Point of View Columns

Trump Has No Sense of Decency

On June 9th, 65 years ago, the United States was awash with the stench and slime that was the result of Senator Joseph McCarthy‘s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation – a true Salem-style witch hunt for Communists in every nook and cranny. As the abuse and human wreckage mounted, Joseph Welch, who was counsel to the United States Army in these hearings, confronted the beast that was McCarthy as he endeavored to destroy the life and career of yet another witness and stated – “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” And that question marked the beginning of the end of the American nightmare that was McCarthyism.

We fast forward 65 years and we get to witness Trump attending D-Day 75th anniversary ceremonies. As Roger Cohen of the New York Times pointed out, someone almost certainly had to tell Trump that the D in D-Day did not stand for “Donald”. And it was during a pause in these solemn ceremonies that Trump was interviewed by Fox News in the actual cemetery where thousands of American soldiers are buried. And it was in that hallowed and sacred space that Trump saw fit to ignore the sacrifice and sadness of the venue and instead launch yet another infantile, brainless attack on one of his political enemies – this time it was Nancy Pelosi.

Somehow, there is not even a shred of decency or self-awareness in this man for him to recognize that the D-Day ceremony at the U.S. military cemetery at Normandy was not the place for him to engage in school yard catcalls and insults. The men and women who were buried just a few feet from his over privileged and pampered self deserved better than Donald Trump as President of the United States, and the same can be said for all Americans.

There are multiple partisan and philosophical divisions in this country. There have always been multiple partisan and philosophical divisions in this country. There will always be multiple partisan and philosophical divisions in this country. But with Trump there is something different going on.

The normalization of nasty and disgusting. The ordinariness of stupidity and lying. The consistency of error and stubborn adherence to ignorance. And then there is the racism, always bubbling beneath the surface of his self-proclaimed outsize persona, his blisters bursting and oozing slurs, invective, dog whistle stereotypes and more flammable fuel for the tiki torches that may one day light his way to his own personal, custom made hell, complete with his name in lights for eternity.

Of course there is the misogyny and sexism and dissolute frat boy attitude towards women that seeps into his rhetoric and even worse, into the governmental policies that he supports. But the fact that he thinks that demeaning the appearance (or “energy”) of a female critic provides meaningful insight into how he could easily look at any woman as either an object for enjoyment or a target for his cruelty.

The nativism, white supremacy, xenophobia and slavish worship of stupidity goes so far beyond politics and policy it is almost as if Trump is some kind of alien from a planet that destroyed itself many eons ago – kind of like Krypton. Except that instead of Superman we got Trump.

The American people deserve better than Trump. The people of this planet deserve an American president that is better than Trump. Every day that he is in office he represents a moment that is pregnant with disaster. Every time he tweets he reveals new depths in that subterranean morass of unintelligible logic and just plain dumbness that serves as his brain. And every time he speaks he manages to recycle old lies while weaving horrific fantasies that seem to hypnotize his so-called base.

The thing is, his base deserves more than the thin gruel of lies and moronic imagining that he serves them. Certainly all of the American people deserve more. His normalization of the basest of instincts and the worst of behaviors is not normal and never should be.

And finally, sometime soon someone, somewhere must address this question to Trump, “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”, and that will mark the beginning of the end of our national nightmare.

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Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – July 20, 2012

It’s Friday and while you were sleeping twelve people were killed in a movie theater in Colorado. The NRA says that people kill people not guns. Tell that to the families of the victims. Meanwhile Rush Limbaugh continues to wallow in his personal sewer of hate and stupidity, now claiming that President Obama hates America. And finally, Mitt Romney’s wife Ann claims that the American people know all that they need to know about her family’s finances. And how, exactly, would she know?

Guns, Guns and More Guns

Last night someone in Colorado went nuts in a movie theater with an assault rifle and then a dozen people were dead. The news reports of this incidence refer to a “senseless killing”, presumably to distinguish this crime from more sensible killing.

The carnage in this country caused by guns is so massive that it seems that a killer has to get to a double digit body count to even make it into the news. An eighteen year old young man was shot and killed on a street corner near my residence in Manhattan and it didn’t even make the local papers. It makes you wonder how many shootings and killings are basically invisible.

The National Rifle Association has the United States Congress in a stranglehold, forcing it to adhere to its warped interpretation of the second amendment to the Constitution. The resulting bloodshed and slaughter is appalling and endless.

Unless and until the NRA is forced into the cave of irrelevance that it deserves we can be assured of gun smoke mixed with our news.

The Sewage that is Limbaugh

It was just a few short months ago that Rush Limbaugh sank to new depths in his personal sewer of hate and stupidity when he went on a deranged rant in degrading a young woman who testified before Congress, speaking in favor of including contraception in the array of healthcare services that should be provided to the public. Most sane Americans hoped against hope that, as several sponsors withdrew their support of the show on which this fatuous idiot blathers, we might be witnessing the end of Rush Limbaugh.

No such luck. This past week Limbaugh proved that it is almost impossible to lose money by serving up heaping, stinking piles of bad taste. In his latest attack on President Obama he assembles a set of “facts” that “prove” that Barack Obama hates America. He refers to the president’s father being a communist (this would be the father that Barack Obama never knew) and his mother being a leftist (whatever that means). He refers to the president’s training in the Ivy League, in Rush World a hotbed of leftwing extremism (although he might want to ask George W. Bush, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and John Roberts about that). He also mentions Barack Obama’s residing in Chicago; again in Rush World a virtual sanctuary for extremists (although the operatives of the Daley political machine that ruled Chicago for almost four decades might beg to differ).

Joe McCarthy, the idiot communist hunter of the fifties was always drunk and was almost always wrong. Rush Limbaugh is a recovering addict (prescription medications) and one might ascribe his mental state as being addled by past abuse. Whatever the case, he outdoes Joe McCarthy in that he manages to be wrong all of the time.

Lessons from the Romneys

It has been said that rich people are just different from you and me. And it is true. The very wealthy exist in a world of so much privilege and luxury that their sense of entitlement knows no bounds.

Take Ann Romney, for example. The wife of the presumptive Teapublican presidential candidate, when asked about the furor surrounding the millions of Romney dollars hidden abroad and the concealed tax returns replied that “the American people know everything that they need to know about our finances”.

While it is probably true that more Americans care about the Kardashians than Mitt Romney’s finances, Americans should care. It is important to know how a presidential candidate makes his/her money, it is important to know how that candidate has managed to pay/avoid taxes and it is certainly important to know why a candidate for president of the United States seems to think that it is fitting to stash a true fortune in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and who knows where else.

It is not surprising that Ann Romney is as out of touch as her husband. They make a perfect couple.

Have a great weekend!

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