BrooksBlog: Donald Trump
As you know, I do not use my connection to you on the web page or Facebook/Twitter to move outside the subjects of books, reading and writing. I am going to break that rule now.
For three years, I have kept quiet about Donald Trump and his effort to be President of the U.S. I am not a political activist. I am a writer of fantasy adventure books, and while I have opinions about politics and people involved in politics, I pretty much keep them to myself. My writing speaks for me. My writing is my voice to the larger world. But a few weeks back I listened to a young journalist speak about the importance of standing up for what you believe if you love your country. He said that if you had a platform, you had an obligation to use it. He said if you have a voice, you needed to use it. He said, finally, that writers need to write about what matters – in some form, in some way, at some time.
So I am writing here, on my platform, words I feel I should have spoken a long time ago. I cannot tolerate another moment of The Donald’s despicable behavior. He lacks even the most basic grasp of what constitutes civil behavior. He attacks and demeans those less powerful and fortunate than himself. He does so without a clue about using a filter. He makes fun of people with disabilities. He disparages women in the most loathsome of ways. He attacks people who lack a voice and who present easy targets for his hate-filled rhetoric. He makes fun of women’s bodies, of people who are of different colors, religions and nationalities. He is a bully and a petulant little school boy in his approach to those who do not agree with him or dare to stand up to him on his harebrained world views. He lies, pretends he has done things he hasn’t, takes credit for accomplishments of others and generally throws his weight around whenever the fancy strikes him.
But this latest business with the four Congresswomen of color who had the audacity to stand up to him and criticize his failure to help women and children migrants imprisoned on our southern borders goes way too far. Speaking to his impassioned followers at a rally, he told them – falsely – that these duly elected congresswomen hated our country, loved al-Qaeda, used filthy language in their criticism and were otherwise un-American in their behavior and should go back to where they came from – even though all four are citizens of the United States. When the crowd began yelling, “Send her back, send her back,” he stood by and did nothing to quiet them and then claimed later he disapproved even though he did nothing but stand there basking in the adulation he assumed his rhetoric had engendered. He instigated this chant, even if he says he didn’t. He caused this reaction. It is one of his favorite gambits. Say something hateful about a person or group or country to cause a strong negative reaction and then claim, “Well, I didn’t say it, they did.”
I don’t think calling Donald Trump a racist president is sufficient. I don’t think that begins to cover the dark side of who and what he is. I think he is much worse. He is someone who cares nothing for other people or their opinions. He does not tolerate criticism of any sort. He does not value other people’s opinions. The Bill of Rights is an inconvenience to him. Admitting he was wrong or made a mistake is never a consideration. I think he is someone who uses people like toilet paper and throws them away. I think everything he does is for his own benefit and he lies to himself about what he is doing and why. I never thought I would be living in a country or in a world where we would have a man like this for our President. I suppose, should he read this, he would say, “Send him back. If he doesn’t like it here, send him back.”
Well, I don’t much like it here. But he can’t send me back – I am already there. This is the country of my birth, and sending me back would require returning me to a time of civility, consideration for others and a sense of right and wrong. Knowing how or wanting to do any of this is beyond him. So I have to settle for personally doing all of these as a small example and writing about how Mr. Trump makes me feel.
As the Wisconsin Congressman and demagogue Joseph McCarthy was famously admonished on termination of his tenure as Chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, I would say now to Mr. Trump; “Have you no shame, sir. At long last, have you no shame.”