Donald Trump – a golden calf with a golden hairdo: America’s longing for a leader

Understanding the Donald Trump phenomenon is really not that difficult. The simple reason is simply – the American people are starving for a leader, they are desperate to be led, they yearn to have someone fight for them and long to have a leader stand up and show them the way to better days.

by Boyd Matheson
by Boyd Matheson

This isn’t new. You can go all the way back to the Biblical Children of Israel. The Children of Israel thought they had lost their leader when Moses went up to the mountain. Before long the people became so desperate to be led, so wanted to have something to follow that they were willing to go with a golden calf. Mr. Trump is nothing more than a golden calf – or, more appropriately, a golden hairdo! He is nothing more an image, and he will disappear when, or IF, a real leader steps forward with an agenda for the American people to follow.

The pundits, consultants and establishment politicians who have joined the chorus calling for Trump’s exit would be wise to observe what “The Donald,” and Bernie Sanders for that matter, have tapped into. They should also listen to what the American people are actually saying with their support of such a candidate for the highest office in the land. Understanding the people’s angst and listening to what Americans really want in their leaders would instantly expose Mr. Trump’s fatal flaws and his candidacy would be immediately and resoundingly trumped by better principles, better policies and better people.

Rather than trying to rail against the person whose railing is actually rallying everyday citizens – true leaders must recognize how absolutely frustrated the American people are with Washington and the political class that thrives there. Americans are tired of being deceived and talked down to by members of both political parties. Politicians who are only concerned with their own power, prominence and perpetual reelection; those who refuse to stand up or speak out on critical issues are, in fact, the absolute epicenter of Donald Trump’s rise in popularity. The people are saying, “Enough!” And they are right. A government that can lie to you, spy on you and target you – while they help the wealthy and well-connected AND ignore the poor – is not what the citizens of our country would call good governing. There is angst in this nation that is tangible and real and equally distributed along the political spectrum. The problem with Donald Trump is that he only seems capable of tapping into the angst and incapable of engaging in a meaningful, forward moving dialogue about solutions. If the political elite continue to be tone-deaf and tin-eared Mr. Trump will continue to be the dominant voice on the national stage.

So what are the American people saying and what do they really want in their leaders? Simple – they want a smart fighter. They don’t want just a fighter – as in a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who is throwing haymakers at anything and everything that moves. Political fighting for fighting’s sake won’t cut it – fighting against everything won’t either. (Although, it is interesting to note that when citizens are perpetually let down by those who refuse to stand up and fight for anything – the people will embrace someone who is willing to fight – like Mr. Trump – for a period of time.)

The reason hardworking Americans embrace a fighter at all is because the American people deeply and passionately despise having a smart wimp for a leader. The political class is filled with them and the consultant-class creates them. In the Washington bubble smart people can quickly become so petrified of a fight, so worried about offending and so risk averse that they succumb to the “play it safe strategy” and join the “go-along-to-get-along” crowd. Of course they feign the fighting bravado when they are up for election and then retreat into the cozy confines of Congress or elected office once the votes are counted. America has a toughness at its core and our leaders must be equally tough – smart wimps need not apply to lead a nation of rugged, independent individuals.

A smart fighter is what the American people want and deserve. Someone who is grounded in principle and committed to good policy, someone who knows, not only what they are fighting against, but more importantly, what they are fighting for. What the country needs is a smart fighter armed with a specific agenda to meet the challenges of our time. We want a candidate who is able to not only capture the frustration of the nation but who can engage hardworking Americans in a dialogue about our future. We want a leader who will put forward the positive and specific policies required to create upward mobility for the poor, real opportunity for the middle class and end the special perks and privileges for the wealthy and well-connected. The American people will follow a smart fighter, even through difficult days, trying times and challenging choices because we know the smart fighter is the only way forward and the only hope for individuals and families to live their own version of the American dream.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Mr. Trump can be trumped without firing a single social media shot, hurling a single insult or spending a single dollar on negative ads against him. Donald Trump isn’t the problem; I don’t think he is even real – like the golden calf, he is nothing more than the eerie embodiment of what is wrong in our political system. If our professed leaders would just understand why there is such angst in the nation and listen to what the people want out of elected officials – Mr. Trump would disappear like a foreboding night fog before the light of the morning sun. The good news is that we don’t need a Moses to come down and lead to make that happen. We simply need a smart fighter of a candidate to step forward who can calm the hearts, capture minds and unleash the imagination of the American people.


Originally posted by Boyd Matheson on Facebook. Reposted with permission.


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