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Pride before the fall

| Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Due to fundamental disagreements with some of Trump’s policy proposals and the reprehensible nature of his words and actions, I chose to vote for an independent candidate rather than support my party’s nominee for this election. I truly feared that Donald Trump’s pride had the potential to undermine the constitutional order of the United States and put the country in legitimate danger. However, these fears seemed to dissipate immediately after the election. Perhaps out of denial or simply false hope, I gathered a spirit of optimism after the election. I bought into the notion that “Campaign Donald Trump” would be significantly different from “President Donald Trump.” I convinced myself that he would tone down the inflammatory rhetoric, stop the childish name-calling and suppress his out-of-control pride.

Unfortunately, I have turned out to be wrong thus far. President Trump is no different than “Campaign Trump.” Since the election and even his inauguration, Trump has continued to play his role as serial insulter, using incomplete sentences on Twitter to belittle his critics. The targets of his affronts range from Hollywood actresses to United States intelligence agencies. He is absolutely unyielding in his conquest to repay anyone who offers the slightest of criticisms with cheap, personalized attacks. I would not even be surprised to find one of those all-caps, exclamation-filled rants in the comments section of this article.

However, President Trump has moved beyond simply attacking people and organizations. He has now waged a rhetorical war on the truth. Trump unabashedly pawns off provable falsities as facts. He ordered Sean Spicer to spend an inordinate amount of time lying about crowd sizes at the inauguration, perhaps the most trivial thing a president could concern himself when just handed the reins of the free world. Not too long after that spectacle, Spicer found himself defending Trump’s investigation into mass voter fraud, of which there is no evidence for, by simply repeating that the President “believes it to be true.” Even Sean Spicer, the crowd size conspiracy theorist, seemed to suggest that Trump is alone in his belief of such mass fraudulent voting. Evidently, President Trump’s ego has grown so astronomically large that he believes he can “believe” facts into existence.

Without even mentioning some of his Cabinet appointments or executive orders, Trump’s egotism alone has the capacity to harm the United States. In fact, I believe Trump’s pride is a national security concern. Who is to know how he would react if a world leader gets under his incredibly thin skin? How do we know he will uphold the Constitution, even when it is inconvenient for him to do so? I truly no longer have confidence that he will not act on some of his authoritarian tendencies.

I am disgusted with Trump’s refusal to suppress his pride, because now it is only adding more unnecessary division to a nation inundated with disunity. Trump is driving a wedge between the press, intelligence agencies, the American people and reality. There was a time when some of his antics were amusing and relatively comical; that time has long passed. He is now the president of the United States. It is no longer a joke. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” If Trump fails to carrel his pride, it will be the entire nation, perhaps the entire world, that experiences such a fall.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Eddie Damstra

Eddie is a junior from Orland Park, Illinois. He is majoring in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Constitutional Studies and plans on pursuing law school after his time as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame.

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  • John H. Gleason

    On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was not a viable option for Catholics.