Monday afternoon, Donald Trump made a speech in Cincinnati in which he lamented the fact that some Democrats didn’t stand up to applaud him during the State of the Union address.
“They were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, ‘treasonous.’ I mean, Yeah, I guess why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country that much,” he said.
CNN’s Chris Cillizza took umbrage at this accusation, pointing out that Miriam Webster defines that word as “The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family.” Obviously, that is not what Democrats were doing by withholding applause from the Commander-in-Chief, so it is really that big of a deal that President Trump made this statement?
Cillizza says it is.
Not standing during applause lines for the State of the Union isn’t treasonous or un-American. Not even close.
If it was, all of the Republicans in that chamber are treasonous and un-American as well because when former President Barack Obama would tout his accomplishments in office — as Trump was doing last Tuesday night — lots and lots of Republican legislators would sit on their hands while the Democratic side of the aisle erupted in cheers. And so on and so forth for every president before him (and after).
However, most Trump supporters will assume that the President was joking, just to make the point that Democrats were not showing proper respect. However, Cillizza asks conservative readers to imagine what would happen if the President were a Democrat and were saying the same things:
Like with many things Trump says or tweets, there’s a natural tendency to just shrug it off. To do that, however, is to miss something very important — and concerning — at work here.
What Trump is saying is that dissent — which is what Democrats are doing when they choose not to clap for a line in his speech — is traitorous and/or un-American. That if these non-clappers really loved the country, they would be applauding when he touted how low black unemployment had dipped under his tenure.
If you think that’s totally OK, flip the script. Put a Democratic president in office. And have him or her chastise Republicans as treasonous because they didn’t applaud for the fact that something close to universal health care has been achieved. Would that be a reasonable charge? Or is it possible that while Republicans agree that more people having health insurance is a good thing, they fundamentally disagree with the way in which it was implemented?
You don’t have to imagine it. Because that’s what happened during several of President Obama’s State of the Union addresses. Except that Obama never suggested those non-clapping Republicans didn’t love America.
Read it all here.
Hat Tip: Weny