Mocking Donald Trump: Fun For Some, But It’s Bad For America


Sure, it’s easy to make fun of Donald Trump.  The front-page of the New York Daily News portrayed him as a clown.

The mocking mainstream media had a field day after Trump announced that he was running for President. The speech was “like it was plagiarized from an old drunk man mumbling to himself in a bar,” wrote Chicago Tribune columnist, Red Huppke.

Others called Trump egotistical, bombastic, a bloviating buffoon. 

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart sounded positively gleeful about the Trump event saying “it was over a half-hour of the most beautifully ridiculous jibber-jabber ever to pour forth from the mouth of a billionaire.”

How hilarious.  It’s easy to sit back and have a good laugh at those we despise.

But there’s a dark side to the thrill of political hating.  It contributes to a nasty climate of cynicism, distrust and even despair.

“We citizens need to look inward a little,” says Arthur C. Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute. 

“Whether or not we want to admit it, political hate is a demand-driven phenomenon.  We are the ones creating a big market for it.”

This week Donald Trump is the most searched Presidential candidate on Google.

Do your own calculation.  For every newspaper article, radio or TV story about a new idea or a constructive way to think about a political problem, there must be a hundred examples of ridicule, sensation or mockery.

What the heck are we doing to our public square?

I agree with Arthur Brooks.  You can fight back.  Whatever your own view of the world, “avoid indulging in snarky, contemptuous dismissals of Americans on the other side.”

Why the UK Election May Send a Potent Message to the US in the 2016 Race for the White House.


An ad for “The Independent” at a London newsstand.


The warnings are everywhere.  Britain could plunge into political uncertainty after this election with no clear roadmap for what happens next.  
But what is all the arguing about?  The surprising thing for Americans is the issues here are very similar to the hot arguments in the U.S. 
Conservatives are for cutting government deficits, welfare reform and passing a “no new taxes” law.   The left-leaning Labor party wants higher taxes on the rich, more regulation of big business, and extra spending on health services and daycare for young children. Sound familiar?
The last opinion polls before the election suggested the two main parties would get roughly 33% of the vote each, with the centrist Liberal Democrats, Scottish Nationalists, UKIP and Greens fighting over the remaining third.  Hardly a recipe for strong government. 
Front page headline warns of post-election chaos
What’s surprising to me is that while British voters believe David Cameron’s Conservatives are better at managing the economy, he is not way out in front. While Cameron has a stronger job approval rating than Labor’s Ed Miliband, the race has been very close.
This suggests that the current government’s record of economic growth, creating more jobs, and cutting the deficit is not enough.  As in America, voters here are profoundly worried about the decline of the middle class, and growing inequality between the rich and the rest.
While UK unemployment has dropped, and education standards have improved in the past five years, the parties of the left (Labor, the SNP and the Greens) skillfully exploited class resentments and the widespread concern that globalization and technological change are more of a threat than an opportunity.
If it forms a government Labor may be damaging to financial markets, entrepreneurs and wealth creation. But the fairness issue is front and center in this election.  This vote is about values as much as it is a referendum on competence.  The same could be true next year when U.S. voters pick a new President.