Opinions

Do your civic duty, America! Ignore Donald Trump.

When Donald Trump entered the presidential race, I reacted as many columnists did. We tried to suppress our glee. But he keeps crossing lines that make me feel as though the fun we're having watching this blowhard is now tainted by the nasty, ugly content of his message and, perhaps even more troubling, the acceptance of that ugliness by way too many people.

Donald Trump comes from the part of the world in which I originated, so I am perhaps more familiar with his type of bloviated ego and strange hair than others. The first casino he opened in Atlantic City was about two blocks from my childhood home. His name, in huge red letters, lit up my mother's living room. She called it her night light, as it definitely took the darkness away. But then she sent him a letter asking if he was interested in our property, and he declined the offer. My mother posted that letter on her bulletin board. From that day until she died, she never mentioned his name without looking like she was about to spit but was too ladylike to do that.

For all his bragging about how rich and successful he is, Trump's first casino in Atlantic City was also one of the first to close down. By then his partners had pretty much pushed him out the door for dragging the property toward bankruptcy. His only remaining connection was his name on the property, which I assume was left there because it would have been too expensive to remove those gigantic letters on the side of the hotel. His other casino, Trump's Taj Mahal, is about to close. He managed to drag that toward bankruptcy too, until forced out by his partners.

So the reality is that Trump has gone bankrupt on more than one occasion. The reality is that Trump's claims of wealth are greatly exaggerated and only come close to reality if he uses the kind of creative accounting that most CPAs frown on because they don't want to go to jail. Now this orange-faced, straw-haired piece of East Coast braggadocio has decided that he has the right to call John McCain's military service into question. Has this man no shame at all? And exactly what branch of the military did he serve in?

Whether you like John McCain or not, his military service cannot be denied. He fought when his country asked him to fight. He spent five years in a prison because he wouldn't leave his fellow servicemen behind. He showed more courage and moral strength on any given day during his captivity than Donald Trump has shown in his whole life. Trump's service to his country has consisted of building golf courses with the crass taste and extravagant gilding that only the most Kardashian-like of the gaudily rich could possibly appreciate.

Trump is, quite frankly, a national embarrassment. He treats other countries as though they are employees he can fire at will. He insults neighbors and allies with his insane rants. He makes statements about building walls and bombing countries that should make any sane person shudder with fear. The worse part of all is that he is once again inciting an ugly part of the American electorate who want to go back to a world in which white is supreme and all other colors exist to serve it.

That world never really existed except in the feverish imagination of some very unhappy and disenfranchised people, and in the jaded pitch of this ugly little man who apparently doesn't care what hate he stirs up so long as he gets his picture in the paper and his voice on the news.

I can only hope that his run is short and the hate he is peddling doesn't reach a wide audience. I know he doesn't stand a chance in a national election, but that's not the point. The point is that between now and then, he can incite the type of rancor and anger that only does a disservice to our electoral process.

He truly is just a man without a moral or ethical compass who will do anything to get noticed. It would be best for America if we all stopped noticing so he shuts up. He needs to be written off the national stage sooner rather than later. Even I'm embarrassed for the Republicans.

Elise Patkotak's latest book is available at AlaskaBooksandCalendars.com and at local bookstores.

The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.

Elise Patkotak

Elise Patkotak is an Alaska columnist and author. Her book "Coming Into the City" is available at AlaskaBooksandCalendars.com and at local bookstores.

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