My friend and neighbor had a dilemma two days ago. He wanted to “like” my post to support my family going to the march, but he himself has started holding meetings in Austin to discuss how we can bring back the civil discourse, and my last post wasn’t that civil.
Okay, so that was not my proudest moment. I’ve made some changes, and it’s now much safer to visit. I got rid of all the references to Trump’s orange face, because maybe he can’t help it. We all assume that it’s the result of a bad tanning procedure, but it could just as well be a skin condition, right? Anyway, I promise from now on to only refer to his behavior, not his looks.
But I won’t shy away from calling his behavior what it is: degenerate. A man who brags about being able to grab any woman’s “pussy”, a man who sexually objectifies even his own daughter–especially his own daughter!–a man who claims that deeply troubled teens are “great in bed”, a man who mocks the disabled in front of the whole world and then claims he didn’t, a man who believes climate change is a hoax, a man who thinks Vladimir Putin is a great leader, this man has just been inaugurated as president of the United States. I, for one, am not going to let anyone forget that. I’m not going to normalize this dangerous embarrassment.
Whether to be civil at all times or to remind people constantly of the aberration we are facing, that is the question, isn’t it? Do we say “tut tut” when a female government employee comments on Facebook that she’s looking forward to having Melania Trump in the White House because she’s sick of there being a Ape (sic, and sic again) in heels, meaning First Lady Michelle Obama? Do we then try and reason with that woman? Does a person capable of reasoning refer to Michelle Obama, of all people, as “a Ape in heels”? Or do we say, Shame on you and your bigotry and your grammatical ignorance; get the hell out of that job, I don’t want my taxes paying someone like you? Do we have civil conversations about the pros and cons of Trump having a white supremacist chief adviser? Or do we say, What the hell are you thinking?
How did the civil discourse erode to begin with? It began with right-wing talk show hosts (on radio and TV) going on completely deranged rants about then-presidential candidate Obama being a non-citizen, facts be damned. It began when all the racists started coming out of the woodwork after Obama’s election.
Civility went down the drain when Trump took it as a compliment when Howard Stern referred to his daughter Ivanka as “a piece of ass” instead of walking out. Civility went out the window when our then-candidate for president stood in front of the entire world and made fun of a disabled journalist. And the crowd roared with laughter. At every sick, degenerate, racist, misogynist joke.
Civility went down the drain when that part of the American electorate that always claimed to have first and only dibs on morality voted an absolute degenerate into the White House.
We just witnessed a vile, despicable, lying con-man place his pussy-grabbing hand on Lincoln’s bible and becoming our next president. He may sit in the Oval Office now, he may talk with American flags in the background, but he’s still scum by any standards. He’s not going to listen to reason. He never has and he’s seventy years old. What evidence does anyone have that he would change from being a malignant narcissistic boor to being a reasonable, democratic president who’ll uphold the Constitution?
Former CIA director Brennan said Trump should be ashamed of himself for the self-centered stand-up comedy spectacle he put on in front of the Memorial Wall at CIA headquarters on Saturday. It sounded like a room full of CIA people loved every word that came out of his ridiculous mouth. If it was inappropriate what he did, they didn’t notice. Or so it seemed. It has since been confirmed that the laughing and applause was led by Trump employees, who were there for just that purpose.
That’s what dictators and despots do. They have smiling, clapping people around them at every public appearance, people who are practically in stitches at every stupid, sick joke he utters, until the viewer begins to wonder if maybe it’s me? Am I the only one who is repulsed by this man? It makes the viewer hesitant to speak up and that’s the whole idea.
He’s already undermining the American Experiment with every step he takes. Every executive order he’s signed in the past three days is aimed at taking away rights instead of increasing them, aimed at taking America backward instead of forward. Every cabinet nominee is either a white supremacist, an anti-science, climate change-denying, misogynistic Christian fundamentalist, a cut-throat billionaire who made his billions on the backs of Joe the Plumber, or all of the above.
Every step he has taken, every word he has uttered in front of the cameras from last Friday onward shows that the only person on his mind is Donald Trump. Hell, he even forgot that he had his wife with him when he got out of the limousine at the White House before the inauguration.
There is no talking with that guy. He’s not going to listen to reason or anything else. He’s certainly not going to listen or engage in any civil discourse. Nor are many of his followers. If they were perceptible to reason or able to engage in civil discourse, they would never have been Trump supporters to begin with. The only way to be heard is by making more noise than they do, by reminding Congress who re-elects them or not two years from now, by reminding them that almost three million more voters went for Hillary Clinton than went for this guy.
He’s illegitimate–he got elected thanks to fake news, support from Putin and FBI director Comey, and if the electoral college had done the job they were created to do by the Founding Fathers, he wouldn’t be president now. He’s undemocratic–“Only I can fix this” says it all. If we normalize this, if we talk about this scam artist as if he’s a regular president, and about his cabinet as if they are regular guys, then soon we’ll be having a civil discourse about whether we should have any more elections. Guess who would win that discourse?
You can put Trump in a suit and you can put him in the Oval Office, but he’s still a morally bankrupt lech whose every word should be doubted. What you see is what you get and what we now have. We, or at least I, have to stay angry, have to stay disgusted, because otherwise I might get Trump fatigue and become complacent. This is not normal!
I respect my neighbor for wanting to keep the discourse civil–I understand where he’s coming from. I will do my best to be civilly angry. Maybe I will go to one of your meetings at some point, Mike. I’m just not there yet.