Has Dignity Died?

College football traditions are the best!  I’m an Auburn fan, but I appreciate many Saturday traditions of the Fall season.  The Falcons of the Air Force Academy; The Army/Navy Game; The Texas A & M students standing the entire game; Georgia Tech’s “Wreck Tech” jalopy; UGA the Georgia Bulldog, are all wonderful traditions.  At Auburn, during the career of coach Tommy Tuberville another tradition, no longer followed with Tuberville’s leaving, arose which I liked a lot.  The Roman battle line entrance was amazing!

The tradition is based in history.  As I came to understand it, when the Roman Legions went into battle, they would link arms behind their shields as they marched toward their enemy to defend themselves from arrows.  Auburn adopted a version of this.  As smoke filled the entrance tunnel and musical fanfares were played, the players would emerge, lines of seven or eight at a time; arms linked as the crowd went wild.  It was a dramatic entrance.  I felt shivers watching it.

The Presidency is not college football.  An absolutely amazing sight emerged when the Donald’s wife was set to give Michelle Obama’s speech at the Republican Convention.  The Donald had flown in to “introduce her”.  Mrs. Trump has not spent much time in front of a television camera and probably will not again (someone will eventually get the courage to ask her what uses ISIS will make of her lesbian photo shoot which is now all over the Internet; thus she may want to avoid interviews).  Why “the Donald” wanted to introduce her himself is unknown, although given that Mrs. Trump’s English is not the best and she may be self conscious and nervous, one can give “the Donald” the benefit of the doubt on breaking precedent and coming in and giving a 15 second introduction for his wife.  That was not the reason.

Donald Trump is an egocentric narcissist.  In order to give an introduction of less than ONE MINUTE to his wife, he appeared in a pyrotechnics filled hallway with smoke coming off a dry ice machine.  The band Queen’s “We are the Champions” was blaring on the venue’s sound system while “the Donald” appeared silhouetted against a white shadow box.  I was stunned.

Like it or not, Donald Trump is running for the most important job in the free world.  He is one election away from being President of the United States.  Yet, here he was entering the venue like an aging Wrestling “star” who needed to hear the applause one more time before he went to the great mat in the sky.  Who did he hope to impress?

The vast majority of people attending the convention have been around.  Does he hope to impress the delegates?  Why?  At this point he has the votes to win.  Did he want to wow the attendees and media?  Why?  They aren’t going to vote for him because he has access to some special effects.  Is the TV audience his target?  There are better shows on TV with better effects.  No, Trump did this for himself.  No one can pander to  himself like the Donald.  Casual Friday is not for Presidential contenders.

Even if our nation has declined into an undignified morass of cultural decay, appearances mean something to the rest of the world.  Conducting yourself with dignity is appealing to other leaders.  Trump however doesn’t care.  He just wants to impress himself.  Can’t you see him sky diving into the G8 Conference?  Perhaps he can negotiate an Arab/Israeli peace treaty from jet skis in the Red Sea.  Maybe, just maybe, he can sign amendments to the Nuclear Proliferation treaty sitting in the White House in his pajamas eating meat loaf.

Dignity is a small thing.  Frankly it’s all many of us have left in this election.  Please Republicans and Democrats; let us have some dignity.  This isn’t college football.  It’s the future of the free world.

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