Ugh. Okay, let’s just get through this.
The latest expression of…I’m actually at a loss for words…from the person inhabiting the office of the presidency has left me further distressed over the state of our nation and our rapidly tarnishing image across the globe.
It brings to the fore the two most common criticisms of Mr. Trump. My own thoughts and theories on both.
I don’t buy in on this one, but it has a lot of support and some circumstantial evidence that certainly keeps building.
Proponents will point to the “Birther” movement that Mr. Trump continued to perpetuate in attempts to, I guess, delegitimize the previous president. It was a lie and he used it to his personal advantage, without shame or apology.
Then there was his slow disavowal of David Duke’s endorsement of him. And others will point to some unsavory members of his highest counselors.
It’s hard to think a native New Yorker being a card-carrying racist, but it’s at least a point of discussion, which is far more than I want as a characteristic of my president.
Here’s where I put my chips.
Time and again, Mr. Trump has shown an inexplicable height of insecurity about his success. As if being a billionaire, celebrity and, for gosh sake, the president isn’t enough for personal validation, he shows intense and virulent reaction to any perceived slight or criticism.
Thus, he is jealously protective of those sections of America that he deems elected him president. In any situation that might put the support of those groups at risk, he begs off any direct comment that might cause them to “not like him”.
Putting his own political position ahead of the country – the entire country – he swore he wanted to represent is the highest form of cowardice.
Now, let’s look at the situation that generated that extraordinarily craven “condemnation” from the president.
Groups of white nationalists, including members of the most infamous hate groups (KKK, neo- Nazi, etc.) made themselves public in their odious form of hate normally kept to the darkest rat holes of the internet.
White nationalists/supremacists aren’t for caucasian people only. After all, Jews are caucasian and they’re not allowed in. And Neo-Nazis? I mean, c’mon, if there is ever a universal sign of repugnant it’s Nazis. The go-to villain in any movie can always be a Nazi to ensure the whole audience despises him.
It’s not a hard distinction to make between groups whose sole basis for existence is hating others and those who protest that intolerance. Not. Hard. At. All.
Except, of course, if you believe a substantial part of the people who voted for you are really white nationalists or KKK or neo-nazis. If I were someone who voted for Mr. Trump, I would find that simplistic view offensive and insulting. My guess is most of those voters would also want him to condemn those hate groups clearly and definitively.
And yet he didn’t.
So which is it? Racist or coward?
We’ll find out later today when Mr. Trump speaks again. If he still refuses to make the distinction between hate and protesters of hate, then you would have to side with the Racist label crowd.
If, as I suspect, he now gives a more strident speech (after carefully giving the wink-wink/nudge-nudge to those groups), then he is clearly the coward I think he is and once more churns my stomach at the precipice the American Way stands poised to fall from.