He’s no foe of bigotry. He’s an agent of it.
QR Code Link to This Post
When a president orders up a special script, summons the national media and sends a message to all Americans that the “sinister ideologies” of “racism, bigotry and white supremacy” have no place here, the normal response is to cheer.
But these aren’t normal times. Donald Trump isn’t a normal president. And those words, which he spoke on Monday, made me feel sick, because they were just cheap and hollow sops to convention.
He doesn’t believe them. Or rather, he doesn’t care. That’s indisputable from his actions to this point, and it will be demonstrated anew by his behavior going forward. I lost my fondness for forecasts after November 2016, but you can take this prediction to the bank: Trump will be back to his old tweets and tricks in no time. They have gotten him this far, and he’s not going to mess with a good thing just because the country is in crisis.
That speech of his was a pantomime of dignity to give cover to his Republican enablers, and it took a hell of a lot of nerve. Trump as a healer? A unifier? I have grown dangerously inured to his lies — how can you not, when there are so many of them? — but this one was so big it stopped me in my tracks. And it scared me, because when he pretends that what he has been doing isn’t bigoted and racist and that he’s not pushing a narrative of white people who belong here threatened by dark people who don’t, he encourages that same delusion in his followers. He’s not confronting them. He’s letting them off the hook.
On Monday he had the audacity to talk about “the perils of the internet and social media,” saying that we must “shine light” on their “dark recesses.” His Twitter account is one of those recesses. He rued how “hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.” It was the ultimate distraction, decrying what he embodies.
The biggest lies aren’t discrete. They’re overarching. They’re not incidental. They’re spiritual. And when Trump, having lit one match after another, professes distress over the inferno, that’s a charade as grotesque as they come. As dangerous, too.