Trump, the soap opera

Posted by Tom Camfield

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”—Isaac Asimov

The important thing at the moment around the Trump household seems to be that Donald has his name welded to 2.25 miles of 30-foot fencing, an old replacement project begun in 2009, eight years before he took office. He has trumpeted this project completion as the beginning of his proposed great wall along the Mexican border. As always, he’s trying to insinuate a phony bandwagon into the public mind. The old fencing in this area, constructed in the 1990s, had been built from recycled metal scraps and old landing mat materials.

HIs actual Great Wall project is not moving right along. Proposed funding has hit a snag and the Department of Homeland Security is still evaluating prototypes for construction of the wall itself—No sections of which have been built.

MEANWHILE, THE REAL NEWS—Donald Trump was the product of a soft and pampered life who escaped military Selective Service in the Vietnam War era due to alleged bone spurs somewhere in the foot area. Said spurs apparently have actually enhanced a golf game that has taken up about one-third of his presidency. 

Yet he began his presidential campaign year by immediately trying to create an insulting tough-guy macho image of himself—appealing to disgruntled troglodytes, misogynists, racists and general lazy-brains and bullies. He’s encouraged and endorsed violence ever since.

I’ll start things off with this Oct. 29 quote from The Washington Post: “President Trump and his Republican allies remained defiant Sunday [Oct. 28] amid allegations from critics that Trump’s incendiary attacks on political rivals and racially charged rhetoric on the campaign trail bear some culpability for the climate surrounding a spate of violence in the United States.

“Trump, who has faced calls to tone down his public statements, signaled that he would do no such thing — berating billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer, a target of a mail bomb sent by a Trump supporter, as a ‘crazed & stumbling lunatic’ on Twitter, after Steyer said on CNN that Trump and the Republican Party have created an atmosphere of ‘political violence.’ Later Sunday, Trump lashed out again on Twitter, this time at the media: ‘The Fake News is doing everything in their power to blame Republicans, Conservatives and me for the division and hatred that has been going on for so long in our Country’.

Oct. 29, Bloomberg news—“President Donald Trump’s job approval rating plunged 4 percentage points last week amid a wave of violence, the latest troubling signal for Republican chances in upcoming midterm elections. Forty percent of Americans approved of Trump’s performance as commander in chief, according to Gallup polling during the week ending Oct. 28. That was down from 44 percent the prior week, an unusually steep decline for the poll, which is based on a survey of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Monday through Sunday each week. Some of the polling was done before the attacks.”

Oct. 28—The leaders of a progressive Jewish organization in Pittsburgh said President Donald Trump should not visit the city as it mourns the 11 people murdered in a mass shooting at a synagogue until he changes his tone. 

“President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism,” the leaders of the local chapter of Bend the Arc wrote, adding: “For the past three years, your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.”

More than 35,000 individuals had signed the letter by Oct. 29.

The group said Trump’s rhetoric had not only led to attacks on Jewish people, but also “deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.”

Not one to let anyone tell him what to do, Donald went to Pittsburgh anyway three days after the massacre, taking his wife along to help quell protestors.

Oct. 29, The Daily Beast—“Donald Trump has issued a ferocious new attack on the news media, claiming journalists are the ‘true enemies of the people’ after a horrific week in which a series of bombs were sent to some of his most prominent opponents and a shooting left 11 people dead inside a Pittsburgh synagogue. Trump has rejected any responsibility for the crimes and, instead of dialing down his rhetoric or criticizing the domestic terrorists, who seem to share some of his views, he has attempted to pin the blame on the press since reports about the bombs emerged last week. Tweeting early Monday morning, he wrote: ‘There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!’”

This small mind with a big mouth that is Donald continues efforts to destroy our nation’s historic Free Press by shifting onto it the blame for all of his personal shortcomings—always speaking in generalities, apparently unable to cite specifics. 

SOME EARLIER BACKGROUND—“If you see someone getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the cr*p out of them, would you? Seriously. Just knock the hell—I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”—D. T. (“delirium tremens”?), pep rally early 2016. “I’d like to punch him in the face.”—big tough Donald a few weeks later.

“You know, part of the problem . . . is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore, right?”—Donald, a few more weeks later. Of course, Donald. That’s the whole world’s problem, an underlying desire for peace. “Any guy who can do a body slam . . . . he’s my guy.”—Donald, Oct. 18, 2018, praising Rep. Greg Gianforte, who was convicted of assaulting a reporter who asked him a question about health care.

Then we have had Charlottesville in 2017, where white supremacists were excused by Trump as including “good people” as they killed one person and almost another after organizing riot. 

And the continued condemnation of desperate Latino refugees, and others from “s****ole countries.” Blaming the recent spate of pipe bombs sent to various Trump critics as some sort of conspiracy by Democrats.

And the results?  Most recently the Pittsburgh synagogue carnage, a Black couple gunned down in a Kentucky grocery store, a spate of pipe bombs mailed to Trump critics. It also was somewhat epitomized earlier by John McGraw, a 78-year-old Trump supporter, who told Inside Edition he enjoyed punching Rakeem Jones, a 26-year-old black man, at a Trump rally in North Carolina because the protester “deserved it.” He said: “You bet I liked it. Knocking the hell out of that big mouth. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization.”

And Donald has the gall to come out recently with: “We have to come together and send one clear, strong, unmistakable message that threats or acts of physical violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.” Your message of violence against both truth and criticism has been quit clear, Donald. I hope the American public’s message to you will be equally clear on Nov. 6.

Quoting former George W. Bush speech-writer Mike Gerson on CNN Tonight, former Bush and John McCain advisor Mark McKinnon said: “You can’t call women cruel and misogynist names, defame ethnic groups, discriminate based on religion, accuse opponents of being un-American and treasonous, excuse and encourage violence by your supporters, threaten political rivals with prison, tear migrant children from the arms of parents, then credibly call for national unity when it’s politically useful.”

As Dana Milbank of The Washington Post noted the other day, Donald is “betting there’s little downside to closing out the 2018 midterms in signature style: by raising the alarm about dark-skinned immigrants crossing the southern border to kill white people.” God help us if the American public goes for that distraction from today’s real problems—health care first and foremost.

Meanwhile, Donald’s vague empty vote-seeking promises abound—such as a 10% tax decrease for the middle class (in this day of record deficit and debits that Donald already has effected). Such things will fade away to the non-existence whence they came as soon as the polls close Nov. 6. 

TODAY’S QUOTE—“Violence is a dead end. It is a sign neither of courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children or to blow up old women on a bus. That's not how moral authority is claimed, that's how it is surrendered.”—Barack Obama, speech, June 4, 2009




No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment