Trump and The Judge
There was an article in the Monday, June 6 edition of the New York Times by Maggie Haberman called “Trump Stance Makes G.O.P. Fear Backlash”. It concerns Donald Trump’s now notorious statements about the fitness (or lack thereof) of Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel to preside over a Federal lawsuit brought against Trump and the now defunct Trump University by disgruntled former students. For those who have been on an extended vacation from reality (in this care, sur-reality might be a more apt term), Trump has stated that Judge Curiel is inherently biased against Trump (and therefore should not hear the case) because Curiel is of Mexican descent and Trump has promised that as president he will build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. OMG, it’s hard to know where to start with such racist, un-American stuff, but as I read Ms. Haberman’s article all sorts of things came to mind, and so in this essay I’ll go a bit free-form as to my reactions.
There’s a quote from Trump in the article in which he says (after stating that the judge is inherently biased against him because of his ethnic heritage), “I’m doing very well with the Latinos, with the Hispanics, with the Mexicans, I’m doing very well with them, in my opinion”. In what alternative reality does this man reside? After essentially telling Hispanic-Americans that no matter what they accomplish in life, they will always be judged on their ethnic background (and harshly, at that), he says he thinks he’s “doing very well” with this population? What kind of lunacy is this?
The eminent Senator Mitch McConnell is quoted to interesting effect in the article as well. “Mr. McConnell said that the alternative to Mr. Trump – a second Clinton presidency – was worse”. First of all, Mitch, if Secretary Clinton is elected it will be a first Hillary Clinton presidency, and not a second anything. But even if McConnell’s statement is accepted at face value, it begs another question: Was Bill Clinton’s presidency all that bad? Really? Compared to what came immediately afterward? Are peace and prosperity really that far overrated?
McConnell again: Talking about the need to move forward with party unity he states: “And you unify the party by not settling scores and grudges against people you’ve been competing with”. Is he kidding? Settling scores and holding grudges is what Trump does; it is his essence. It’s like the story of the frog and the scorpion (if you don’t know it, google it). If you don’t like score settling and the holding of grudges, you’re backing the wrong candidate. But to expect him to change is truly insane.
In the article, McConnell, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and the late, great Newt Gingrich (oh wait, sorry, it seems he’s still alive) are all quoted as being critical of Trump’s statements about Judge Curiel, but all three none-the-less reiterate their support for the Orange One. Which is pretty much the stance of the entire Republican establishment: “Trump is wholly unqualified as to both experience and temperament to be president, but we’re supporting him anyway”. I have come to the conclusion, and not easily, that it is just not possible to be both intelligent and a decent human being, and back Trump for president. You can be intelligent, but not decent, and figure Trump will be good for your pocketbook, especially if you’re rich, and so you support him even though you know he is otherwise unqualified, even dangerous. Or you can be a decent human being who lacks the cognitive ability to ascertain that this guy is a huckster, and is conning you. But I just don’t see how a person who is both intelligent and a decent human being could back this demagogue, this fascist, this gargoyle. I just don’t see it.