Just before election day 2008, I spent some time in various media trying to convince some friends of mine not to vote for Donald J. Trump.
I was rather desperate about it, and it was seen at the time, I think, as mere partisanship. And, it is true: I am a lifelong Democrat and proud of it. But that’s not the perspective I was offering at the time. I was offering the perspective of someone who had studied the Holocaust under one of the best professors on the subject, Dr. Saul Friedman.
I was offering the perspective of somebody trying to prevent a friend from throwing in with a particular evil.
You will recall that Donald J. Trump began his presidential campaign with a promise to “build a wall” and to “make Mexico pay for it.” Because THEY are sending “…people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. [sic] They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
This is the most-often quoted portion of this introduction of candidate Trump to the nation. But the speech is, overall, an exercise in scapegoating, in drawing lines around groups of people, pointing to those groups as “the problem,” and claiming to be the one-and-only solution to the problem. This was the nature of his entire campaign, and it has been a driving force indeed of his entire presidency. And it is evil.
I don’t know which part about the whole “separating families at the border thing” is more horrifying, that the Attorney General of the United States explicitly expressed this as policy, that early on there were reports of people dying in the custody of the United States, or that now there are no such reports, that we literally do not know what is happening to those people. But it is, sadly, an inevitable result of voting for a scapegoatist.
We know, too, that this government is not reluctant to send unmarked officers into American streets, and that these officers do not see an objection to shooting American civilians, to pushing them abruptly, to hitting them with clubs, to disappearing them into unmarked vans. And we all watched as our some of our top people oversaw the violent clearing of Lafayette Square, a long-established site for peaceful protest, by armed forces.
Radio talker Randi Rhodes often tells a story of a conversation she had with the currently presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., during the administration of President George W. Bush. Can’t you see he’s lying, she asked him? Can’t you call him on it? Why can’t you call this man a liar? Biden responded, oh, Randi, why do you have to ask of me the hardest thing to do?
Even the Republicans made South Carolina Rep. apologize for barking “you lie!” out at President Obama during a joint address to Congress (Republican concession on this incident only went so far—Wilson later balked at a suggestion that he needed to apologize on the floor of Congress, where his apology would become part of the Congressional Record, and a vote to censure Wilson fell strictly along party lines).
Calling out the preznit’s lies is not so difficult anymore because this dangerous creep has lied so egregiously that just his lies have to be tracked in a periodic news story in The Washington Post. And that’s how far we’ve come, how low our Impeached President Carnage Fartypants has brought us. On night one of the Democratic Convention, Democrats are having to frame a president who is negligent, who is a fraud, who demonizes immigrants and coddles white nationalists, who must be acted against to preserve our very democracy, who is “in over his head.”
If you hadn’t lived through the past few years or even just the past six months, you might have watched the first night’s convention speeches and wondered who were these rabid maligners on the television (though it’s certain those who reside in the Fox “News” bubble will have already wondered this wonder today).
But today, as I ponder this and write that, it is reported that a Senate Intelligence Committee report released today confirms eager contacts in 2016 between then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a person identified as a “Russian intelligence officer.” Even Sen. Marco Rubio had to admit the report confirmed “irrefutable evidence of Russian meddling” in our 2016 election.
Not only is this president all of those things, and not to mention impeached. He is also not legitimate, his office clearly brought to him by foreign influence.
I heard Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez only has 60 seconds to speak tonight. With embellishment, I think that “pants on fire” song would take about that long to perform.