Donald Trump is sometimes rightly praised for cutting through the BS of the political system and saying -- more clearly than most candidates -- what he means. The problem is that what he means is often incendiary, cruel, bullying and backwards. Trump didn't always act this way. He's been liberal as often as conservative (he does what's pragmatic), and this frequent expression of hatred and bigotry (through irresponsible characterizations of ethnic and religious groups) is relatively new in Trump's history. He's simply doing what works -- which is Business 101. The true shame is that it has worked so well -- that the appeal of Trump's nasty rhetoric is so enduring. That so many people accept and cheer what they should reject and jeer.
But having proved he can rally people, what if Donald Trump -- who has changed his tune before -- gave this speech next week? What if he took his blunt speaking style and obviously powerful influence and turned it to nobler purpose? If he thought it would win him votes, he'd do it. What if Donald Trump just gave a quick speech that went like this? He wouldn't even have to leave out the self love:
"I tell it like it is. People love it. They love me. It's because I'm such a good person, so good for America. But I've been thinking that I want everybody to love me. Not just people scared of Muslims and Mexicans. In South Carolina that woman at my rally in a hajib -- that Muslim woman there to protest. My fans -- and God bless them because they're so smart for backing me -- they shouldn't have pointed at that woman and booed her. She could be on our side to make America great. It's not like she's Rosie O'Donnell or something.
I've been talking about their hatred of us. But guess what? Hatred isn't good for business. I'm a billionaire -- many, many times over -- I should know. So this is a business decision: I'm asking the good smart people who support me to stop the hatred. Because at this point it's the only thing in our way. We need to grow. We need to scale. We need those people who are against us to be with us. We should invite those people to help us 'Make America Great Again'. It's gonna be huge."
What if Donald Trump said that? And meant it?