President Obama says that we need to give the new president a chance. We need to wish for his success so that we can ensure the success of the country. Secretary Clinton said similar words along those lines.
I can’t. At least not without a major caveat.
I’m obviously not going to wish the country ill. Hell, I fear that the country will face enormous ill in light of the election of Donald Trump. But I cannot and will not accept him as the new normal. He is not normal.
He still talks about building the wall, only now it’s a fence. And then we have the litany of worries: trashing freedom of expression; silencing dissent; deporting immigrants; registering Muslims; rolling back LGBT rights; ending women’s reproductive rights (among other rights). These and many others lurk over a worrisome horizon.
He taunted and bullied throughout his campaign. And lets not forget these words with which he launched his campaign:
They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.
We expect a certain amount of bluster or bravado or showmanship during a presidential campaign. We similarly expect a lot of stuff said that will likely never happen — politicians rarely keep all of their campaign promises. But that’s not what Trump engaged in during his campaign. He engaged in hate speech, full stop. Further, his speech and subsequent election has emboldened many who take his words literally. Now we have a rash of hate crimes taking place across the country.
If Trump meant the hateful things that he said, then in no way is he qualified to be president. If he did not mean the hateful things that he said, then he’s still not qualified to be president. Because presidents do not incite violence against the citizens they swear to protect and serve.
Under no circumstances should we normalize, sanitize, or accept Donald Trump by ignoring all that he has said and done. Because then we not only give him a pass, but we give a pass to those committing hate crimes in his name.
And by the way, I will tag every post I make about Donald Trump with his quote about Mexicans. As I have said repeatedly, that alone should have disqualified him from serious consideration. Now that we’re stuck with him, I want no one to forget where he came from.
© 2016, gar. All rights reserved.