Opinion: For once the president shuts up

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Say this about Donald Trump, he knows his base… and they evidently know him.

During his campaign rallies, he would preen and strut around the stage and insult his opponents with childish name-calling. On occasions, he would arouse his supporters by saying he’d like to punch demonstrators and see them carried out on stretchers. Music to the ears of the unstable.

As president, he urges police to rough up persons they arrest. He calls transgender individuals unfit to serve in the military in any capacity. He makes up facts and lies constantly. Is it any wonder that violent irrational groups previously relegated to the shadowy fringes of society now feel emboldened to take to the streets?

He labels the press as “enemies of the people.” But when Neo-Nazis and assorted white supremacy hate groups gathered in an incendiary demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, spewing racist and anti-Semitic slogans while parading as the Ku Klux Klan once did, our self-styled “tell it like it is” president had very little to say. He demurred from confronting the gaggle of haters who use Nazi symbols and KKK imagery to intimidate. Instead, he offered muted opposition to bigotry “from many places.” His initial statement refused to identify or condemn the instigators of this violence or single them out in any way.

His virtual silence for three days was deafening, but also spoke volumes. His first impulse was to side step the question of rightwing extremists who were fomenting violence. Facing withering criticism from all quarters, including his own party, President Trump emerged after the weekend and belatedly condemned the deadly riot in Charlottesville as instigated by white nationalist thugs. But Trump’s uncharacteristic impulse to delay any direct response stands in sharp contrast to his famously lightning fast tweets whenever he feels an injustice has been done to him. The question is why?

Why is this president so slow to condemn these particular extremists? Where is the outrage that he so freely levels against others? Why did this president refuse to even acknowledge who David Duke was when the former Imperial Wizard of the Klan endorsed him a year ago and again just days ago? Trump feigned ignorance of Mr. Duke and his connection to the Klan. And this from a guy who consumes TV news voraciously. Are his denials really believable?

Why did so many of the demonstrators in Charlottesville carry pro-Trump signs along with their vile swasti kas? What is it that they see in Donald Trump that would cause them to make common alliance? Does this president forget that hundreds of thousands of American soldiers lost their lives fighting the evil Nazi ideology? What is this nation coming to when these modern day Brown Shirts cannot be swiftly denounced by the president of the United States without his having to think about it for three days? Why was such an obvious moral imperative the subject of days of political calculation by the White House?

 It is now abundantly clear that Donald Trump was willing to collaborate with anyone foreign or domestic who would promote his campaign. As president he clearly recognizes his most ardent supporters. He appears reluctant to jeopardize their favor by distancing himself from even the most repugnant of them unless he must. Donald Trump has made a career of playing to the crowd, the people who will lavish him with adulation and feed his insatiable ego.

To be sure many Trump voters are good and decent people who yearned for change and reform in Washington D.C. They saw in Donald Trump that agent of change. The problem is that too many have proven to be despicable and dangerous individuals who condone violence and odious views towards minorities, non-whites, and immigrants. Do they have reason to believe that Donald Trump is a kindred spirit?

Hillary Clinton called these Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables.” Watching the disgusting events in Virginia, it is clear that she was at least right about that.

10 thoughts on “Opinion: For once the president shuts up

  1. Once again Steve Sanders voices his useless opinion!
    You, Steve, are the “deplorable” one along with all the other democrats still crying like babies and throwing tantrums because your candidate didn’t win.
    There are many, many, many Trump supporters out there and we are not racists, etc.
    However, the democrats need to grow up and stop putting down our President … those who didn’t want Obama didn’t make such a fuss the way you people are. GROW UP!

    • As a recent defector of the Democratic Party (I’m Independent, not Republican), these continued pieces make me further believe that I made the correct decision. Sure, Trump is not always eloquent in what he says, but the people that voted him into office knew that beforehand and voted for him anyway.

      Sanders is just whining, like the entire Democratic Party continues to do on a daily basis. If they don’t stop this attitude and figure something out fast, they stand to lose a lot more during midterm elections in 2018.

  2. There are many Trump supporters out there who ‘think’ that they are not racists, bigots, anti-LGBTQ, or just perfectly self-centered. Maybe you hoped he’d ‘rock the Establishment boat’. Instead – he seems intent on just destroying it, and leaving nothing useful, healthy or extendable in its place. There’s no way to deny the damage that #45 is wreaking – on Education, HealthCare, Environment, Banking, Consumer Protection, International Relations [the U.S. is not longer the respected leader that it was], Race Relations and (if you believe *real* Economists, not Trump nor Breitbart nor the GOP), the Economy. You’re content to have millions without Health Care. You don’t censure this Fascist and false Christian. You believe an empty plan without any details for Afghanistan. You really believe that Nazis deserve Free Speech. You elected a man who thinks it’s okay to ‘Grab ‘Em by the Pussy’. How do you/did you close your eyes to all this? Unless you like it.

    Steve is right, the Democrats need to ‘get with it’ and soon. But as for Trump supporters – maybe you need to reassess that statement ‘we’re not racists, etcetera’ if you *still* support #45. He’s shown his true colors [pun intended]. If you still support him, then maybe you need to admit to yours.

    • Well said, Ann! You are absolutely right on every point. Trump is a horror! I hope he will be impeached or ousted under the 25th Amendment because he is as mentally deranged as he is amoral.

    • What you have said has all been said before. I still see it as a bunch of whiney babies who did not get their way. Please be mature and accept that fact that he is our president. I can’t help but wonder if you are someone (like so many of the democrats I know) that is on some kind of public assistance and was looking for a bigger handout. Trump supporters want to work and don’t want (especially through the H1B visa program) to lose their jobs or living from day to day in fear of losing their jobs. If that makes me a racist, then so be it. I know better! Or, you are probably someone who is not concerned about losing their job to cheaper Indian labor. It is hard to focus on other issues when you can be evicted because you lost your job and can’t get another one and can’t pay your bills or rent!

      • I completely agree about the whining. Every second a person wastes bashing Trump is a second wasted in hopes of finding a solution to the Democratic Party woes.

        • Did you the see this prize loon giving his “campaign speech” in Phoenix last night? When he’s not playing golf, he’s on a chaos and divisiveness tour. He’ll never bring back jobs or do any of the things he’s promised his supporters. I wish he could, but he’s too crazy and self-centered to do any of those things. He’s a shambolic train wreck, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. I could totally respect a Republican President, but only if he/her were sane and rationale. I hope they hide the nuclear codes from him.

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