Our Leaders Reflect Who We Are, and Who We Want to Be… or at Least they Should


Since winning the majority of the “Super Tuesday” delegates, Donald Trump has solidified the eventual nomination from the Republican Party (barring a dramatic turn of events). Just last August this would seem unthinkable to most. But he has won nearly everywhere- and some by a large margin.­

At some point we cannot merely state that his political success is a fluke. It goes far deeper than that. It goes directly to who we truly are as a society. We get the leaders we deserve. Another more telling realization is “we elect the person who has traits that we admire, and/or has traits similar to ourselves”.

We, the people of the United States, at different times in history elected the following persons into the Presidency:   George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, General Eisenhower, JFK, and Ronald Reagan. And now we are close to electing Donald Trump to lead us?

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In a telling article in Newsweek on August 27, 2015, a Quinnipiac University- conducted poll did a word association exercise with a cross-section of voters. The question was simply, “List the one word that comes first to mind with the names of each candidate”. The following are the results when Donald Trump’s name was mentioned, in order of # of responses:

  1. Arrogant
  2. Blowhard
  3. Idiot
  4. Businessman
  5. Clown
  6. Honest
  7. Ego
  8. Money
  9. Outspoken
  10. Crazy

(#14 was “a*shole”)

So the top 3 most popular responses were: arrogant, blowhard, and idiot.

(Writer’s note- the actual definition of idiot is:

  1. [in Psychiatry] a person with severe mental retardation
  2. a foolish or senseless person )

There are some positive terms that made Trump’s top 10: businessman and honest would be generally considered positive character traits.   “Clown”, “ego”, “money”, “crazy”, and “outspoken” are not generally admirable qualities. Certainly “as*hole” is not an endearing quality.

Hillary Clinton and Donald TrumpWhat this list shows us is that Mr. Trump is seen, by most, as an arrogant, idiotic loudmouth. And it is obvious now that most Americans (or at least most Republicans and/or Independents) want him to become our next national leader.

By definition and by historical trends, this means that America in 2016 is a bunch of loud, arrogant fools. At the very least, it means that most in the U.S.A. desire to be loud, arrogant fools (??).

That is pretty harsh, but that is not this writer claiming that. It is a reasonable conclusion given perceptions and conventional thought.

Perhaps Trump is NOT arrogant, nor an idiot or a blowhard. These are merely perceptions that the public has of him after decades of him being in the public eye. However in politics, as in many other aspects of life, perception IS reality.

It is worthwhile to mention that the word association with Hillary Clinton did not result in more positive responses. Thus if we end up with a Clinton vs. Trump general election, we will have to pick our President from two people with generally negative qualities. This is a bad scene for America.

The nomination is still not secured, and crazier things have happened in politics. But there is no arguing that the electorate (so far) has overwhelmingly selected Trump over the other candidates. This is a reflection of us as a society moreso than a reflection of Donald Trump.

Proper disclosure: I did not vote for Trump in the NH primary, and I do struggle with potentially having to vote for him in the general. But I would never vote for Hillary.


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com

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