Friday began with a flurry of noise from Trump, culminating in an impromptu news scrum on the White House driveway where the president did so much obvious lying to reporters that the media spent the rest of the day talking about it.
One of the lies pushed by Trump was the ongoing falsehood that the separation of children from parents at the border is a continuation of Democrat policy. And later yesterday he suggested that he might even consider changing the policy if the Democrats voted for his border wall. This suggestion caused an uproar on social media, which was predictable, but it also brought increased attention to the fact that Trump views everything solely through the lens of transaction.
Trump wants the United States to pull out of “unfair” trade agreements, as well as the UN human rights commission. He says “good people on both sides” when talking about Nazis. He says “we’ve done bad things too” when responding to Putin’s murder of journalists. He says “Kim Jong Un is a strong leader whose people respect him” when asked about North Korean human rights abuses. These statements bring us to one simple conclusion. Trump has no interest in morality. He surely knows the difference between right and wrong, but he can only see the world in purely selfish terms: is X good or bad for me? As such, his attitude cannot be described as merely amoral, but as immoral.
We confront this attitude in his responses to the Mueller probe: it’s bad for me so it’s fake. Even if we colluded with a hostile foreign power, so what? It’s not illegal!
Of course, Trump’s entire adult life has been a reflection of this selfish immorality, including cheating on wives and leaking smears to the tabloids and lying about his wealth and his outlandishly self-serving boasts, etc. But it’s sobering to consider that Trump is the first president in our lifetime not just to abandon but to oppose the role of moral leader that our nation has attempted to play in the world (however imperfectly) since at least the First World War. Trump has turned our shining city on a hill into a sleazy casino in the gutter, staffed by second-raters.
For decades the sanctimonious conservative movement wore the mask of family values, the “principled Republicans”, the law and order party, the Moral Majority. But Trump smashed those brittle myths to dust. Conservatism under Trump has been reduced to a mercenary pursuit of policy benefiting the rich, a will to power by the wealthy no matter the cost. If Trumpublicans have to burn our democracy and its institutions to the ground to get what they want, they seem willing to do it, thus far.
Democrats need to be forceful in their defense of morality, whether it’s denouncing border separations or condemning dictators or upholding the rule of law or fighting corruption or calling out lies. This is especially critical in the face of GOP silence on Trump as we approach the midterms. There are still millions and millions of compassionate people in America who are repulsed by the dishonesty and immorality exhibited daily by the Trump administration. How ironic that under Trump the Democrats, Progressives, Resistors, et al., have emerged as the true moral majority.
CONservatives like John Faso will still try to play the holier-than-thou morality card and we must be ready to blast them back with the reality of Trump when they do. The media is finally learning to use the phrase “Trump lied”, and we must learn to call his bad actions and policies what they are: immoral.
Lets keep working to Fire Feckless Faso…