The Sunday morning outrage from President Donald Trump’s Twitter account ought to be enough to provoke Republican leaders from their blind support, or passive condoning, of his noxious behavior, particularly as it pertains to immigrants.
Yet, so far, the nation continues to wait for the kind of American leadership that celebrates the melting-pot richness of our nation. President Abraham Lincoln spoke of “malice toward none; with charity for all,” but that was the leader of a Republican Party of another time.
On Sunday, President Trump declared by tweets that the ” ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” should depart America. Aimed at four first-year members who are outspoken women of color, he insinuated that these citizens are not Americans. They are. Mr. President, you do not have to be white to be American.
The statements exemplify the depths to which Trump has singularly dragged American discourse.
By backing him and even by remaining silent, Republican leaders have abdicated their claim to the “civility and respect” former President George W. Bush spoke of bringing to the federal system when he accepted the party’s nomination in 2000.
Trump’s racist implications united Democratic leaders who had been roiled by the four progressives who have criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D- San Francisco.
Trump deserves a bipartisan rebuke at every political level.
By this point, only the specific words Trump chose should be surprising. He has used abhorrent descriptions for foreign countries and his fellow Americans alike for years. He is unapologetic in his discriminatory business practices and the racial rhetoric that buoyed him into political prominence.
Some of his presidency’s lasting damage may well be to American civility. The nation will have to grapple for a long time with the causes of Trump’s political ascension and enduring support from his fellow Republicans.
Trump’s Sunday morning Twitter spasm showcases the depth of his injuries to American discourse: xenophobia, callow disregard for facts and an appeal to nationalist attitudes.
A reconciliation of America’s long-cherished ideals with the realpolitik of 21st century governance will be difficult but necessary. Trump’s diatribes open the question of what this nation wants to stand for.