Accentuate the positive.
Donald Trump had peaceful protesters gassed, had them flash-banged and chased by mounted park rangers, to clear his path for a two-bit photo-op. But at least he didn’t take a golf cart.
He didn’t have his coterie of sycophants lay palm fronds before him. He didn’t ride the Popemobile.
No, pluckily negotiating the grit of a paved walking surface and the traction of God-given wingtips, Trump made it to St. John’s Episcopal Church. There he held a Bible to the sky, much like a stunned first-time fisher-person for whom a – whatcha call it? A carp? – had taken his hook.
As my son says, “What a poser.”
All I can say as a citizen is that I’m glad someone had a camera.
Once again, Americans were reminded of what a venal and out-of-touch figure has infested the White House for the last 3.5 years.
The day before he had been in the White House bunker so as not to feel the hot breaths of real Americans concerned about real injustices.
His explanation of this was fascinating. At first he said he hadn’t been in the bunker. Then he said he was there for a tour.
“Well, as you can see, Mr. President, this is a wall, and this is a wall. We have two more walls just like this. And this is the door through which you came.”
At this point we can hope at minimum that Donald Trump knows where the door is.
He should not be where he is. He has no concept of the job for which he applied. The job was well explained by Joe Biden the other day in a speech that showed what it means to have actual human representation at the highest levels of government.
A president “has a duty to care,” said Biden.
Over the last few months Trump has indicated with every word and action, “Not my job.”
Not a hint of compassion about thousands of deaths of marginalized people struggling through a pandemic. Nor about oppression that strains the lives of many people of color.
He cares about the stock market. He cares about the GDP. He cares about the meat supply. He wonders if anything will save his bacon.
Streets molten with rage, two Politico headlines said it in so many words:
“Racial wounds rip open under a president with a history of exploiting them.”
“Trump confronts a culture war of his own making.”
Let’s not interpret “confronts” in this case as one might a plumber who arrives for a burst pipe. Trump has confronted this situation much like one of the ProudBoys or any provocateur who flies a Confederate flag from his pickup aerial outside a Juneteenth gathering.
With his inflammatory tweets and Hitler-like threats of deploying the military against American citizens, observed Trump’s one-time secretary of defense, James Mattis (to be dittoed by ex-chief of staff John Kelley):
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people – does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.”
If “law and order” Republicans are concerned about people flying off the handle, they should look at their chief role model.
ABC News has documented 54 instances where perpetrators invoked Trump’s name in “violent acts, threats of violence and allegations assault.”
Enough media and law enforcement witnesses were outside the gates of the White House that day to know that the protests Trump quelled with horses and gas were peaceful and not the “terrorists” former White House attorney John Dowd called them. Of course, safe in his shell, Trump shared the remarks by Twitter.
Oh, well. You can take the man out of the bunker, but you can’t take the bunker out of the man.
Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young now lives in Colorado.