Today was another absolutely mind boggling day for me. There have been many since the beginning of the Trump phenomena. On a Facebook group, I posted a picture of the front door of the Republican Party on Grand Ave. in Escondido with the comment that it reflected Republican attitude. Somehow I found the image amusing. To me, the welcome with the caveat that people were not welcome to use the restrooms was a self-apparent reflection of Republican disdain of people who were not “good enough”. What followed was an eruption of condemnation that I was totally unprepared for—but probably should have been. It is still amazing to me that people cannot see the Republican hypocrisy that is so evident to me.
Several people simply didn’t “get it”. They went into diatribes about how the public using restrooms in businesses was something that was often not allowed by signs. The entire conversation then disintegrated into something that the first critic of the photo railed against—partisan bickering. Well it did, and I am guilty. It was truly not my intent.
I was just as taken aback in July when a man, I greatly respect asked:
A hypothetical question to Trump uber critics. It is an honest non-rhetorical question searching for an honest answer: In our nation’s glorious past, there’s always been a “loyal opposition” to the POTUS holding office and his party. For the most part — with some exceptions over the years — the opposition has usually been civil, respectful to some degree to the person in office and directed at his policies and record, not him personally. Lemme restate there have been exceptions (JFK, Reagan, Bush43, Obama) but nothing anywhere the level of shrieking and even the hysteria against the current president. The hypothetical question is this: In a post-Trump era, will this level of incivility, savagery, and disinformation become the norm in future oppostion strategies? Will opposition parties return to some level of political normalcy in the future or will we continue to shriek, persecute our opponent’s supporters and maintain the societal and political grand canyon we’re carved out in our nation? As much as I pray that somehow we could do so now, I’m asking the question to see if these behaviors will be added to poltical tool kits against future administrations. Thoughts and please let’s keep the posts civil and even thoughtful.
I was astounded. This was after the Helsinki conference in which Trump basically sided with Putin against the FBI. I did not respond, but I will now.
As a proud “uber critic” of Trump I will say that this is not an unprecedented level of “shrieking and hysteria”. I remember going to a town hall meeting in 2009, hosted by Darell Issa. I wrote a letter to the Times Advocate at the time stating:
After attending the farce of a “town hall” meeting organized by Congressman Issa and the right wing radio host Rick Roberts (760 AM, the same radio station that broadcasts the delusional Glenn Beck, who called President Obama a racist,) I was losing hope. Racism was rampant. A man behind me insisted we could clear out the prisons by sending home the illegal aliens. A blond beside me muttered as we were rising for the Pledge of Allegiance, that we’d better hurry “before they take away our flag.” During that Pledge the crowd loudly emphasized the words “under God,” suggesting agnostics like me weren’t good Americans. I’ll match my patriotism to the man who claimed to be a “domestic terrorist” any day. Issa did not reprimand that man; rather, he reprimanded patriots like me who booed.
Congressman Issa, when talking about the deficit, seemed to say “Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again…” It was like being in a room filled with 1,500 Archie Bunkers—couldn’t wait to get home to wash off the excrescence.
The hatred of the Tea Party members towards Obama at the time seems as vicious as what I’ve observed against Trump. The difference is that now, a substantial part of the population is objecting to the incompetent, ignorant, buffoon now in office.
While he was running for president making ridiculous statements, I continued to think, time and again, that what he just said would be enough to end what seemed a charade of a campaign. I couldn’t believe anyone would take him seriously after his first incendiary speech upon announcing his candidacy, in which he branded Mexican immigrants as rapists, drug traffickers and “some…good people”. This outrage was followed by “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” I thought he would appall the voters when he belittled John McCain’s service saying “[h]e’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?” Then there was his outrageous comment about Megyn Kelly: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”And then there was his statement about his supporter, I now believe is probably true: I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/11/the-155-craziest-things-trump-said-this-cycle-214420
I summarized my objection in a former blog: https://ablueviewescondido.com/2016/11/16/horrified-terrified-and-angry/
But nothing seems to move Trump’s supporters. His extreme behavior seem impervious to reason. I am continually astounded and surprised. Today, the New York Times has exposed his outrageous financial crimes and tax avoidance. Will this finally be the straw that breaks the back of the Republican true believers in this American Mussolini?
Well said Margaret.
In response to the man you greatly respect, Margaret, I have this to say: Our current situation cannot be compared to past “loyal oppositions” against presidents as we are facing a moral crisis. Only, unlike the one involving Richard Nixon, this one is taking place loudly and clearly, right before our eyes, and the fact that there are people who support this immorality is outrageous. Every rational adult in the United States should be a Trump uber critic.
This is the first time in our history a president has communicated (tweeted) vitriol and lies directly to the American people. To list them would take pages. This is the first time a president has chosen to believe a murderous Russian oligarch over his own intelligence agencies, which I’m surprised is not being counted as treason. This is the first time we’ve heard a president say “I like to grab ’em by the pussy.” This is the first time a president has violated the “emolument clause” of the constitution and continued to operate his worldwide businesses, thus bringing a conflict of interest into the executive branch. This is the first time — to my knowledge — that a president has run in order to show up a president he hates (Obama), about whom he has spread vicious lies, in order to overturn everything that president accomplished.
His supporters say he’s doing great things for our country by playing hardball with the rest of the world and bringing back jobs to America. Of course, we could poke a million holes in that one, but just to use a recent example: What kind of a man jeopardizes alienating our relationship with a great ally, Canada, for a “new” trade agreement that is almost exactly the same as the old one?
The gentleman asked this question: “Will opposition parties return to some level of political normalcy in the future or will we continue to shriek, persecute our opponent’s supporters and maintain the societal and political grand canyon we’ve carved out in our nation?” I would ask him to heed Sen. Jeff Flake’s answer on “60 Minutes” when asked if he would have spoken out as he did at the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing had he been running for re-election and he said, not a chance. That admission, that the senator’s job security and comfort in Washington is more important than truth and justice is the beginning of the answer. The rest of the answer can only be found in we the people.
Thank you, Margaret, for your wonderful writing and the forum you’ve provided here.
Thanks Margaret. Well said.