Friday, 28 July 2017

Opinion: Why Donald Trump is no worthy example

What in a leader, I seek
With great difficulty but resignation to the reality, I have come to accept that Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America. However, my respect for the office of a head of state may not necessarily translate to the respect for the occupier of that office.
When I see a leader, I want to be inspired, I want to be encouraged, I want to be challenged to see a greater and better side of humanity exemplified in the words, the acts and the activities of people who lead. Now, Donald Trump is successful and wealthy, he has clout and access to places I probably would never visit, but an achievement is no sign or embodiment of character or virtue.
I look up to people for what I can learn of their humanity, their compassion, their empathy and their ability to relate in sincerity to others, taking due consideration of others even to their own disadvantage because they see a greater purpose than themselves.
Not this man
I am afraid that Donald Trump does not embody virtue, character, goodness, favour or attribute that persuades me of example or conduct that deserves followership even though many do believe in his agenda.
One of the greatest exchanges in the interaction between people is respect, respect for the person, respect for their views, respect for their space, respect for who they are regardless of position or achievement.
I see people who have worked for Donald Trump from Sally Yates, James Comey and Reince Priebus who were unceremoniously sacked and vilified in their sacking. A complete lack of courtesy and reflection in calling Sally Yates unpatriotic because she respected the law rather than the person. James Comey was on official duty thousands of miles away when you saw on television that he had been sacked and Reince Priebus who probably learnt via a Tweet today that he had been replaced. [Apparently, Reince Priebus resigned privately yesterday.]
Recently, Donald Trump has taken to undermining and attacking his Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions, who happens to be the very first major politician to back his bid for the White House and has remained staunchly loyal to the President. He publicly stated that he was disappointed with his Attorney General.
The measure of a man
My view of Donald Trump is summarised in this quote from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter The Goblet of Fire, “If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” [GoodReads]
That is the measure of the man that Donald Trump is, a man unable to inspire and between his ego and himself, he conspires to exhibit the worst in manners, comportment or courtesy. That a man is rich and successful does not automatically confer class and decorum on the person. He, by terms, is caught in the personification of a Shakespearean insult, “Highly fed and lowly taught.” That in itself is almost a glowing compliment of Donald Trump.
Don’t stomach it
Personally, I think any person should know when to walk away from discourtesy, disrespect, humiliation, belittlement or indifference. It takes a great sense of self and self-esteem to walk away in the face of possible loss of status, means and opportunity, but if proximity to power saps you of free agency, independence and initiative, you have to decide whether it is worth keeping up appearances or giving respite to your sanity.
In my over 30-year career, I have worked with and for a broad spectrum of people, some amazing and others absolutely rotten. When I have had to walk, I have walked rather than suffer in silence. It is a tribute to my upbringing that I have been able to have the courage of my convictions even I am not always right, that is for my own conscience to deal with.
Revile bad example
My main concern with Donald Trump is how his behaviour sets no good examples and it can easily inspire the gullible, the malleable, the easily led and the mob to similar conduct. That bothers me more than anything else, when people are not respectful, when they are not considerate, when reasonableness gives way to the unreasonable and when being disagreeable is the default stance of communication, it does not augur well for the impressionable or anyone else, it brings an uncomfortable coarseness into our relationships.
We need to rescue ourselves from this crassness before it becomes second nature. I pray it never becomes common place. Maybe parents would start turning off the television in order not to subject their wards to the characteristics of the likes of Donald Trump. It can only be necessary for a better humanity.


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