We have been told to not take Trump so literally. It has been necessary for his tweeted and spoken words to be repeatedly interpreted and parsed by his spokespeople . Is it that he doesn’t understand the true meaning of what he is saying or that we don’t understand the unique language he is speaking? I can imagine that decades from now students will be sitting in English classes studying his speeches for their true meaning much as we do today with Shakespeare. It’s not that they have comparative literary value, but rather that even though they are spoken and written in contemporary English we are told that they are beyond our understanding. We have been told time after time that his meaning is different from that normally attached to the words he used. For example, we were told just the other day that when Trump said that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower he really meant the Obama Administration and that when he used the word “wiretapped” he really meant surveillance. So it seems that he didn’t accuse his predecessor of a felony after all. Yet the request by DOJ for more time to complete its investigation and send the results to the Intelligence Committee does leave the situation unresolved. I suppose they need more time to come up with an answer that somehow camouflages the fact that it is simply a lie. We are continually told that there was no inappropriate contact between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. That is until undeniable contact is disclosed by the press. At that point we learn that inappropriate has many meanings. While it is not unheard of for a politician to parse his words and spin them from time to time, it is unprecedented for a President of the United States to behave in the reprehensible and irresponsible way Trump has. His lies, misrepresentations and accusations have crossed the line of decency and dignity while damaging his credibility both at home and abroad.
While we have been very disturbed by Trump’s irresponsible and damaging verbiage his actions are more troubling. His deregulation of areas that impact on the quality of life, the safety of the air we breathe and the water we drink as well as the confidence we can have in the financial system are striking. His actions on immigration and the undocumented have damaged our standing in the world and inflicted unnecessarily cruel stress and fear on the immigrant community. His meetings with all manner of business groups to listen and seek to meet their needs is in stark contrast to his virtual silence and lack of action on the unrelenting fear campaign on Jewish institutions created by bomb threats, vandalism and cemetery desecration. His actions and inactions continue to prove that he is a man with no moral compass. He travels and speaks to his base to soak up the adoration of the bigoted and ignorant. He denigrates all groups and institutions that challenge his concept of what is good for America. But we must not confuse his narcissism with his patriotism. For, I have no doubt that if what is good for America get’s in the way of what’s good for Trump, America will lose. His actions make it clear that he will do what is necessary to keep the wealthy happy and his loyal base in tact. If you are not part of either group your chances of being cared about or supported are between nil and none. Hence, his inaction regarding the significant increase in hate crimes against Jews, Muslims and Latinos.
While his words are often disturbing, his actions and inactions are more so. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. It is exhausting to stay engaged and active and reactive to what this administration and congress are doing. But we cannot afford to be passive in the wake of the tidal wave of hatred and elitism soaking our nation.