The Moral Stench of Trump’s Address to Congress

There will never be kinder, gentler Trump.

Doesn’t it just make you sick?

I can handle the voice now, but just barely. It’s the voice of a Gilbert Gottfried impersonator, not a Presidential voice. It’s grating, irritating, but semi-tolerable.

I couldn’t handle the content: false, delusional, hyper-partisan, comedic in its promises, banal in its tone. It will grow increasingly difficult for Saturday Night Live to parody this man, so effective he is at parodying himself.

The man had the audacity to acknowledge Black History Month, as if we’re supposed to forget that if Trump’s white nationalist supporters had their way, African-Americans would be history. He claimed to denounce anti-Semitism, as if we’re supposed to forget Steve Bannon’s track record. He lamented the murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Kansas, but refused to label it an act of terrorism (which it obviously is).

He claimed that a “new chapter of American Greatness is now beginning,” despite his obvious lack of qualifications to write such a chapter. He called for a “renewal of the American Spirit,” a spirit he has done all within his considerable power to extinguish.

He had the gall to declare:

In 9 years, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of our founding — 250 years since the day we declared our Independence.

It will be one of the great milestones in the history of the world.

But what will America look like as we reach our 250th year? What kind of country will we leave for our children?

If Trump goes two terms as President, and is succeeded by a Republican in the 2024 Presidential election, I cannot fathom what America will look like on July 4, 2026—how bad public education will be, how dysfunctional our health care system will be, how many will be dead or maimed because of Trump’s wars, how many Mexicans and Muslims will be savaged by supremacists, how many will be starving in the streets, how many will be drowning due to the sea level rise brought about by Trump and Scott Pruitt.

The joint address to Congress Trump delivered on February 28 was a mess, and anyone who bought into the idea that this was a kinder, gentler Trump is too gullible for words. Trump was the same crank he’s always been. Such a nasty man.

What can one say about the thought process of the folks who lap this stuff up? Is it elitism to even ask this question? How, exactly, can the Democratic Party woo people who love this stuff away from the man who deals it out?

This is not to say that the Democratic Party is doomed so long as Trump is in office, merely that an electorate that responds to such empty phrases as “job-crushing regulations” and “uncontrolled entry” and “my job is not to represent the world” is an electorate that will have to be betrayed by Trump in a way that cannot be spun by right-wing media before that electorate will give Democrats what our Australian friends call a “fair go.” Not before.

As I watched Trump’s abhorrent address, I pitied my friends who have young children. How can they shield their offspring from the example this man is setting? How can they counteract the malevolent message coming from this man–the message that weapons are good and immigrants are grotesque? What if their children grow up wanting to be just like Trump, this mad fusion of Archie Bunker and Alex P. Keaton?

The man (OK, the man’s speechwriter) had the audacity to invoke the legacy of President Dwight Eisenhower. Sixty years ago, Eisenhower intervened to compel the integration of Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. He was the last Republican President to do something other than grievous harm to Americans of color. Just imagine, for one moment, if Trump had been President in 1957.

I ask again: doesn’t it just make you sick?

UPDATE: Trump baselessly accuses Obama of conspiring to bug Trump Tower, yet another obvious attempt to distract from the Russia mess–and his apparent inability to deal with the threat posed by North Korea. No more Tweets from this twit, please.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.