Just when you think the Trump circus couldn’t get worse, he ramps it up another notch, or two, or three. In what could arguably be considered a new low point in a presidency chock full of them, Trump has once again poured fuel onto the fire of racism and bigotry. When the president chose to do battle with four new representatives in Congress, all women of color, who have been outspoken and critical of his administration, he further polarized a nation in crisis. The four women in question, US Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), have now been given the nickname “The Squad.” Trump suggested that since they obviously “hate America” they should “go back where they came from.” This very thinly-veiled hate speech has been used throughout our history by the least common denominators our country has had to offer. It was a phrase adopted by the KKK for decades. It harkens the days of white supremacy, religious bigotry, and blind, mindless patriotism. The fact that three of the four women this comment was aimed at were born right here in the US seems not to matter one iota to Trump and his supporters. The message is clear, you’re not white, you’re religion is suspect, and you are women. Perhaps worst of all, the message suggests that to love America one must support the president and go along with whatever the program of the day is. Well, that’s easy to say if you are in power, but does that mean that Donald Trump hated America during the Obama years when he was constantly searching for ways to undermine the incredible accomplishments of that administration? Should Trump have been told to “go back where he came from” when he was so boisterously spreading hate-filled propaganda against Obama as one of the leaders of the ridiculously unfounded “birther” movement?
I submit that those four congresswomen and their millions of supporters are the ones who truly love America. They are the ones who truly understand what this country is supposed to be. They understand and truly follow the Constitution instead of trying to twist it into an unrecognizable heap of junk.
And I submit that Donald Trump and his far-right Christian supporters are the ones who are actually hating America right now. In order to make my point, I’ve identified seven examples of how Trump and his supporters are demonstrating hate for America and everything we are supposed to stand for.
- He continually threatens the most basic tenets of our Constitutional government.
Although I don’t believe for a second that Donald Trump is or ever has been a practicing Christian, I do know that he understands that he needs the support of conservative Christians to have any chance to maintain power. Therefore, he has taken up their pet causes as if they were his own. He suddenly claims to be pro-life, though nothing in his history suggests he ever was before–in fact, he is very likely personally responsible for multiple abortions. He picked famously anti-LGBT Mike Pence to be Vice President for no other reason than his appeal to conservative Christians. Pence also has an anti-public education agenda, dating back to his years as governor of Indiana. Pence was a big proponent of public tax money being used to fund private religious schools in the form of vouchers to help parents pay to take their kids from public to private schools. Trump’s choice of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education was inexplicable except for her anti-public school stance and her steadfast support of tax supported religious schools. All of this flies in the face of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment and is blatantly unconstitutional and anti-American.
Trump has cozied up to the tyrannical leaders of two of our most dangerous enemies, Russia and North Korea. The leaders of those governments have been shown to be murderous tyrants and have been known to tamper in our elections. Trump meets with them in secret and implies that the details of those meetings are none of our business.
Trump has been shown to be, at best, hostile to our system of justice and, at worst, perhaps guilty of obstructing justice. Clearly, the separation of powers with its crucial system of checks and balances is not of great concern to our president.
Trump and his followers actively attack the 1st Amendment right of a free press. He belittles the most respected media outlets of our nation while promoting only those media options that are mere puppets for his regime. If he had his way, he’d install a state propaganda media and squash all other voices. His conservative Christian support base would rally in the streets in support of such a move.
That’s hatred of what America is supposed to be.
- He incites violence against his domestic foes.
Since the days when he was campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump has actively whipped his supporters into a frenzy and has even suggested that violence be used to put down dissenting voices. If you don’t believe me, watch this video.
If that’s not anti-American, what is?
- He relentlessly preys upon those who’ve been ensnared by their indoctrination in the politically conservative Christian leadership and churches.
This one probably bothers me as much or more than just about anything. As I suggested before, Trump is keenly aware that his only chance to remain in power is to continue to manipulate the most right-wing branch of Christianity. One of Trump’s favorite expressions is “low IQ”, which he loves to use to belittle people who don’t support him. I can’t think of a single president in our history who demonstrates a lower IQ than Donald Trump–the man has an extremely low understanding of our history, our Constitution and, frankly, just about anything about which he attempts to speak. But there is one thing I credit him with being a genius and that’s manipulating his followers. This makes me really sad because so many of the people I know and love are caught up in this. Conservative Christians have been used as political pawns for so long that they have lost the ability to sense how they are being used. So many prominent Christian leaders are in bed with the Republican Party that they have been forced to endorse this charlatan president as an instrument of God. From the top leaders on down, the message is filtered down to the masses that if you don’t support Trump, you are in cahoots with the Devil himself. Afraid for their very souls, millions of conservative Christians feel as if they have no choice but to ignore what they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and march to the beat of the pulpit drums.
