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Donald Trump, you haven’t fooled me

op frI’ve been watching the Trump shenanigans from afar, laughing it off as a collective momentary lapse in judgment, but as he continues to gain momentum, I’m becoming dumbfounded by how many Americans are so easily deceived.

We all remember who was president when we were kids, and if my boys’ childhood memories are muddled whatsoever by Donald Trump’s bully-like, chauvinistic behavior, I’m going to be heartbroken.

Maybe I’m a blatant conspiracy theorist. Or maybe other people are just desperately naïve, but not for two seconds have I thought Trump possesses the ingenuity, intellect, charisma and minimal level of political knowledge to lead our country. 

From moment one, I could see the greed, lust and lack of compassion in his eyes. The shiny under-eye concealer his make-up artist uses can’t hide those characteristics. 

Sadly, we may never have another Lincoln or Roosevelt or Kennedy, but can we not do better than a beauty pageant CEO whose vocabulary repertoire pales in comparison to my 7-year old’s?

I view myself as a fair person and always like to assess both sides of a situation, so when I heard rumblings of people actually supporting Trump, my ears perked up. I was truly curious about their reasons for supporting him. Below, in quotations, are some of the remarks I heard followed by my thoughts. 

“Trump gets things done!”

What “things” exactly has he done? Yes, he’s accomplished some amazing real estate deals and apparently has a good head for numbers. But then again, presidents have a whole slew of financial analysts and advisors, so a mathematical brain isn’t a necessity. Trump’s show The Apprentice was popular for a while, and he’s done a decent job managing the Miss Universe pageant. Are these the “things” we’re looking for in a president? 

“He says what he thinks.”

Yes, he says what he thinks, but is he actually saying anything at all? In my opinion, he pretty much seems to be yelling most of the time or talking out of the side of his mouth. I’m not hearing any clear strategy or solid plans for our country. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a phenomenal actor, but let’s not get duped, people. We’re better than that. 

“He’s going to bring America back to God.”

Really? This one really cracks me up. I just read a news article where Dr. Russel More, head of the influential Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said, “Trump has made his living as a casino mogul in an industry that preys on the poor and incentivizes immoral and often criminal behavior. He is an unrepentant serial adulterer who has abandoned two wives for other women. ... I don’t think this is someone who represents the values that evangelicals in this country aspire to.”

Furthermore, when asked about the sacrament of communion, a recent NPR article quoted Trump as saying, “When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness.”

Wow. 

I understand that people are frustrated. I am one of those people. My family is middle-class,  and we get struck from all angles. We make too much money to catch a break but don’t make enough to ever get ahead and yes, it’s extremely exhausting. 

But Donald Trump is not the answer. 

I also want to clarify that this column is not about Democrats vs. Republicans. 

Sometimes I agree with views from both parties. In fact, I think I am registered as an Independent. My childhood memories are happily filled with Ronald Regan (a Republican). I supported President Obama (a Democrat) but agree with many that his time in office felt very anti-climactic after such an epic campaign. I may not have loved the Bush family as far as their political prowess, but I liked them as people. They seem to be caring, sweet husbands and great fathers, and that means something to me. 

And I can’t conclude this column without mentioning the 35-foot concrete wall Trump proposes. Are there castles and moats around here that I’m not seeing? A concrete wall? Really? This is 2016, and that’s the best strategy he can come up with?

On the note of Hispanics in America, I have to say that Hispanic students in our schools are a joy. They and their families take school very seriously. One bright, bilingual student I had when I was teaching seventh grade at Waynesville Middle told me that Hispanic parents always dress nicely to meet with teachers and doctors because in their country, these professions are highly regarded. I never forgot that comment and always appreciated being treated with respect by Hispanic parents and students. 

Eight hundred years ago, Rumi, a Persian poet, scholar and theologian said, “When we practice loving kindness and compassion, we are the first ones to profit.”

Yet, Donald Trump is profiting by doing the opposite. 

I hope the American people will eventually see beyond his escapades, shimmery facade and hollow promises and do what’s right for our country and for our children’s memories. 

(Susanna Barbee lives in Haywood County can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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