There is a difference between strength and bombast. Bullying, tooting one’s own horn, threats – whether idle or real – are all part of bombast, not real strength. Genuine strength includes understanding the situation, knowing when to act, when to wait, and when to keep one’s mouth shut. Real strength in the world of governance requires knowledge, understanding, patience and intelligence. Events in the last 48 hours in the dark world of Trump include threats against one of the three biggest television networks in the nation, a challenge to take and compare IQ tests to the Secretary of State, threats to de-certify a fully functioning global agreement that is contributing to world peace, mocking and taunting a U.S. Senator, threats to pull out of a trade agreement with our closest neighbors/allies, and threats against the NFL. If there are any who still support him, perhaps they see these moves as strength. The rest of us see it for what it is: bombast.
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by a student at State College in Pennsylvania on September 29, 2016, almost two months before Donald Trump was elected:
I urge those of you who are unsure of how you will vote in November to consider what it would mean to have a man who is a bully, and who supports bullies, have the keys to our nuclear weapons. That Donald Trump is a bully is undeniable. He yells at people he does not like, he threatens them, and he calls them names. These are behaviors that we all agree are totally unacceptable in our schools and workplaces. Why should they be acceptable in a Presidential candidate?
Significantly, Trump continues to express admiration and respect for other bullies. And scarily, these bullies are dictators such as Vladimir Putin and the fortunately deceased Saddam Hussein. Again, do we really want a man who admires brutal dictators in charge of our nuclear weapons? Does Trump have no idea of the difference between our American way of life and that espoused by the world’s worst dictators Does he not understand the role America plays as the leader in demonstrating what democracy truly means?
A bully as our Commander-in-Chief. A bully in charge of the world’s greatest military power. Do you really want to vote for that? Hillary Clinton has demonstrated, in a number of important positions, that she understands the proper use of our power. We can make America stronger by voting for her.
The title of her letter? True Strength Is Not Bombast
One astute commenter, a student from Temple University, responded to Ms. Monk with an apt quote from Theodore Roosevelt …
Theodore Roosevelt: “I neither respect nor admire the huge moneyed men to whom money is the be-all and end-all of existence; to whom the acquisition of untold millions is the supreme goal in life, and who are too often utterly indifferent as to how these millions are obtained.”
Need I say more?