The Power of Self Deception

Scanning the headlines and leads in my newsfeed this morning offered a great illustration of how manic and polarized our nation has become: the CEO of Neiman-Marcus shows off his new mansion on the same day he lays off employees; Wall Street opened high despite indications that economic growth is slow; our president claims to be a billionaire but paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

I understand the fears of people who don’t want the government to drift too far to the left. I understand that people don’t like paying taxes. I don’t doubt that the president’s accountant can explain why his federal tax burden is significantly less than the average Mississippian’s. However, you can’t claim to the IRS that you’re losing money every year, and represent to investors that you’re financially sound with appreciating assets. That’s fraud.

Other information contained in the president’s tax return seem laughable. Seventy thousand dollars in annual expenses for hair care? Claiming over $100,000 in deductions for hair and make-up expenses for his daughter’s televised appearances? I realize that we live in an age where CEOs make, on average, almost 300 times the average annual salary for a worker, but those “health and personal care” deductions rub me the wrong way.

Trump has often described himself as “smart” for being able to avoid paying taxes. However, people who want to lead should hold themselves to a higher standard than “smart.” So here’s my question for the blog: among those who are as repulsed as I am by the president’s behavior, what will cause them to hold their noses and vote for him anyway?

This entry was posted in National Politics, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Power of Self Deception

  1. Dylan Griffith says:

    I believe that people prefer the devil they know. While Donald’s Trumps actions are far from presidential, this is nothing new. People have become accustomed to an unorthodox president doing questionable things. I believe that people who vote for Trump would rather tough it out with the current president than face the uncertainty of a new one.

  2. Elena Eaton says:

    I would like to preface this comment by saying that I do not consider myself a President Trump supporter nor do I consider myself anti-President Trump. The New York Times allegedly obtained President Trump’s tax returns via outside sources who leaked the information. I think that it is worth mentioning that tax returns are not public record and that any unauthorized disclosure of an individual’s tax returns is prohibited by law. Given that the NY Times has not provided a copy of these returns (which they did for obvious reasons, I understand), I question the legitimacy of the article claiming that President Trump paid only $750 in tax returns. We are in an age of sensationalism and I do not doubt that this article could be slightly, if not completely, yellow. Assuming that the claims were true, however, whether or not I would vote for President Trump would depend on the alternatives. Given that Joe Biden is the only other candidate in this race, my vote would not be affected solely by the private actions of one candidate. Instead, I would vote for the candidate I thought to be the lesser of the two evils (because honestly, after the Presidential Debate Tuesday night, I can’t say I consider either option favorable).

  3. Vineeth Vanga says:

    I would like to say that nowadays the nation has become so polarized through the process of party line voting to where we don’t tend to hold the general morality of our leaders as “important”, but rather instead we choose to look at their policies under the scope of what party he/she comes from to make our best judgements, so the reason as to why people would choose to ignore President Trump’s behavior wouldn’t be because they excuse his actions as being moral, but instead because they are blinded by his actions under the lens of what we call modern polarization in America through the effective(but really not so effective) lens of party line voting. In essence party line politics, and the entire brethren of identity politics, tends to blur the lines of individual morality and instead replace them with trite labels that are ultimately mean to appeal toward the masses while also acting as the concealer that covers all the President’s moral blemishes. The tl;dr is that President Trump will be voted by others not because they excused his actions, but instead because of party line voting blinding them to his acions in the first place.

  4. Zaria Cooper says:

    I feel people will still vote Trump because they’ll excuse his actions regardless of how bad they are in today’s world. I mean, from the things he’s said about women and even his daughter, to his efforts towards building the wall, and even dealing with COVID-19, to me, people still voting him blows my mind. However, some people want a Republican in the White House, and others love his beliefs about illegal immigrants, taxes, and the BLM movement. I also agree with what Dylan said about America and how people would rather deal with the same president vs. the uncertainty of a new one.

  5. Audrey Robinson says:

    The number one thing that makes me sad about the potential re-election of our sad excuse for a president is that most of his votes come from our Christian citizens. I have lost many friends and family members in recent months because of how I’ve “turned to the world and away from God” by supporting the BLM movement, LGBTQ+ community, and reproductive rights and it makes me sad. The reason many Christians lean towards the terrible person that is Trump is due to the fact that he tells them exactly what they want to hear. Sure, he tear-gassed a ton of peaceful BLM protesters, but he was holding a Bible so it’s my “Godly duty” to vote for the Christian candidate. Nothing that man has ever done has once upheld the duty of Christians. He is hateful, oppressive, offensive, racist, homophobic, and everything else under the sun and that is not what Jesus would have stood for. Christians are quick to forget that God’s number one purpose for us is to love. This doesn’t mean just love those who are like you, but everyone who was put on this earth. Just because you have your religious beliefs, it does not discredit other religions and morals. It infuriates and disgusts me to see what modern-day Christianity has come to look like to the public eye. This Christianity that others have come to know is not the Christianity that I was taught to believe in. Voting for the publicly Christian candidate is not the Godly thing to do. The Godly thing to do is to vote for the candidate that will do what is best for all of America no matter race, religion, sexuality, gender, or anything else because it is the Christian’s duty to love and protect those around them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *