Saturday, July 20, 2019

A Broad Disdain

"To paraphrase Andrew Gillum," Slate legal analyst Dahlia Lithwick writes, "I don’t much care if the president intends to be a racist. I care that millions of those who intend to be racists believe that he really, emphatically is one."

By contrast, political theorist and contributing columnist to The Washington Post Danielle Allen argues

Unfortunately, when good and decent people who voted for Trump after having weighed the trade-offs are tarred with the same brush his adversaries apply to him, their anger activates. We all know what it feels like to feel falsely accused. This again is what Trump is counting on.

Unfortunate, too, is that Allen never tells her readers what false accusation is being leveled against Trump supporters.  She charges the President, accurately, with "racially-coded verbal abuse" and "racially coded language."  Although she does unnecessarily note Hillary Clinton's reference to "deplorables" (occurring once and nevermore), Allen actually states that critics of Trump label the President's supporters "racist." 

Nonetheless, that op-ed piece is notable for more than being six minutes of your life you'll never get back.  Allen implores Democrats not to fall into Trump's "trap" but instead to "affirm your love of country" and

Focus on the specific harm Trump is doing to a specific person; don’t widen the lens, however tempting that may be. Trump is putting one specific person, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), at real risk. This is abominably irresponsible. About that, there is only one thing to say: “Back off, man.” Ask everyone who loves this country to help protect the specific person who is being put in danger regardless of what you think of her opinions.

However, if there is in fact an identifiable Trump trap, it is precisely the one into which Allen is diving.

The President clearly wants Ocasio-Cortez, Presley, Tlaib, and- especially- Ilhan Omar to become the face of the Democratic Party. To that end, he will, albeit in an indirect fashion, smear both his supporters and other Americans.

"Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," Trump rhetorically asked early Sunday morning, no doubt as he was readying himself for the church services he religiously attends weekly.  Those places included, as print reporters pointed out and Democrats largely ignored, Queens, NY, Ohio, and Michigan, those "totally broken and crime infested places."

Temporarily walking back his bigoted tweets, the President a few days later denied supporting the chants, falsely claiming "I started speaking very quickly" and "I didn't say that. They did."

The next day, Trump walked back his walk-back. However, for roughly 24 hours, he had it out there that he disagreed with his supporters and wanted them to stop. That was a few days after he had written Ohio and Michigan (and New York City) out of the United States of America.

"I can tell you this, you can’t talk that way about our country, not when I’m the president," vowed the man who a few days earlier had slandered the residents of Ohio and Michigan, then his own followers, about Congresswomen who had done neither.

Nonetheless, most of the media and the Democratic Party noticed only that Trump had spewed his invective at "four women of color" or "four Congresswomen of color.," They thereby signaled to voters, most of whom are white non-Hispanic, across the country that they were exorcised by criticism of minorities, slandered by Trump as hostile to America.

I am less certain than Danielle and others of the prescription to block the President's re-election.. However, I do know that Donald Trump has been amazingly adept the last several years in ridiculing not only ethnic minorities and women, but a range of Americans, members of the Armed services, Christians, taxpayers, and others.  More notice should be taken of it.

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