Even before he made his official bid, the notion of Donald Trump running for president was always seen as nothing more than fodder to keep election coverage entertaining. Nobody actually wants to see Trump as president ... right? Well, believe it or not, the real estate tycoon has a solid base of supporters — aspiring entrepreneurs turned constituents — who think he'd be a great leader for our country. These supporters have what they consider legit reasons to vote for Donald Trump. But luckily, for every supporter's pro-Trump argument, there is a much more rational, realistic, and sane way to shut it down.
When Trump first announced he was running, most of the country rolled their eyes, while some were thrilled to be given such a treasure trove of comic material — Jon Stewart actually thanked him. I mean, kicking off your campaign with horribly racist comments about an entire country's worth of people isn't exactly going to earn you the respect and serious attention of the public. For most people, every inappropriate tweet, comment, and move that he makes gets chalked up as "Donald Trump just being Donald Trump." But none of that has deterred his supporters.
According to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released on Thursday, Trump is leading in the Republican primary by a rather large margin. He has 20 percent of Republicans' support, while Scott Walker comes in second with 13 percent and Jeb Bush trails with just 10 percent. Yeah, twice as many people would rather see Trump in office than Bush — who, say what you will, is at least a real politician.
Like it or not, Trump has an army of supporters backing him, and chances are good that you might encounter one. Should you come across one, here are five arguments you can expect to hear, and how you can shut them down.
Argument: "He's Like One Of Us"
During a Bloomberg Politics focus group session, one Trump supporter said these actual words:
He's like one of us. He may be a millionaire ... but beside the money issue he's still in tune with what everyone is wanting.
Um ... excuse me? We're talking about Donald Trump, right? This one's easy.Response: False. He is not like one of us. And correction — he's a billionaire, a fact that he was very keen to share with the entire country when he listed his exact net worth during his campaign announcement ($8,737,540,00, in case you forgot). Also, he's a celebrity, and has been one for decades, and by far the most famous of all the 2016 presidential candidates, even moreso than Hillary Clinton. Lastly, have you seen his home (one of many)?
Argument: His Success In Business Would Translate To Success In Office
Many people are of the firm belief that a wealthy magnate would be the most qualified person to run a country, since they've been able to run a business empire. Trump has certainly touted his business qualifications as a reason to vote for him, promising to make America financially stronger. His supporters are convinced he will.
Response: Running a business is not the same thing as running a country. Sure, there are some fundamental leadership skills that are required of both positions, but that's really where the similarities end. The economy is but one facet of a country — there's also education, the environment, foreign policy, social issues, and a whole host of other day-to-day things that Trump has absolutely zero experience with. And if you don't believe me, then take it from the Harvard Business Review, which states:
What people learn from running a business won’t help them formulate economic policy. A country is not a big corporation ... Yet many people (not least successful business executives themselves) believe that someone who has made a personal fortune will know how to make an entire nation more prosperous. In fact, his or her advice is often disastrously misguided.
Argument: Donald Trump Is The Kind Of Tough President We Need
One man in the Bloomberg Politics focus group said, "He's just tough, we need someone tough." It's true that Trump has always been widely seen as a tough guy who isn't afraid to say what's on his mind and never backs down, even when faced with backlash. But that's not necessarily a good thing.
Response: Trump's brand of hard-line, unapologetic, and uncompromising "toughness" is guaranteed to get the U.S. into trouble. Politics is all about compromise — with your own citizens, with opposing party members in Congress, with other countries, etc. Diplomacy is a major and crucial component of politics, and it's something that Trump might not be capable of. Can you imagine if Trump was faced with threats from a nuclear-armed country like Russia? Would you want someone with his temper to literally push Putin's buttons?
Argument: He'll Do The Things That Are Necessary That Others Won't
When Trump made his severely racist remakes about Mexico and immigration, he galvanized an anti-immigration faction of the country that now make up a core group of his supporters. One of them was in the focus group, and he had this to say:
Specifically, he said he'll put a wall on the southern border. When you talk about common sense, that's a common-sense thing to do.
For Trump supporters, this kind of thinking reflects a "fearlessness" in taking care of the things that other candidates would be scared to, perhaps out of political correctness.Response: This kind of thinking doesn't reflect fearlessness. It reflects the beginnings of an autocratic despot — scratch that, a malevolent madman. One day, it's a wall blocking immigrants; the next, it'll be a chain-link fence blocking women from accessing Planned Parenthood, or some executive order to overturn the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage.
Argument: A Trump Presidency Would Be "Classy"
Barf. One of the focus group members, a real estate agent named Cheryl, actually said this. This totally taps into Trump's mass appeal — to a demographic who's never experienced a certain level of socioeconomic success or culture, Trump probably does seem classy. He's rich, after all. At the surface, in black and white, that equates class to some.
Response: Money can't buy class. In fact, Trump has a staggering deficit of it. Just look at his Twitter account. Take away a dollar for every time he's called someone a "loser" and he'd probably lose a substantial chunk of change. Still not convinced? Look no further than his horribly tasteless joke about John McCain's POW status. Trump's not classy; he's a bully with too much money and zero humility.Images: Getty Images (5)