So many thoughts. But they’re not new thoughts, they’re things most of us have known all along. He’s a racist. We have a racist president who has no respect for many people and peoples of the world (among his many disqualifying faults). And we can’t have that in the presidency. It shits, no pun intended, on the idea and ideals of America, it’s that simple. And people like that can’t be president, can’t be in power. Must be marginalized and ridiculed.
For decades the political parties, the dreaded establishment, as it were, had a compact that our government, the responsible people charged with daily operating duties for the good ship of state would not give quarter to two types of abhorrent behavior that course through the undercurrents of American society: racism and authoritarianism.
Now Republicans have had slips here and there over the last couple decades,* no argument there, but as a party they held to the pact until Trump. That’s why this is not normal and why we are in danger of losing our most cherished norms. The Republican Party “went with it” when a non-establishment-type like Trump courted that deplorable faction of Americans that are either racist or authoritarian (and yeah, there’s a good amount of overlap there.)
So there’s been this dance since Trump announced his heinous candidacy that he wasn’t really a racist and authoritarian, he actually does comport with norms, just in an unconventional style. But after awhile that argument was hard to continue. So it devolved right to “he’s speaking to a forgotten part of America.” Yes, he is. And it was forgotten by pact, between both parties, because they are in fact citizens with an anti-democratic, racist, authoritarian bent.
Because this is America, we can’t throw them in re-education camps. We have to respect their right to believe what they believe. But all right thinking people who understand and respect and cherish the Constitution of our democratic republic looked to squelch those people’s opinions and keep them to a small marginalized faction – the crazy uncle faction.
The White House’s first instinct was to say that his comments were not problem because his base would likely be fine with it. They’re right, and what does that say about what they think of their base? It means that they acknowledge the shredding of the pact and that they are indeed playing to the ignorant and deplorable part of the country. Talk about the bigotry of low expectations. There’s a segment of the country that will undoubtedly defend calling other countries “shitholes”, that’s to be expected. “He’s just telling it like it is,” they’ll say. And again, that’s fine for your crazy uncle. It’s not okay for the president. This alone should be grounds for impeachment because his unfitness for office is so obvious and profound to be a disadvantage for American in the world.
But here’s where it could get even worse for Trump. All day yesterday the WH staff went on and did not deny that he said the comment. If today he now claims he did not say it, then it’s not a he said she said, as they’ll undoubtedly try to color it. It’s the word of a man who has lied over 2,000 times since his inauguration, who has long ago ceased to get the benefit of the doubt from people who still revere truth, versus the people in that room who do indeed still enjoy that benefit of the doubt.
Then the extent argument goes from the president is a racist to he’s a racist and a liar.
That’s another thing that the president cannot be. And the more the media and people talk about that the closer we get to a moment where the pact is recognize and the tattered remnants of that pact get re-sewn. They must be.
*No, the southern strategy, gerrymandering by race, voter suppression, the drug war and everything we know about institutional racism is not a “slip”. Those evil, racist strategies have always done been under the radar with the goal to advantage Republicans by disadvantaging people of color and Democrats – sometimes with the help of idiot Democrats. I’m talking about the overt racism that until now even Republicans eschewed in public.