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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Trump Supporters Overlook His ‘Flaws,’ But Here Are Some They Ignore

   As I have mentioned before, I’ve been blessed with an abundance of calls and emails from Trump supporters, resulting in a better understanding of what drives his base.

I have noted a consistent theme: “Yes, he’s a terribly flawed person, but we like his policies — and, by the way, his opponent is a senile puppet of the communists in the Democrat Party.”

   I covered the communist riff in last week’s column, so let’s delve into his personality flaws. One of the emails I was blessed with contained a link to “A Letter to an Anti-Trump Christian Friend" (link) by Wayne Grudem, a professor of theology and the author of Politics—According to the Bible (link). His 5,500-word letter inspired this week’s column. Opponents of the president will want to read and share that letter as much as his supporters are doing, so click on that link above. It perfectly summarizes the forgiving attitude toward a president whose actions beg forgiveness daily. And who better to forgive our president than a Christian professor of theology?

The main point of Prof. Grudem’s  letter is that Trump’s great policies outweigh the man’s flaws, which he details as follows: He is egotistical, bombastic, and brash. He often lacks nuance in his statements. Sometimes he blurts out mistaken ideas…  that he later must abandon. He insults people. He can be vindictive when people attack him…. He has been married three times and claims to have been unfaithful in his marriages.” The professor then writes, “These are certainly flaws, but I don’t think they are disqualifying flaws in this election.”

Almost every page of Professor Grudem’s letter to his friend contains acknowledgement of flaws of the president, but I suggest that there are other flaws he isn’t acknowledging that suggest our president has indeed fallen below what he describes as “a minimal standard of behavior which, if a candidate falls below it, would disqualify [him] from governmental office.”

Here are some other flaws that anyone, supporter or not, would have to acknowledge seeing in Donald Trump:

1.  He’s lazy, coming down from the residence between 11 and noon because of his addiction to watching TV and tweeting. Remember that list of judges he will choose from if given the opportunity to appoint one more Supreme Court Justice? He didn’t do the vetting. He got the list from the Federalist Society. His interviews with appointees to the highest positions, including cabinet secretaries, are very short, limited to whether the person is loyal to him. (Remember, that’s what he asked James Comey to tell him.)  If you Google the phrase "Is Trump lazy," you find articles from Vanity Fair, The Atlantic and numerous other publications on the subject, including one from Rolling Stone (link) with the title "Trump Could Be Our Laziest President Ever, According to Leaked Schedules."

2.  He has a short attention span, not willing to read anything longer than a page or two, including the Daily Presidential Briefing, causing him to miss the intelligence report of Russia paying the Taliban to kill our soldiers.  Tony Schwartz, who spent 18 months with Trump as the ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal, said that Trump “has the attention span of a 9-year-old with ADHD.”  Find that and other quotes, including by Trump himself, about his short attention span in a September 8, 2016, article in Politico (link) with the catchy title, "Donald Trump's Shortest Attribute Isn't His Fingers: People who know him well are starting to ask: Can he focus enough to run the Oval Office?"

3.  He’s a narcissist. This is super obvious.  Staffers have advised that documents must include a reference to the president to have him keep reading. See my July 2nd column (link) about Trump's diagnosis as a psychopath.  Narcissism is included in the diagnosis of psychopathy. 

4.  He’s self-serving. Having refused to put his business interests in a blind trust, he looks for personal gain in his actions, such as hosting the G7 at his Florida resort and asking our ambassador to the UK to lobby for the British Open to be held at his Scottish golf course. The month he took office, he doubled the $100,000 initiation fee at Mar-a-Lago, and he has golfed at his own clubs just under 300 times so far (link), costing the government tens of millions of dollars. That includes $500,000 in additional golf cart rentals and $500,000 in room rentals at Trump properties by the Secret Service (same link).  

5.  He can’t be counted on to tell the truth, because he is, by anyone’s definition, a habitual liar. The Washington Post Fact Checker staff counted 20,000 false or misleading claims by Trump as of July 9, 2020.  Earlier this year the newspaper published a 381-page book (link) detailing Trump's mistruths. 

6.  He shoots from the hip, without consulting his own advisors, because he doesn’t value advisors or generals or medical experts, or anyone, because he thinks he’s the expert. Good examples of this are when he decided one night to withdraw troops from Syria and when he said kids are “virtually immune” to the Covid-19 virus. In January of this year, Politico published an article (link)  on how Trump's "shoot from the hip diplomacy" is "kneecapping the Pentagon" and "putting the military's reputation at risk."  

   These flaws strike at the heart of what we expect from a president, and are surely worth weighing except, of course, for the communist threat posed by Biden!



  1. We appreciate your editorial comments, Jim. In your recent article dated 8-13-20, re Prof Grudem's letter that "Trump's great policies outweigh the man's flaws"....Would you consider posting what those great policies are in the eyes of the Republicans and address any fallacies. Thanks so much.

  2. Another tact is to ask what his policies have accomplished. North Korea has more nuclear weapons and missiles than before he took office. He gave Kim a world stage with nothing in return. Russia is more hostile to us and our allies than before -- the bounty on our soldiers, continued aggression in the Ukraine and the poisoning in the UK. The tariffs on China have only produced higher prices in the US; not a single change in policy Our relationships with our allies have deteriorated. The tax cut led to higher deficits. The failure to have a national policy towards testing has led to unacceptable shortages and delays in results. He's an empty vessel who has accomplished very little beyond the court appointments.