“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”Ignore for a minute what that says about Trump’s selfishness and narcissism, which impel him to seek immediate political gain from a mass murder, and consider what it says about his impulse toward snap decisions on incomplete evidence. Might this be a warning sign regarding the character of a potential commander-in-chief?
While the slaughter was unfolding, the gunman had proclaimed his allegiance to the Islamic State. Within 36 hours, it was revealed that he had patronized the club on at least several occasions, suggesting that inner conflicts and turmoil contributed as much to the rampage as distorted religious convictions may have.Now consider the former junior United States senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, an early endorser of Trump.
On Monday, June 13, while in the company of Trump in New Hampshire, Brown told NBC News that he felt “comfortable” with the direction the campaign was taking. “I’m pleased in the direction of the campaign. They’re focusing on things that people care about – the economy, and, obviously, terrorism,” he said.There’s a man I know in Wakefield, Massachusetts, where Brown grew up. This man is a contemporary and lifelong friend of Brown; he and Brown are close friends. I very much respect this person and his judgment. When he tells me Brown is a good person and a great guy, which he does, I believe him. Wholeheartedly.
One of the knocks on Brown has always been that he’s more show than substance. He was a professional male model in his younger days and remains exceptionally handsome and buff at age 56. He’s frequently photographed alongside his glamorous and similarly youthful wife, Gail Huff, after doing something strenuous and dashing, like competing in a triathalon.Brown had a so-so career in the Massachusetts House and Senate. Then he unexpectedly caught fire in the 2010 Senate campaign against Martha Coakley; was a media superstar for about a year; then flamed out against Elizabeth Warren when trying for re-election. Many political pros dismissed his campaign against Warren as clunky and uninspired.
I have never accepted the notion that Brown is a lightweight.Someone lacking in intelligence could not have done what Brown did in pulling himself through -- and up from -- a very hard and difficult childhood in Wakefield, as detailed in his 2011 memoir, “Against All Odds.” Many kids who endure similar hardships never make it out of high school.
A dullard could not have earned degrees from Tufts University (with honors) and the law school at Boston College, as Brown did, in 1981 and 1985, respectively. While at Tufts, he further demonstrated quickness of mind on the inter-collegiate basketball circuit.So Brown most certainly grasps how offensive Trump is when he scapegoats immigrants, casts suspicion on all Muslims, treats women as bimbos, makes fun of the handicapped, encourages people at his rallies to punch out protesters, etc. Here we have a smart, savvy, mature man, a moderate Republican who has always worked hard at being likeable, as most every politician has, a man who’s willing to overlook a lot of unsavory stuff about Trump even though he knows some of that stuff is rubbing off on him now and will likely stick to him for years.
One must conclude that Brown really, truly is hoping to become Trump’s choice for vice president. Speculation to that effect has been rife for months. Brown might well see the Trump express as his last ticket to political power and glory. This small-town kid has always had within him biggest-town ambition.Ambition. It’s the explanation behind all other explanations in everyone who seeks high office.
Brown’s thinking of the vice presidency, meaning he’s thinking of his chances of becoming president. [FACT: 14 vice presidents have become president, 8 on the occasion of the death of the sitting president.]Remember, they called him Downtown Scotty Brown in high school and college because he had a marvelous way with a long shot.
In conclusion, consider the words of President Obama on the afternoon of June 14:
“This is a country founded on basic freedoms, including freedom of religion. We don’t have religious tests here. Our founders, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights are clear about that. And, if we ever abandon those values, we would not only make it a lot easier to radicalize people here and around the world but we would have betrayed the very things we were trying to protect: the pluralism and the openness, our rule of law, our civil liberties. The very things that make this country great. The very things that make us exceptional. And then the terrorists would have won. And we cannot let that happen. I will not let that happen.”