can dislike this position but at least it's based on reason and not on hysterical fanaticism.
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