Editor: Beyond their ideologies and mindsets, we look for traits in presidents that are, let’s say, presidential. This includes leadership skills, decisiveness, wise prioritizing, empathy, diplomatic capacity and other attributes. In an age in which we recognize bullying as a serious flaw — endangering children in the schoolyard and adults in the workplace — we should know that we do not want a bullying president.

Donald Trump’s January performance in Burlington, Vermont, assured me that it would be a disaster to have him inhabit the White House. Before his talk he led a chant, repeating again and again, “Who’s going to pay for the wall?” Trump enthusiasts in the crowd replied dutifully, “Mexico.”

And then there were the protesters. Though people were being vetted as they entered, some protesters made it in and expressed their dissent disruptively. Trump, very angry, directed his security team to get rid of them. “Get them out, get them out,” he repeated. “Get them out faster — and don’t let them get their coats.” Aside he said, “It’s below zero out there.”

It could be said that he has said a lot worse. In terms of policy, I would agree. But in terms of revealing his character, it was as bad as it gets. Do we want a bully-in-chief as our president or will we continue to deplore bullying and recognize it as the dangerous disorder that it is?

Maybe his behavior is amusing and even plausible for people who are disgruntled and have not had a fair deal, but fairness is best achieved or at least aspired to by people who understand it and believe it is the American way. You don’t throw dissenters out into the cold without their coats and you don’t ban all Muslims from entering or re-entering the country. Can Democrats, Republicans and independents agree on that?


SCRANTON Times-Tribune, February 21, 2016

Bully for Trump