By Nick Vehr
Nick Vehr is the President of Vehr Communications and served as a Member of Cincinnati City Council from approximately 1990 – 1996.
Following is a condensation of a column published in Cincinnati.com on March 2, 2016.
My reactions to Donald Trump running for president, like many others’, has transitioned from finding it entertaining like a reality show, to not being funny as he crossed every line of social civility, to being scary as he proposed walls, quoted Mussolini, praised Putin and struggled to disavow a former KKK leader.
We’re getting dangerously close to that space where populism, narcissism and nationalism overlap. Could that space be authoritarianism and fascism? Regardless, it’s a bad space; the wrong space.
Then I thought, it’s not really about this guy Trump. It’s about us.
Are we so angry that America is now a country where compromise is no virtue, but a vice, and the loudest, rudest and wealthiest win the day? Are we so afraid that we’ll vote for a bully who promises to impose his will rather than people who will work together for the common good?
I have always believed our form of democracy to be messy by design – frustrating, even. Decisions are rarely black-and-white, but more often gray, the result of compromise. I’ve lived in that space.
When in public office, was I wrong to settle for something rather than nothing because I couldn’t get everything? Of course not, not in our form of democracy.
Actually, compromising was and is much harder than not compromising. Considering and incorporating other points of view is challenging, but how else can we govern ourselves in a free society?