Trump Has Lost Any Semblance of Moral Authority
By Luís Torres
It’s time to call for Donald Trump to resign the presidency. Given the maniacally egotistic nihilistic that he is, it is of course highly unlikely that he will resign. But it would be for the good of the country that he did.
In recent days–in the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Virginia debacle–he has confirmed for all the world to see that he is a joke. But it’s gone way beyond that. He is a very, very dangerous joke.
In this last week everyone within range of a newspaper, a television or social media was exposed to the Trumpian aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville. Neo Nazis, members of the Ku Klux Klan and other assorted demented white supremacists marched in front of a statue of the Confederacy’s Robert E. Lee. They chanted racist slurs directed at Jews and African Americans. They waved swastika flags and carried torches. It looked like something that combined a Frankenstein movie and a Hitler-praising rally in Berlin during World War II.
As everyone knows by now Trump first offered a tepid condemnation of “bigotry on many sides, on many sides.” Then a couple of days later, apparently at the insistence of some levelheaded staffers, he read a more forceful statement from a TelePrompTer. It condemned Nazis and white supremacists by name. (Well, what do you know?) Some people felt he had taken a step toward calming the waters. (Although he read the statement as if he were a handcuffed hostage with a gun to his head.)
But he didn’t calm the waters regarding racial bigotry in this country. Instead, he pissed gasoline on the flames. In a genuinely bizarre clash with reporters the next day at his faux gilded Trump Tower lobby he effectively erased that condemnation of White Power advocates. Outrageously, he said there were “some very fine people” among the group of Nazi demonstrators. He shouted at reporters that both anti-racism counter protestors in Charlottesville were just as culpable as the Nazis for any violence. He conveniently dodged the fact that the Nazis and their sympathizers were responsible for the death of a young woman, Heather Heyer. (The mother of the young woman said she wouldn’t speak to Trump if he reached out to her, because of the things he said.) Trump actually suggested that there was a moral equivalency between the anti-racism protestors and the Nazis and their White Power confederates. Wow!
Even Republican members of Congress condemned Trump’s dangerous – and evil – comments at that off-the-rails “news conference” at Trump Tower. And that’s saying something.
Clearly, Trump didn’t want to alienate his racist, xenophobic base of support in the country. That’s the group that got him elected – by the narrowest of margins in November’s election. His support in the country is shrinking quickly and he desperately wants to cling to that core group and so he keeps feeding them with spoonfuls of hate for Jews, African Americans and–dare I say–Latinos and immigrants in general.
And as a result of all this he has lost any claim to moral leadership. A president—no matter who he is—must be bigger than himself, bigger than his own ego. A president must strive to unify the country and do so by adhering to the fundamental principles for which this country presumably stands.
Given the evolving nature of the soul of this country, that necessity is particularly essential today. This is just not your grandpa’s Oldsmobile; and it ain’t your grandpa’s demographic reality today either. The United States is a genuinely diverse country, ethnically, culturally, linguistically. The face of the nation, literally and otherwise, is changing rapidly. All of our stories and experiences create the collective social and cultural quilt that is America today. We need a leader who recognizes that. Not someone who, by his words and his actions, works determinedly to divide and polarize the people.
Any effort to calm and unify the people is now completely out the window with this hate spouting used car salesman and carnival barker. Clearly, he has no clue about what the job of president entails. He thinks the presidency is just another gimmick, another pseudo reality show to burnish his personal brand. That’s unacceptable. If it wasn’t clear before, it surely is crystal clear now. Trump must go.
Some may think I’m indulging in hyperbole when I say Trump is heading us in the direction of fascism. But I sincerely believe it’s not any exaggeration. We are headed in a very dangerous direction. A direction led by a morally bankrupt so-called leader in the White House. (Maybe that’s the appropriate name for the place of the pendejo who resides in that building.) The pity is, it’s not a joke.
Luís Torres is a veteran journalist and author. Photo of Heather Heyer is used under the “fair use” proviso of the copyright law. All other photos are in the public domain.