opinion

Why Donald Trump is the leader we deserve.

Hands up who would want to be a politician?

That’s a lot of good people with their hands down.

I’m guessing that amongst all those citizens with their hands tucked firmly in their pockets are a lot of very smart, experienced, open-minded, visionary, hard-working, fair, passionate and even compassionate people.

But those kinds of people are no longer attracted to serving in the government, or representing their country. Why? Because so much of the life of a politician, or a public figure for that matter, is about commentators and social media users waiting for the “gotcha” moment, then pouncing to devour the person like a pack of hyenas.

Listen to Mia Freedman and Amelia Lester discuss what the US travel ban really means.

Obviously there are plenty of times when politicians and public figures should be made accountable, should be investigated or should be verbally confronted, but tone of voice and hip size (hello Julia Gillard); the evils of red nail polish (Michaelia Cash); leather jackets to try to look hip (Malcolm Turnbull); wearing too many pantsuits or mentioning once you’re not the kind of woman who bakes chocolate chip cookies (Hillary Clinton) have sparked out of proportion outrage, attention and abuse.

Instead of aiming scrutiny at the job and failures in that job, we as a society are too often honing in on superficial misdemeanours or personal faults.

Didn’t you say in 1912 you would never eat a tomato? Well, now you are eating a tomato. You are a liar. A LIAR.

How can anyone be taken seriously when they have that kind of pitchy voice?

Yes, we’ve seen you take public transport but we’ve also seen you get a taxi to Parliament. A taxi’s a car – that’s no good for the environment. What say you world’s biggest hypocrite?

She’s showing off with her good looking boyfriend. He’s too good looking for her and who has a boyfriend at her age anyway?

Julia Gillard and Hillary Clinton. Image Getty
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Why would any person want to subject themselves to scrutiny that has no boundaries? A microscope set on negative that leaves you open for prolonged critical evaluation, from the way you eat a sausage in a roll to the way you voted on the Australian education Amendment Bill.

All faults, mistakes and errors are created equal.

I can no longer tell if a politician is being nailed to the wall because of a corruption scandal or because they pronounced "cerebral" incorrectly.

What does it say about us that this is the murky prism through which we want to see and, in turn, respond to our politicians and public figures?

We've lost interest in being reasonable, understanding, open-minded. We are like the Romans in the Colosseum disappointed with a clean death, we want to see some blood and guts and pain too, and our wishes are granted due to a ravenous 24/7 news cycle and the ability for anyone with Wifi access to become a barbarian (hello Robbie Farah who tweeted that former PM Julia Gillard should be given a noose for her birthday).

Who could stand a job where that kind of constant combat is just part of the working day?

The Donald John Trumps of the world. That's who.

US psychotherapist John D Gartner has famously attributed to President Trump the following personality traits: narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, aggression and sadism.

It is people like Trump who don't care about the bullying and harassment of public life because that is how they live life too.

Just look at Trump and his latest slur: his Twitter outburst at morning TV host Mika Brzezinski where he called her "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and claimed she had been “bleeding badly from a face-lift” at a New Year's Eve gathering.

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Trump has been roundly condemned by both parties for his vicious Tweets, but I'm sure he will sleep soundly tonight.

He won't be wide eyed turning his mistake over and over in his head, getting that hot and cold feeling in his body, wondering how he can make up for it tomorrow.

Trump has risen to the top because bullying, aggression, ignorance and attacking people for their faults, even for their one-off mistakes, have become our favourite pastimes.

We like to watch or even play and Trump is a natural at this game.

As former US President Barack Obama said to Italians in May: "People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don't work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve".

If our standards are so base and predatory, it fits that our politicians will be the same.

And all those good people, who could maybe do great things for their country will turn away from public service with their hands firmly in their pockets.

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