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Auchter's Art: Donald Trump and pessimistic desperation

Nov 4, 2016

Like most of us, I've pretty much run out of things to say about the election.

Any thoughts — from salient points to outraged rants — have been expressed.

I see many (cartoonists, commentators, Facebook posters) are settling now for "wow, what a messed up election season this has been" reflections. And that's certainly understandable.

But I figured the most honest way for me to summarize would be to have one last go with Mr. Trump. He showed up again in Michigan this week, and I really, really, really tried to wrap my head around the idea of why I would consider voting for him.

A lyric from a song by the group Stars came to mind. (They're Canadian, but it think it still applies.)

It goes:

"When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire."

To me that means that if you reach a point of total desperation, there is nothing left to do but to take a chance on anything else. If you feel that the current America is completely lost and hopeless, then, yes, why not cast your lot with a charismatic promiser-of-things like Donald Trump?

It has romantic appeal that satisfies passionate desires. I get that. I just don't agree with it. 

It has romantic appeal that satisfies passionate desires. I get that. I just don't agree with it.

First, I have faith in the American system.

It can be aggravating and slow, untidy and unfair. Sometimes it feels broken. But that's the way it has always been — we've been much more broken than this (1860, 1932, 1968) and not turned to demagoguery to find a way forward.

Second, he is simply not suited for the job. Emperor? Maybe. Generalissimo? Probably. But President of the United States? I don't think so.

But in an election where feelings have won out over facts, it comes down to this: Trump is exactly the person my parents brought me up NOT to be. Why would I help make him my country's leader?

John Auchter is an editorial cartoonist. Views expressed in his cartoons are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management or the station licensee, The University of Michigan.