For a long time I chalked up Donald Trump and his people as being misguided and inexperienced in government and championing policies I disagree with. Add in more than a smidgen of narcissistic personality for Trump and a never-apologize approach and you get what we got.
I’m beginning to think, though, that he has more evil intentions.
Comparing his behavior to that of Nazis, while cruel on the face of it, is not a false comparison. He has pecked away at our key institutions, the other two branches of government, the media; he is upending our long-time relationships with allies who died with us in wars; he is taking children away from their parents in the name of protecting our borders, giving a world-facing picture of us shutting down our country and forsaking our historic values of welcoming all (and begging for comparisons to Nazis); he admires dictators, calling the North Korean leader “honest” after he has killed family members and his people in the name of leadership; he can’t say a bad word about Vladimir Putin; when confronted with facts about the Putins and Kims of the world and their murderous ways he says “you think we’re so innocent?”; and his people thumb their noses at decency in their leader’s wake.
Corey Lewandowski, his former campaign chairman and friend, derisively blurts out “wah wah” when a fellow guest on a Fox News program mentions that a Down’s syndrome girl was taken away from her mother at the border. A Down’s syndrome child!
The White House press secretary, showing moments of discomfort lately defending Trump’s actions, chokes up a little when confronted with a barrage of questions about the family break-ups going on at the border and refused to brief alone yesterday on this topic. His Immigration and Customs Enforcement director hesitates when asked by Wolf Blitzer if this family break-up policy is “humane” before falling back on his talking points to say “it’s illegal.”
Trump is stripping his appointees of any decency they might have had. None of his appointees have resigned in opposition to a policy position, even when they watch children taken away from their parents. Even when they hear a tape of the cries of these children for their parents or his border officers making jokes about “needing a conductor” for the wails of children crying for their parents. Even when he snuggles up with dictators and admires that when Kim speaks “his people stand up,” something he wishes happens for him in this country.
You can almost hear Joseph Welch interrupting it all to repeat his famous line of 64 years and 11 days ago to Senator Joseph McCarthy: “You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”
The taint of Trump’s actions is smearing all of us. Our country’s reputation is being diminished in the world not only because of Trump’s treatment of friends and enemies, or his childish behavior and silly Tweeting. At a major meeting last night with House Republicans to try to resolve immigration issues in a moment of national immigration crisis, Trump took a moment to sarcastically ask if Mark Sanford, from South Carolina, was present because the President wanted to “congratulate” him on a primary race well run. A direct hit because Sanford lost that campaign, partly because of Trump’s not endorsing him because Sanford has been critical of Trump. An “I got to crow” and classless move.
Even the Pope has criticized Trump, calling his policy of taking children away from people illegally crossing the border “immoral” and “against our Catholic values.”
By the way, where are his white evangelical supporters when he is tearing families apart and blaming the Democrats for it even though it is clearly a Trump Administration policy that is being followed, not a law? They forgave him for his philandering saying he has repented. If that allows you to sleep at night, go ahead, pretend it didn’t happen. Now as he rips kids from their parents, you still stay silent?
This moment in history is ripping us of our heritage. There isn’t a lot we as citizens and voters can do at the moment. We must not feel overwhelmed and ignore his behavior. We must continue to speak out against him and not normalize his behavior. Republicans in Congress, though, do have powers to do something, from the simple act of standing up to him to curtailing his behavior with laws.
We ask the Republicans in Congress: “Have you no sense of decency?”🔷
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(This piece was originally published on The Screaming Moderate.)
(Cover: Flickr/U.S. Army/Elizabeth Fraser/Arlington National Cemetery - President Trump speaks during the Memorial Day Observance in the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia - 28 May 2018.)