My father was a good, kind, gentle man. He passed those traits on to his three sons. His measure of a man was by how well he behaved towards other people. It wasn't by how much money he made, how much power he amassed. He measured a man by how decent he was.
Meanwhile, this is how Donald Trump raised his don, Donald Jr.:
That might be the single saddest story to come out of this election. Trump is a man who, rather than teaching his children decency and respect, instills paranoia and fear in them, doing it with the worst of tools, parental disapproval.
The hot mic tape released yesterday was what finally broke the dam. But Trump was on display for all to see for his entire career. It's been evident to anyone with a discerning eye that at his core Donald Trump has no decency. He is a sociopath. He is concerned only with himself. He exists solely to feed his own lusts and desires. He literally cannot put himself in anyone else's shoes; other people exist only to be exploited for his benefit.
This is a man that a portion of our electorate think is fit to serve as a role model for our children. Why? Do they have no decency either? One can only surmise. You are known by the people you admire. If you admire a sleazy, misanthropic, racist, misogynistic con artist, then the rest of us have a right to make assumptions as to your character.
I hold no water for John McCain or Mitt Romney. I would never have voted for them. But I never thought they lacked decency.
The GOP base has gone stark raving mad after the most decent man to occupy the Oval Office was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. It's almost as if the hive mind of the base came to the conclusion that it had to find an anti-Obama to expunge the stain of the past eight years. It had to latch onto the most grotesque, perverted human being available to carry its revanchist standard. Donald Trump is from Central Casting for that role. It's the role he's been playing his entire life.
The great task after November 8 will be reclaiming a sense of decency in our politics. Ever since the signing of the civil rights acts, the GOP determined that its future has lain with resentful whites. It has stoked that resentment, until Donald Trump was the obvious, inevitable apotheosis. It will be our task to speak to those people, to show them—patiently, kindly, with decency—why and how they've been lied to and made fools of. I'm not talking about turning them into bicoastal liberals; but as a people we have to have a common language, a common set of assumptions, or we will forever be riven into warring camps. Perhaps that is our fate, and, as the Bible says, we have to wait until this generation is no more.
The art of decency has to prevail, or this Republic will languish.
As a coda, I present national treasure Robert De Niro.