If we desire propriety and decorum, we should expect no less from Trump.

This past summer when “President” Trump claimed a Mexican judge couldn’t do his job fairly because of his race, Paul Ryan asserted that this was the definition of racism. Yes, that Paul Ryan, who traded his integrity for the House leadership.

In the nineties, black employees at Trump’s Atlantic City casino were ordered off the floor when Donald and Ivana arrived. And at least one big-time gambler would not sit at a table with black card-dealers. Trump had them replaced. Yes, that Trump, the “president.”

Referring to his former TV show, Trump said “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me—consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected. A sexual dynamic is always present between people, unless you are asexual.”

In a 2006 interview with Howard Stern, Trump called his daughter Ivanka ‘voluptuous, adding “If [she] weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

These are all old stories, stories that almost 63 million Americans thought were too trivial to consider at the polls.

Then, last Friday a Saturday Night Live regular, Katie Rich (whom I wouldn’t know if she were standing outside my office window staring in) tweeted a comment in which she predicted that Trump’s son Barron would become the nation’s first home-school shooter. There was immediate outrage at the insensitivity and crudeness of attacking an innocent child. When I heard about it I shook my head and thought, she should have practiced some restraint.

But I’ve had four days to mull this over and I think SNL spit the bit on this one. Certainly we would like our comedians to be tasteful and considerate, but those restrictions never penned in Richard Pryor or George Carlin or Ellen DeGeneres or Ricky Gervais or any number of comic geniuses who have made us feel, at times, a bit uncomfortable. Sometimes they missed, but not out of meekness or fear. Ms. Rich may never reach that pantheon, and she may have missed this time—but she apologized for it. I felt uncomfortable with her tweet, but that’s on me. Failing is her punishment.

(It’s odd, too, but unless I missed it, the “president” seems to have ignored the incident—maybe if it’s not a personal attack on him, all bets are off? He has belittled all three of his wives on many occasions: there seems to be no familial loyalty to anyone but his daughter and son-in-law—his business associates.)

For well over a year we have allowed too many of Trump’s insults and slurs to go unchallenged. We’ve made excuses for him that sound emptier every day. Now when Spicer and Conway handle his dirty work for him, we excuse them for just “doing their job,” but there are other jobs they could do without selling out like Paul Ryan and the rest of the toadies and sycophants that constitute the “new” Congress. Until we hold them all to account for the tasteless comments their leader makes daily and without apology, or until the comments themselves stop, it seems unduly cruel to flaunt all our newfound propriety in the face of an entertainer who, if she misspoke, has already been punished.

2 Replies to “If we desire propriety and decorum, we should expect no less from Trump.”

  1. What’s been happening over the last few days is serious stuff. Everything he and his administration says and does seems calculated and purposeful. His cabinet and advisers are calculated in their speech as well. Many of them blatantly hold views opposite of what the T campaigned on, e.g. statements that are controversial like the promise that everyone will be insured. That’s bullshit. Go right down the list: whether it’s LGBT or the environment or healthcare or immigration T will renege on anything positive that he might have said by using the excuse that he is taking the “advice” of his secretary of ___ or the VP. And then go about destroying this democracy according to his and his cohorts plan. The lies and fabrications are just becoming more and more preposterous. I am not sure if the American people can devise an antidote to this poison. The T is building a Wall not on the border but a wall of lies to hide behind. We need to pay close attention, and hopefully some super creative person will devise a way to bring down his wall once and for all.
    Sorry if this wasn’t exactly on topic, but I’ve been listening to NPR and watching the evening news.

  2. All I can say is that the government has always worked, and the ethos of America has always seemed to win out. At times we have been unified by crises—Pearl Harbor, 9/11, and to a lesser extent the Challenger disaster, Katrina, Newtown, etc. It may take a similar crisis to unite the American people behind something other than hatred and vengeance. This time it may take a crisis of conscience, and though I’m not a churchgoer, I think one answer lies in religious leaders speaking out, not on abortion or gay marriage or end-of-life options, but on the simplest Christian principle: love of neighbor. If they do that, the specific items will take care of themselves. And here I mean all the evangelicals who conceded their moral high ground for an opportunity to subvert the Constitution. They need to look at themselves and decide if they want to be Christian leaders or expedient lackeys, and we have to force them to do that. I don’t know how, but pressure works, maybe not on Trump, and not on the sycophants he has gathered around him. But I refuse to believe that every congressional Republican finds himself in lockstep with this idiot. The checks and balances will slow him down and give us some time to act. I hope.

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