It’s an anti-American travesty.
- He attacks the freedoms of large segments of our society.
Trump’s administration has shown to be hostile to millions of Americans that Jesus would have labeled as the neighbors we are called to love or the least of these our brothers and sisters. The LGBT community had begun to make great strides towards having equal rights in America, then came Trump with his army of Religious Right to go on the attack. If they have their way, decades of progress could be turned back.
Our southern border is now a concentration camp of undocumented Americans trying to seek asylum. Families have been separated, children isolated, abused, even raped. It is shaping up to be a black stain on our history to rival the likes of the Trail of Tears or WWII Japanese internment.
Trump loves to boast of a robust economy and some of the numbers do look good on the surface. But he acts as if he inherited an economic mess when he was actually gifted by one of the most remarkable economic turnarounds in our history, orchestrated by President Obama. But when one really digs deeper below the surface of the current economic landscape, it’s not nearly so rosy–unless you are mega-wealthy. While the rich get richer, most of the middle classes are actually paying more in taxes and the lower classes are struggling mightily. The fact that the richest three individuals in America control more wealth than the bottom 160 million Americans should be an enormous red flag. Income inequality is at the root of almost all of our most serious problems and Donald Trump’s economic policy is making it much worse. What would Jesus say about our economy?
- He resurrects the thread-bare phrases of bigotry and racism in the form of dog whistles in order to rally the most bigoted and racist segment of his support base. He praises groups who practice fascism and racism and denies the patriotism of anyone who protests his actions.
I already mentioned the whole “go back where they came from” fiasco earlier, but that’s just the latest example of Trump’s bigoted, racist, and fascist dog whistles to his most racist supporters.
There was the famous example where Trump singled out a black man who was at one of his rallies. He loves to point to his black supporters–incredibly few, though they may be–as an example to prove he isn’t racist. On this occasion, Trump wanted to tell a story about a black man who had been hassled because of his support. Trump leaned into the microphone and said, “Where is my African-American?” When he spotted him, Trump said “isn’t he great!”, and proceeded to tell the story. It was a cringe-inducing moment. In going out of his way to prove he isn’t racist, Donald Trump uses all the oldest racist tricks in the book–“see, I have black friends.” It’s the old, “he’s one of the good ones” syndrome–that guy appreciates this country and knows his place. His followers eat it up with a spoon because they use the same tactics in their own circles and on social media. Who doesn’t have a conservative Christian friend who loves to share Ben Carson memes?
Trump can’t bring himself to criticize racists. Look, just because you support Trump doesn’t mean you are a racist. I’m never going to go that far. But if you support Trump, you are on the same team as millions of racists and you’d be better off just owning that fact. Who could forget the riots in Charlottesville when Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides. Make no mistake, that kind of rhetoric is a clear statement to racists–a verbal wink and a nod–that Trump welcomes their support and has their back. If that doesn’t bother you, I don’t know what to tell you.
- He refuses to even acknowledge the fears and concerns of millions of Americans who’ve identified and seek to raise awareness to the issue of police brutality with people of color. Instead of listening to their concerns and having a conversation, he calls them “sons of bitches” who need to be fired. He uses his conservative Christian base to spread this hatred under the thin veneer of faux patriotism.
A little bit of me withers away anytime I see one of my conservative Christian friends post a meme that suggests that professional athletes who use their platform to peacefully protest social injustice are ungrateful people who hate their country. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our country was built by protest. Every step of progress we’ve made along the way was spearheaded by protest; the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, Equal Rights Amendment, workers rights, just to name a few off the top of my head. And at every stage, there were plenty of conservative Americans denouncing all those protesters as un-American. Those people trying to stand in the way of such progress are not smiled upon by history. Neither will Trump and his supporters.
7. His environmental policies hate not just America, but the entire planet.
Trump continues to turn back long-standing environmental laws that have been effective in protecting our fragile environment. Given carte blanche, I have little doubt that he’d like to sell off most of our national forests, wildlife preserves, and national parks to private interests to mine, cut timber, and develop with all manner of commercial and industrial projects. He continues to belittle science and deny climate change. He’s pulled out of ecological friendly alliances. In short, he’s courting a disaster on a scale we’ve never even conjured up in our worst nightmares.
Now I ask you, who hates America?