Oval Office Thunderdome: An Instant Disqualifier

When it was reported that EgyptAir flight 804 disappeared from radar on its flight from Paris to Cairo, I’m sure that many people made an immediate assumption that the crash was the result of terrorism. I know I did. Even without proof, the first place my mind went was the insidious realm of doubt and fear that Islamic terrorism has fostered. But it’s unwise to let a first impression like that guide opinions and beliefs, and more unwise — stupid, even — to let it guide policy, were a person in the position to do so.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, chose to shout his belief at a rally that the plane was brought down by terrorism, before any information about the crash had been discovered, other than the fact that it had occurred.

 

What just happened about twelve hours ago? A plane got blown out of the sky…If anybody thinks it wasn’t blown out of the sky, you’re one-hundred percent wrong, folks. Okay? You’re one-hundred percent wrong.

These are dangerous words coming from someone vying for the presidency. The President of the United States cannot have this type of reactionary personality. The president has at their disposal the power of the most destructive military the world has ever known, requiring measured decisions before its use. Even before the military is called upon, it is the responsibility of the president to be calm and considered in the face of the world’s chaos. No American president can serve this country, or the world, by making unsubstantiated leaps of logic that serve no other purpose than to inflame.

Trump is not the president. He is still just a candidate. But it’s moments like that above that make me truly frightened for the future should Trump win the presidency. A person prone to snap judgments has no place in the Oval Office.

Trump supporters and apologists claim that his personality will be tempered by the office once he takes the oath. We cannot, as a people, afford to take that chance. We cannot just hope that Trump’s mammoth personality will be overwhelmed by history and responsibility once he becomes president. This is the time we are given to watch and listen to the candidates, and see how they would behave in the highest office in the land. To think the performance would be different from the audition is folly.

What Trump said about flight 804, before any evidence as to the cause of the crash had been gathered, is an instant disqualifier for the presidency. We cannot have a leader who is so reactionary and emotional. We cannot have a president who would act before he has received any relevant information. We cannot have a president so willing to reinforce the fears that have been instilled in us in this awful century. There is no way the country or the world would be a better place were the calming influence of the presidency replaced with the turbulent trumpeting of a man like Donald Trump. The stakes are too high.