It has been a horrendous presidential campaign, the most horrific of my lifetime.
I am appalled and saddened that a thoughtless, narcissistic clown like Donald Trump is a candidate for the most powerful position on Earth. His candidacy is an indictment of the political process today, the Republican Party and the vacuity of some of America’s citizens.
Trump has spent the last few months threatening minorities, mocking people with disabilities, denigrating women, condoning violence by his supporters and trying to undermine the electoral process, all for his personal benefit and political ambition. He has lied so many times about so many issues and topics we’ve stopped counting his transgressions. He has proven himself to be a demagogue, a phony, a con artist who is treating American voters as rubes.
Those who vote for Trump on Nov. 8 will demonstrate they have fallen for the con, putting their faith in a man Colin Powell called a “national disaster,” a man the great actor Robert De Niro called “a punk…a con…a bullshit artist…a fool…a bozo (who is) “blatantly stupid.”
A cynic might point with admiration at Trump, who has gamed the system and risen to the top of the political world. Academics will study the Trump strategy. Books will be written about how he pulled this off. Sadly, some will follow in his footsteps.
So thank you, Donald Trump.
Your failure will confirm the ultimate value of honesty and empathy. Your political aspirations will crumble under the weight of your narcissism, your despicable character, and your deplorable lack of humanity and concern for people.
Perhaps more than anyone else, public relations practitioners must condemn the mendacity and insidiousness of Trump, his handlers and apologists. Their words and actions are anathema to anyone committed to the public relations code of ethics, the profession’s principles and tenets.
Thank you, Donald Trump, for reminding us that pursuit of the public interest, the fostering of mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their constituencies, and the commitment to open and honest communication are fundamental and essential to a successful democracy.
The practice of public relations demands respect for people, their diverse values and viewpoints. The best practitioners I have met in my career clearly manifest a heartfelt conviction that truth, honesty and trust are unassailable principles of our profession and the keys to human understanding, compatibility and progress.
Thank you, Donald Trump, for reminding us of that.