Trump doesn't disappoint me, it's the people who try so hard to justify him

posted by Jeff | Monday, November 19, 2018, 10:30 AM | comments: 0

I was talking with a friend the other day, a first-generation American of Indian descent, about the election. His parents have been citizens his entire life, so while he certainly identifies with his culture, he only knows life in the United States, and he's concerned with the way racism is getting worse instead of better. I can see where he's coming from, because when I think about the civil rights struggles of the 50's and 60's, and having lived through school desegregation in the 70's, I can't understand why a half-century has passed and we haven't solved this problem.

Let me just get this out of the way: President Trump is a racist. When you make generalization about any group of people based on their ethnicity, culture or skin color, that's what that is. He's done it countless times, before and after he ran for president. When you draw moral equivalence between Nazis and the people who protest them, that's racism. When you point out an instance of violent crime by an immigrant to defend your policy, even when statistics in blatant terms show that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes, that's racism. When you re-tweet white nationalists, that's racism. He endorsed Ray Moore, who is a slavery apologist, and pardoned an Arizona sheriff who engaged in racial profiling, and that's racism. He called a Latina Miss Universe "Miss Housekeeping," which is about as racist as it gets. Even if Trump had any real policy driving governance, and he really doesn't, would it be worth supporting him in light of the racism?

History is ripe with examples of fascism, and fascism doesn't end well. Fascist leaders start by appealing to hate and fear that longs for the good old days, which weren't actually good. In the US, those days where white males ran everything and racial, cultural and gender minorities were all marginalized, were not good days. You can't "make America great again" because it was never greater in the past. That ideal was never real. Then you create as much division as you can, declaring your opposition as your enemy, because if you can get people to take up sides like everything is a sports rivalry, you can get a subset of the population to come along with you. Polish it off with lies and your own version of reality, which is convenient because if you can divide people, those on your side don't care about the truth anymore. And of course, reinforce it all with calls to persecute the other side, outside of law or reason. It may sound like I'm describing Trump, but it could just as easily be Hitler or Mussolini. That's not my opinion... the three men actually have these attributes in common. How can you get behind that?

But if we really want to get back to basics, which of the following would be offenses for which you would fire someone working for you? Would it be calling out racist stereotypes? Saying you could easily use women and "grab them by the pussy?" Call a decorated veteran and war hero names and repeatedly disrespect him? Or maybe just dial it back to the fundamental point that you have to actually get some kind of results because that's what you get paid for. In two years, Trump signed a tax cut that resulted in a few one-time bonuses but not generally lifted middle class wages, while increasing the federal deficit exponentially. The rest of his "accomplishments" have been a lot of executive actions ruled unconstitutional. He hasn't actually done anything.

I'm used to people in positions of authority disappointing me, and I'm sure I've disappointed others in leadership capacities. There hasn't been a single president in my lifetime that really lived up to what I expected, but this is something different. I remember how viscerally I disliked W., because his foreign policy got a lot of people killed at great financial cost, but it never felt like his intent wasn't at least grounded in some kind of moral standard, even if it didn't match mine. At the very least, he understood decorum. Today, people do mental gymnastic to try and rationalize the actions of an immoral man, or worse, dignify it by suggesting someone else would be worse (the "but Hillary" argument). How would you respond to your child if he set fire to a dog and said, "Well, at least it wasn't our cat?" That's literally the argument you're making.

This isn't about not liking Republicans. When being a Republican meant you wanted a balanced budget and to generally get laws out of the way of liberty and free markets, I was down with that (until it started to hurt people). The party has to find its balls and get back to that, even if it means they lose out on a few election cycles. Defending this clown in the White House is doing real damage to the founding spirit of the nation.

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