When I was attending grade school in the 1960s, along with the lessons of reading, writing and arithmetic in those formative years, there were certain personality attributes and values that we were encourage to adopt and avoid. I suspect these same lessons haven’t changed much in today’s classrooms. Surely, the concepts are the same, but some of the terminology has likely changed.
I did a quick Google search (“values and traits we teach children”) and came up with the following terms in one result: Curiosity, Social Skills, Resilience, Integrity, Resourcefulness, Creativity, Empathy, Assertiveness, Humility, and Confidence.
In another search result, a longer list was provided, but with many of the same attributes listed in the first search result: Hope, Leading and Following, Respect, Serenity, Proactive, Gratitude, Optimism/Positivity, Curiosity and Wonder, Kindness to Self and Others, Self Discipline and Impulse Control, Adaptability, Compassion, Courage, Honesty, Patience, Grit/Determination and Diligence, Dependability, Contentment, and Humility (listed as #1).
There’s nothing too surprising in these results. It even comes across as common sense—something we have all known (or should have known) since those formative years.
In light of this, I started thinking about all 40-some Presidents of the United States and how they fared with these common/core values. Sure, none of them gets a gold star in every category, but to some extent all have scored in these areas at some point and to some degree in the time of their presidency—except for one, the current one.
Yes, I’ll agree that President Trump passes muster when it comes to a few of the attributes listed such as “leading” (certainly not following), assertiveness, and perhaps gratitude for those things most obvious that anyone would have gratitude for (military sacrifices come to mind), but going through either of these list, I would score him very low (or not at all) on most of the other values.
Here are some particulars:
Where was Trump’s integrity or honesty when he was spreading all kinds of rumors and lies about President Obama’s academic or birth records?
Where was Donald Trump’s sense of respect, compassion, or integrity (again) when he stated in 2015 announcing his candidacy for President that, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people?”
In the same speech, where was his integrity (again), his sense of optimism or positivity, his sense of empathy when he blurted out, “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words?” Nothing but a string of vapid and thoughtless words.
Remember what he said about John McCain’s service in the military? “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” Tell me about Trump’s respect, compassion, social skills when this drivel spilled out from his pie-hole.
Where was Trump’s compassion, his empathy, his leadership when asked about two of his followers who beat a Latino with a pipe and urinated on the victim afterwards? He could only respond with this: “It would be a shame. I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
What do we say about the $25 million paid out by Trump regarding his phony university where he used misleading marketing tactics to recruit gullible students? How does that fit into a leadership, compassion, or honesty narrative?
Remember when Trump tweeted without citing evidence to support his claim, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Like so many of his public statements, this one was profoundly debunked. Is that honesty… anyone?
Remember “alternative facts?” When Senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said that Sean Spicer’s false statements about the crowd size at Donald Trump’s inauguration were not lies, but “alternative facts.” Where was Trump’s humility, his honesty, his curiosity in correcting this barefaced lie?
Where was Trump’s resourcefulness, his compassion, his courage when he started appointing people like Betsy Devoss, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, and Jeff Sessions to cabinet positions where these people had no background and were unqualified, or simply had histories that were in conflict with the office they were appointed to?
What do we make of the numerous tweets by this President that disparaged various individuals from assorted backgrounds such as, “Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!” When did Presidents go after morning talk show hosts? Humility, self-discipline, social skills, kindness to others—where are the valued attributes in these instances?
I suspect various teachings in The Bible aren’t much different when it comes to sizing up our proxy of a President. For example, consider President Trump when you read Luke 16:10: Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
Naturally I could go on and on, but I’ll simply summarize in asking this:
When was it that we decided that Biff Tannen was loved over George McFly. When did we come to prefer Ebenezer Scrooge’s dark views of the world over Little Timmy’s optimism? Is Lord Voldemort really who we love instead of Harry Potter? When did we come to prefer Hans Gruber over John McClane? Is Thanos loved more than Ironman or Captain America? Would we really want to see Sauron get the Ring and kill Frodo Baggins too? Darth Vader over Luke Skywalker? Lucifer instead of Jesus?
When did America come to prefer the antagonist over the protagonist?
Need more reminders of Trump’s failures as a President? See a full list of Trump’s atrocities and violations of valued attributes HERE: