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Troubling Trump

OK, I've got to weigh in once again on the one-man political circus that is Donald Trump.

His petty personal attacks, most recently aimed at journalists with the temerity to ask tough questions, have gotten very old.

He called one reporter a “sleaze” after the journalist pressed the candidate on just how much money he raised for veterans with an event he quickly put together after refusing to participate in a Fox News Channel debate. But Trump has found multiple media targets to insult and signaled White House press conferences would be equally bare-knuckle bouts of personal attacks if he were being quizzed by “lying” reporters.

Trump is an equal opportunity offender, which is why many in his own party are so troubled by his candidacy.

His defenders, meanwhile, find new ways of positioning his thin-skinned petulance and "You are, but what am I?" rebuttal technique as a refreshing anti-Washington tone.

But the shrugging “That’s Trump” defense of his often embarrassing and mean-spirited bluster doesn’t wash either. I don't know what is in his heart, but what comes out of his mouth reminds me why I have such problems with his candidacy, as well as those who appear willing to follow him down such and ugly path.

There are ways to point out the flaws in the current system without trashing people right and left, but the GOP candidate has yet to discover them.

This election has gone beyond politics to a referendum on what kind of people we want to be, not just who we want to be led by.

While I am on the subject of potential and actual future presidents and press attacks, the president-elect of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duteret, reportedly said recently, "Just because you're a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination if you're a son of a bitch."

The Committee to Protect Journalists, SOBs and otherwise, was not amused and strongly condemned the statement.

"President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte's shocking remarks apparently excusing extrajudicial killings threaten to make the Philippines into a killing field for journalists," said Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative, following various reports on the statement. "We strongly urge him to retract his comments and to signal that he intends to protect, not target, the press."

So do I and, come to think of it, I would relay that last bit of advice to candidate Trump as well. It would be nice to think that someone who wants to be President would have the First Amendment's back.