Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives on stage for a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. on Oct. 10, 2016.
Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

Trump says he’s ‘the only one’ who can protect the U.S.

Updated
About a month ago, when Hillary Clinton had pneumonia, it seemed likely that Donald Trump would raise the volume on his questions about his rival’s health. That never really happened, though – the Republican candidate got distracted, focused his energies elsewhere, and by the time Clinton was defeating Trump in the presidential debates, the issue of Clinton’s health had largely disappeared.

Desperate to find something to shake up the campaign, Trump’s campaign is giving it another try, unveiling a new ad yesterday that shows Clinton coughing and falling ill at a 9/11 event. The commercial specifically tells viewers, “Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fortitude, strength or stamina to lead in our world.”

It’s an odd line of attack. Literally two days before unveiling an ad going after Clinton’s “fortitude,” Trump told a presidential debate audience, “I will say this about Hillary, she doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that…. She’s a fighter.”

But what I found especially interesting about the Trump campaign’s latest commercial was the on-screen text at the end of the spot. In all-capital letters, the ad wraps up with this message:
“Donald Trump will protect you.

“He is the only one who can.”
This keeps happening. In his Republican convention speech, Trump boasted, “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it…. I am your voice.”

A couple of months prior, the Republican declared, “Politicians have used you and stolen your votes. They have given you nothing. I will give you everything. I will give you what you’ve been looking for for 50 years. I’m the only one.”

Two weeks ago, Trump added that voting for him would “make possible every dream you’ve ever dreamed.”

Remember eight years ago when the right accused Barack Obama of having a messianic streak?

This notion that Trump is somehow the “only one” – a singular figure who can do what no other human can – isn’t just creepy; it’s also deeply at odds with democratic principles. We’re electing a president to lead a co-equal branch of government in a system filled with checks and balances, not a strongman who’ll rule over us.

Taken at face value, Trump’s “only one” claims are difficult to take seriously. The amateur candidate knows effectively nothing about government, public policy, and/or political institutions, so the idea that he alone can solve difficult public challenges – presumably through the force of his personality and celebrity status – is kind of silly.

But even if Trump were somehow competent and qualified to lead – he’s not, but even if he were – our system isn’t built on the belief that only one person can keep us safe, fix every problem, and fulfill our every dream.

The fact that the Republicans’ presidential nominee doesn’t understand that isn’t a good sign.



Donald Trump

Trump says he's 'the only one' who can protect the U.S.

Updated