It’s difficult to imagine a presidential nominee giving a more rambling, disjointed, egocentric, fact-free speech than likely Republican standard-bearer Donald Trump served up Friday morning at his rally in Fresno.
For Valley residents, including his legions of ardent supporters, Trump’s extemporaneous effort should raise serious questions about his ability to serve as commander-in-chief of our great nation.
As Trump explained it at Selland Arena, life-and-death challenges such as the threats posed by ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorists will disappear as soon as the American people usher him into the White House.
Trump also claimed with braggadocio unbecoming someone who aspires to be the leader of the free world that he will rebuild American manufacturing, end U.S. trade deficits, beef up our military and bring California’s drought-parched farmers the water they need to grow their crops.
The litany of a-chicken-in-every-pot promises did not end there. Trump vowed that he would cut taxes, get rid of Common Core, save Social Security and Medicare, and get rid of the $19 trillion federal deficit.
And, oh yes, he’s going to build that wall along the southwest U.S. border and make Mexico pay for it!
We presume that on the seventh day, a President Trump would rest.
By now, we’ve grown accustomed to the promises that gush from Trump’s mouth as easily as water flows over Niagara Falls, but we were surprised by how little he know about the Valley – other than his unfulfilled quest to rescue the failed Running Horse golf course development in southwest Fresno.
For example, he trashed solar energy. It’s unreliable because the sun doesn’t shine all the time, he said, and it’s expensive. Understandably, in a region where solar is a significant part of the economy and sun is plentiful, the crowd responded with silence to his anti-solar riff.
Trump also said that people “don’t know” that America’s military defends Japan. People also don’t know, he claimed, that America’s military defends Germany.
He got crickets, again, for those remarks because the Valley’s sons and daughters in large numbers serve in the military all over the globe. We know where our family members are deployed.
To the shame of the Republican Party, Trump beat out qualified and honorable competitors to win the GOP crown. He did so by being divisive, by scapegoating immigrants and religions, and by utilizing his mastery of social media to energize followers and disparage opponents.
But, as he demonstrated Friday, his world view is limited, his ego is overinflated and he lacks the credentials to be president of the United States.
Indeed, the world is far more complex, the dangers are too real, and the challenges are too big to be taken on by a bully whose sense of entitlement (born on third base, thought he hit a triple) prevents him from knowing what he doesn’t know.