Cracks in the Trump Bubble

 © 2016 Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

The cracks are starting to show in the Trump Bubble, not just among a few Republicans abandoning ship, but also at Commencement speeches at leading educational institutions all over the country this month. At his Commencement address at Stanford, historian and documentary director, Ken Burns, had strong words about Trump and pointed out that, for the first time in United States history, he is a leading party candidate who is not qualified to be President. He urged everyone, “no matter your political persuasion [to] defeat the retrograde forces that have invaded our democratic process [and] the dictatorial tendencies of the candidate with zero experience in the much-maligned but subtle art of governance.” The applause of students and their families—many of them leaders and future leaders of America—indicated the near-unanimous agreement with Burns’ concerns.

At Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Matt Damon considered that having Donald Trump as a nominee for President is like being part of a bizarre computer simulation. John Kerry at Northeastern University said the University’s most-diverse graduating class is “Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.” Lin-Manuel Miranda at University of Pennsylvania admonished those with anti-immigrant statements that “a broke orphaned immigrant from the West Indies [Hamilton] built our financial system. A story that reminds us … time and time again: immigrants get the job done.”

At the City College of New York (CCNY) Commencement address, Michelle Obama emphasized the importance of diversity of thought and life experience. She honored the many immigrant families who came to America, often via New York City, and whose children have graduated from CCNY in the past and present. But in contrast, she said: “Some folks out there today seem to have a very different perspective. They seem to view our diversity as a threat to be contained rather than as a resource to be tapped…. They act as if name-calling is an acceptable substitute for thoughtful debate…. I have had the privilege of travelling around the world [as First Lady] and I have seen what happens when ideas like these take hold. I have seen how leaders who rule by intimidation; leaders who demonize entire groups of people often do so because they have nothing else to offer.” Again, the applause and cheers showed how the next generation is going to view this moment in history.

The reality is starting to become apparent, that Trump has “nothing else to offer” except for “demonizing entire groups.” He is all words—bad words. As we saw so recently, even his promise to veterans of a $1 million donation in January was not fulfilled until reporters called him out about it in May—then he wrote the check.  He will not and cannot deliver, even on his own promises. People are starting to get it.

Donald Trump is following the pattern of high conflict politicians: 1) Dramatic rise; 2) Overreach and 3) Fall. Trump bubbles occur when emotion trumps thinking in politics. When fear trumps facts. When leader love trumps logic. Throughout history, trump bubbles have suddenly arisen based on pure emotion—broadcast via endless emotional media—and then burst and fell when reality started to set in and the majority of people started thinking. It’s time for the thinking people to speak up about Trump. Let’s hope that these commencement speeches indicate the beginning of the bursting of the Donald Trump Bubble.

Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, and mediator. He is the co-founder and Training Director of the High Conflict Institute, a training and consultation firm that trains professionals to deal with high-conflict people and situations. He is the author of several books  and methods  for handling high conflict personalities  and high conflict disputes with the most difficult people.