Donald Trump has been endorsed by the New York Post four days before the key New York primary on April 19.
Citing its reasons for endorsing Trump, The New York Post’s editorial board wrote that while the Republican front-runner is a rookie candidate, his “common-sense sensibilities” and entrepreneurial spirit mean that he could make “America great again.”
And while I do believe that the New York Post had good reasons to endorse Trump, the argument in support of the Republican front-runner appears slightly flawed. In this article, I will attempt to point out the reasons why I think the New York Post‘s endorsement of Donald Trump is based on faulty premises and grossly assumptive.
Trump has “common-sense sensibilities”
The New York Post, in its endorsement of Donald Trump, wrote that the real estate mogul is “a plain-talking entrepreneur with outer-borough, common-sense sensibilities.” This could not be farther from the truth.
Donald Trump is not a man with common-sense sensibilities, as his campaign speeches have proved several times over the course of the last few months. No politician driven by common-sense will say that women should be punished for having abortions, nor would I expect a presidential candidate to engage himself in a petty and senseless feud with a woman presenter merely because she does not agree with his views on women.
Moreover, how many instances have been there of Trump saying the most outrageous things about immigrants and religious minorities during the course of his campaign? Saying such things, and standing by them through thick and thin, does not constitute a “common-sense sensibility.” On the contrary, it only betrays a sense of a flawed ego and a lack of common-sense.
Trump is a do-er
While Donald Trump is certainly a successful businessman, as the New York Post’s endorsement paints him to be, it is not like he built his empire from scratch. He inherited a multi-million dollar business from his father, and chances are that many people — given that they were provided the same social privileges and education that Trump was — could have gone on to establish a business empire of a similar pedigree, if not better.
Moreover, Trump’s business acumen is often overestimated. He has failed time and again with his business adventures — Trump Airlines, Trump beverages, Trump magazine, Trump travel site — the list is endless.
He has repeatedly lied to impress upon his voters a false sense of his business acumen which, in reality, isn’t that great after all.
With that kind of record, it is difficult to imagine how Trump would fare at the seat of the highest office in the land.
Trump’s anti-establishment persona
To be fair to the endorsement, the New York Post does mention that Donald Trump has his flaws, but it underplays them greatly. In fact, the endorsement embellishes Trump’s greatest weapon — his anti-establishment persona — before adding that the Republican front-runner provides hope to Americans who are tired with successive governments being indifferent to their needs.
While it is true that Donald Trump does not belong to the political establishment, it is also equally true that he belongs to an establishment nonetheless — that comprises of some of the richest, extremely influential men in the business world — and it would be naive to assume that Trump will not cater to that class if he becomes president.
As Vox rightly put it, The NewYork Post’s endorsement of Donald Trump is made “on grounds he will no longer be Trump.”
In the endorsement, the New York-based newspaper underlined what it would expect of Trump if he wins the nomination.
“Should he win the nomination, we expect Trump to pivot — not just on the issues, but in his manner. The post-pivot Trump needs to be more presidential: better informed on policy, more self-disciplined and less thin-skinned.”
This statement is grossly assumptive. There has been little evidence during Donald Trump’s campaign which tells that he will change suddenly. The thing to note here is that the changes being asked of Trump equate to basically asking Trump to change himself. Of all the things we have seen the Republican front-runner say and do over the course of the last few months, has there been any evidence to show that he will rectify his ways? Not really.
Moreover, an endorsement that has to begin with elucidating what needs to change in the desired presidential candidate, is not even an endorsement worth making at all.
Trump is an imperfect messenger
The most quoted part of the endorsement is as follows.
“Trump is now an imperfect messenger carrying a vital message. But he reflects the best of ‘New York values’ — and offers the best hope for all Americans who rightly feel betrayed by the political class.”
The New York Post, like it did when underplaying Trump’s lack of common sense and business failures, attempts to paint Trump with his “imperfections” and his flaws. But what it does, in effect, is to omit the criticisms leveled against him in a casual manner. It gives the reader the impression that Trump’s flaws have been talked about whereas, in reality, they have been seriously underplayed, or worse, not even mentioned at all.
Yes, it is true that Trump carries a “vital message,” but it is not the one mentioned in the endorsement. It is that Americans, as a people, should see to it that people like Donald Trump do not consider themselves as being capable enough of contesting for the highest office in the land ever again.
[Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images]