Like the rest of the world, I was pondering the results of the presidential election last week. I was at the YMCA where I saw posters proclaiming their core values.
Caring: To demonstrate a sincere concern for others, for their needs and well-being.
Is Donald Trump a caring individual? Well, he did propose federal subsidies for child care that include tax deductions, rebates, savings accounts and paid maternity leave. However, a closer look shows that families earning $60,000 or less get $15 for every $100 they pay for childcare. Those making a half million or more would get $39.60 for every $100.
Honesty: To tell the truth, to demonstrate reliability and trustworthiness through actions that are in keeping with my stated positions and beliefs.
Just two months before the election, a CNN/ORC poll showed that 50% of registered voters considered Trump “more honest and trustworthy” compared to just 35% who said the same about Hillary Clinton. An ABC News/Washington Post poll had similar numbers at the end of October — 46% for Trump, 38% for Clinton.
These polls, perhaps, explain why Trump won. He sold the narrative better. His message — A Mexican-paid wall, blocking immigrants, bringing back all those overseas jobs and busting the corruption in Washington — was believed more than Clinton’s “better together” message.
Meanwhile, Politifact, the fact-checking group, rated 70% percent of Trump’s 331 statements they checked to be mostly false, false, or “pants on fire,” while 26% of Clinton’s 293 statements were in the same false range. Somehow telling half-truths or better 30% of the time convinced enough people to vote for him. I think we need to aim a higher next time, folks.
Respect: To treat others as I would want them to treat me, to value the worth of every person, including myself.
“Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody.” That was Donald Trump during the third and final presidential debate at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas in October. That comment prompted guffaws from the audience that Chris Wallace had to quiet.
Despite the Access Hollywood bus open mic fiasco that allowed us all to hear that Trump wants to grab women by the, um, p-word, and get away with it … despite dozens of sexual-assault allegations and claims of him groping beauty pageant contestants … despite his insinuating during a Republican primary debate that Fox News host Megyn Kelly was menstruating (she had “blood coming out of her wherever”) and complaining on stage about Carly Fiorina’s face … despite saying that he’d like to date his own daughter … he won the vote among white women in this country by a 53-45 percentage score.
Responsibility: To do what is right — what I ought to do, to be accountable for my choices of behavior and actions and my promises.
I can’t create something out of nothing here. I find no evidence on the positive this time.
Trump and his businesses face thousands of lawsuits, ranging from defamation to people who claim Trump didn’t pay them for services rendered. He used hundreds of thousands of dollars from his own charity to settle his many legal problems. His third wife, Melania Trump, broke immigration laws by modeling before she had obtained a work visa, and he reportedly had an affair while married to Melania.
Since the election, we’ve seen and heard a different Donald Trump. He appeared to be humbled during his visits to the White House and the Capitol. He was calm and thoughtful during a “60 Minutes” interview. He has to balance the boisterous, entertaining and bigoted candidate who won almost half of the country’s votes with a more gracious, humble and serious president-elect to calm the other 49% or so. It starts with his staff selection … and perhaps visiting his local YMCA to ponder the meaning of its core values.