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Auchter's Art: How he gets away with it

John Auchter
Michigan Radio

Ugh. I know. This guy again. But with his campaign rally in my backyard this week, it kind of forced my hand. So... what exactly is my problem with Donald Trump? Let's peel that onion.

It starts with him objectively not being a good person. Let's not pretend to argue this. His life is one big, prolific dossier of evidence that proves it out. Of course, this is part of his appeal — it's entertaining. Or supporters see him as "just the type of guy we need to get things done." Perhaps. But I would remind those supporters — and especially my fellow Christians — "the end justifies the means" was the moral code of Niccolò Machiavelli, not Jesus Christ. (Those guys really aren't compatible.)

Also objectively, Trump is a demagogue. A demagogue is a leader who gains popularity in a democracy by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among people, whipping up the passions of the crowd, and shutting down reasoned deliberation. Demagogues overturn established norms of political conduct, or promise or threaten to do so. Again, I can see why this would appeal to his supporters — attracting supporters is what demagogues do. At the same time, they can destroy nations. (Attracting and destroying are compatible.)

Ultimately though, I think my base issue with Donald Trump is his complete absence of humility. Never, ever asking for forgiveness is one of Trump's core competencies and is often celebrated. I just cannot accept this.

But, who knows? My deadline for the cartoon and this essay was before Trump's speech in Grand Rapids Thursday night. He may have redeemed himself there. He may have stepped up to that podium and said, "Look, the time has come for me to apologize. In my quest to do what I believe is best for our great country, I have made some mistakes, I have hurt people, and I have behaved badly. I am truly sorry and I'm asking for your forgiveness. I will make amends and promise to be a more principled person and leader in the future."

I'm confident he didn't.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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