The big news yesterday was Donald Trump’s announcement that he is running for President. Not surprisingly, many people are cheering the announcement because they see him as a Washington outsider who is not worried about being politically correct, doesn’t need to kiss anyone’s butt for campaign dollars, is great at getting things done, and who is not afraid to stand up to our enemies abroad.
Admittedly all of that sounds good, and a moment I entertained the thought that he might be an acceptable candidate. Unfortunately, there is more to Donald Trump than just being a brash political novice with enough money to buy his way into the race. That point was made clear when, shortly after making what has been hailed as a brilliant political speech to announce his candidacy, Trump told George Stephanopoulos in an interview that Oprah Winfrey would make an excellent running mate.
Social media was awash with people celebrating Trump’s entry into the race, and it was shocking to see how many people went from cheering him on to dropping him like a bad habit when that news came out. Not all, but many of his most vocal supporters literally turned on a dime. Even more cast him aside when they heard his views on the Second Amendment. Although he does have a decent amount of support at this point, it has no depth.
The problem with electing a political outsider is that some, like Trump, are not grounded in a political ideology that will guide them in their policy and decision making. When someone uses the word “ideology”, people often switch off and stop listening because it is a ‘political’ term and that is especially true of people looking for a non-politician to vote for; but the truth is someone’s political ideology provides the guiding principles that give us confidence in a leader. If a leader has nothing to guide them, they are not leading they are just standing in front. We need leadership that will guide us out of the mess we’re in, not just stand in front as we wander in the desert.