In the days after pipe bombs were sent in the mail to Donald Trump’s political opponents and mere hours after a mass shooting at a Synagogue that left at least 11 dead, President Sociopath was at a campaign rally in Illinois in support of an incumbent Republican congressman. Rampant domestic terrorism certainly isn’t going to stop Trump from doing everything he can to avoid being impeached, and that means keeping his Republican enablers in control of the House at all costs.
It is sickening to watch Trump, a man incapable of empathy or self-reflection, aside from looking in a mirror to primp his hair, calling for unity in the aftermath of a mass shooting. “We can’t make these sick, demented, evil people important,” said the sick, demented, evil President to his adoring rally crowd.
As I have written previously, Trump is more symptom than cause. He is a malignant tumor in a nation with a compromised immune system. The bigger concern is the American immune system itself, but that can’t be properly attended to until the tumor has been removed. For that to happen, it must be clearly seen and understood that a tumor of the size and with the perverse life force of Trump is a grave danger to our nation and the world.
“If they had protection inside (the Synagogue), the results would have been far better,” Trump claimed without feeling. Can you imagine a person more ill-suited than Trump charged with providing comfort to the families and friends of victims of gun violence?
In Trump’s delusional view, the standard NRA insanity, the only possible solution to the epidemic of American mass murder is to have armed guards at every school, house of worship, shopping center, concert arena, nightclub, transportation hub, business and, of course, along the southern border to guard the wall. And even that would not be enough. We need armed teachers and Rabbis now too. We will be safe only when every citizen has the firepower in their pocket to blow someone to smithereens.
Whether having an armed congregation would have prevented the mass murder in the Synagogue “is a dispute that will always exist,” said Trump, who never met a dispute that he didn’t relish. He enjoys the fight, whatever the fight is for, far too much for person with his unchecked power.
Remember when the worst thing a President had ever said in an attempt to capitalize on our divisions was Obama’s remark about disaffected small town residents in Pennsylvania who “cling to guns or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or antitrade sentiment to explain their frustrations.” It sounds almost quaint now.
Think of how Obama, or even Bush, conducted themselves after a national tragedy. There was not a thing I liked about Bush or his policies and, to be honest, I couldn’t imagine a president worse than him at the time. But I was wrong. Bush was not emotionally dead. Bush did not willfully seek to divide the nation more than it already was. Bush did not spew hateful rhetoric as part of his daily routine. I did not agree with Bush’s worldview or support the direction in which he led the country. Bush wanted to turn America into Texas, which I think is a terrible idea, though nowhere near as terrible as turning it into Trumpistan.
What distinguishes Trump from any President in the modern era – in addition to his racism, misogyny, ignorance, stupidity, anger, lying, shallowness, vanity and persecution complex – is how he stokes existing resentments between liberals and conservatives, blacks and whites, and men and women. Even with the Obamas and Clintons being targeted with pipe bombs, Trump felt compelled to say, “I get attacked all the time. In fact, I’m just thinking, come to think of it, who gets attacked more than me?”
One can’t help but wonder how long this ugly madness will go on. The Republicans, in their ruthless efficiency, have figured out how to win Presidential elections, despite losing the popular votes – by nearly a half million in 2000 and nearly three million in 2016. If the trend continues to 2020, Trump may well lose the popular vote by an even wider margin than he did previously and still win.
It is more than our institutions and social norms that are under siege by Trump, it is truth and human decency itself. Simply put, this center cannot and will not hold. As that great American folksinger, Arlo Guthrie, sings in “Times Like These,” a song written in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane:
When leaders profit from deep divisions
When the tears of friends remain unsung
In times like these, it’s good to remember
These times will go in times to come