Is Donald Trump a Bad Person?

I mean, even George W. Bush had redemptive qualities. Trump? Can’t think of one.


I consider myself a liberal, but I don’t like to flatter myself that conservatives are necessarily bad people. Pro-lifers really do think that abortion equals murder, and other conservatives really do think government-run healthcare is the second coming of Stalin. I don’t agree with them — and certainly, there are folks among them whose motivations are suspect — but I remind myself, constantly: Just because these folks don’t see the world as I see it doesn’t make them bad people. Sometimes, I might even be wrong.

With that as a preface, let me suggest this: Donald Trump seems like he’s a really bad person. Indeed, as much or more than his policies, it’s the reason to not want him in the White House. Republicans were right in the 1990s! Character really does matter!

I don’t have to recount his multiple transgressions, against African Americans and other minorities, against women, against truth, against good taste, against decency, against his family. We all know them.

Listen: I’m not sure if a good person can become  president. It requires ego of seemingly sinful proportions to even run for the office. It’s stunning how few outright horrible people enter the office. Jimmy Carter might’ve been the last really good person in office.

But Bill Clinton — let’s face it, he wasn’t a good person, but he was tremendous at faking it. Barack Obama seemed pretty decent. George W. Bush was probably a nice enough guy as long as he wasn’t in over his head making life-or-death decisions of international import. Reagan’s … Reagan. Even Nixon and LBJ were “complicated.”

Trump just seems like a bad guy, who only knows how to do things in bad ways: Through threats and by force and with lawsuits aimed at snuffing out the truth. I’ve never heard an unexpected “Donald Trump is more human than I expected” story. He started out a snot-nosed brat and stayed that way.

All of which is to mention: It keeps getting worse.

I know a few smart people who supported Trump, knowing all this about him. The rank-and-file Trump supporters don’t bother me as much as the “smart kids” who knew better and then jumped aboard anyway.

Anyway. I don’t like to flatter myself that my political rivals are bad people — or worse than I am. Donald Trump, however, is the exception. He’s just no good.

— Joel



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