It’s gotten beyond name-calling at this point.
When Paul Krugman of the New York Times calls Donald Trump “not a real American,” he now has solid facts backing him up.
Krugman’s Monday morning column, titled, “When The President Is Un-American,” lays out a convincing, point-by-point argument that Donald Trump holds the highest office in a land whose ideals he does not share.
Over the weekend, Trump crossed yet another line in his tumultuous, young presidency — refusing to denounce the white supremacy behind what his own Justice Department has labeled domestic terrorism. Trump’s equivocation in stating that “hatred, bigotry, and violence” came “from many sides” in the Charlottesville rally that led to the killing of a 32-year-old woman shows exactly which side he is on.
It was much later — Monday afternoon — before Trump reversed course and condemned the KKK, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis in a rambling video address which opened with boasts about the success of his economic policies.
The racists and neo-Nazis declared victory with Trump’s original statement over the weekend, with white supremacist website The Daily Stormer crowing that Trump’s response was “really, really good” and that they received “no condemnation at all.” (That was before the site’s domain host GoDaddy.com told the site to find another provider for violating the company’s terms of service.)
Trump’s Monday statement, which might have seemed adequate as a first response to the violence, appeared forced. He read the speech off of a teleprompter and did not make his usual off-the-cuff interludes.
The problem comes down to the fact that Donald Trump is president of the United States, an office in which he at once fills the roles of commander-in-chief, head of state, chief executive, and all-around leader.
As Krugman points out, this is a man who — rather than celebrating the openness and inclusiveness on which our country was based — has chosen to turn his back on the values we consider American.
In Northampton, protesting the acts of the Trump Administration has become such a frequent local activity that the police department is starting to track overtime specifically used for protests.
Meanwhile, there are other pressing issues Trump’s constant outrages — and the need to speak out against them — take our attention away from. Our own state government laid off hundreds of toll workers and installed license-plate reading cameras along the Mass Pike in the name of convenience. It is now clear from reporting by Masslive.com that initial fears they would be used for surveillance and be vulnerable to abuse have come true.
Masslive reports that, thus far, the license plate data collected by the toll cameras has been abused at least once by a contractor who sifted through a month of data without a warrant to find a specific license plate of a suspect in a murder case. They didn’t find it. In fact, the system has not led police to any actionable information or led to any arrests, but it has created a database tracking people’s movements on the MassPike, according to the Masslive article.
But who has time to pay attention when we are constantly thinking our commander-in-chief might get us into a nuclear war? That our head of state is colluding with foreign governments to stay in power? That our chief executive is taking advantage of his higher office for personal financial gain? Or that our leader condones bigotry, white supremacy, and Nazi ideals — and, by extension, the violence they promote?
Dave Eisenstadter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.