Fuck him. If I could have added nine more characters to the headline above, that’s what I’d have written next.
This week gave new meaning to the word double standard. Quick review: (Very) early Tuesday morning, Roseanne Barr cost herself (and a lot of other people) a job on a top-rated TV show after tweeting a vile, racist slur about Valerie Jarrett and some hateful, Holocaust-related lies about George Soros—the latter of which Donald Trump Jr. retweeted. Of course he did.
Roseanne has a history of spreading racist bile as well as conspiracy theories, and has been a vocal supporter of Trump—that’s three things she and Mr. 46 percent of the popular vote have in common. Trump even called Roseanne personally to congratulate her on the ratings her show garnered in its triumphant return this spring, and bragged that those ratings were “about us”—i.e., himself and his supporters. It’s not clear whether her recent racist tweets are also “about them.”
The Man Who Lost The Popular Vote has not condemned or even acknowledged Roseanne’s racist remarks. Instead, he reached another breakthrough in his quest to explore the full range of possibilities contained by the concept of narcissism.
Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
You want HORRIBLE? Let’s talk about some horrible statements. In fact, let’s talk about horrible, vile, hateful statements you made the very day before you issued this latest version of “everything’s about me”—statements that actually undermine our democracy by dehumanizing your political opponents, and turning political discourse into blood-curdling rage. Let’s do that for a bit, shall we?
In Nashville last Tuesday, Trump went off on MS-13, a gang of sadistic murderers whose members are of Central American origin, although the gang itself was founded in Los Angeles. This followed remarks from May 16 in which he referred to “animals” and said he was talking about MS-13. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (among other Democrats) criticized the remarks, without mentioning MS-13 specifically. She stated: “calling people animals is not a good thing,” and asked: “does he [Trump] not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?”
Since Pelosi made those remarks, Trump has been attacking her viciously. On May 22 he spewed these words: “Nancy Pelosi came out in favor of MS-13 … She wants them to be treated with respect, as do other Democrats. That’s not going to be happening. We’re not going to release violent criminals into our country.”
Now let’s return to Tuesday’s speech in Nashville. Trump called Pelosi an “MS-13 lover,” then added: “she loves MS-13, can you imagine?” and asked, rhetorically, “Have you seen what they’ve done, have you seen what they’re doing to us?” He is referring to truly brutal killings and torture committed by MS-13 members in the U.S. And he said that Nancy Pelosi loves the people who committed those unspeakable acts of violence. If you want to see it for yourself, here’s the video of the lines about Pelosi.
And that’s not the only hate the Nashville crowd heard about Democrats:
“They [Democrats] don’t want the wall, they want open borders,” Mr. Trump told the crowd. “They’re more interested in taking care of criminals than they are in taking care of you.”
[snip] “If you want your communities to be safe, if you want your schools to be safe, if you want your country to be safe, then you must go out and get the Democrats the hell out of office,” Mr. Trump said. “Democrats have opposed every common-sense measure necessary to stop this horrendous scourge of crime, to dismantle MS-13 and to stop illegal immigration.”
In fact, he even turned his “animals” line into a call-and-response with the crowd:
“What was the name?” Mr. Trump asked. “Animals!” his cheering supporters screamed back.
This is not political debate. This is telling your supporters that Nancy Pelosi and her party care more about criminals than about you and the safety of your family. Don’t let that one go by. Think about that for a minute. Then remind yourself that this isn’t Rush Limbaugh or some other extremist who sits behind a microphone. This is the guy with the power of life and death over us. This is the guy—if he was so inclined—who could plunge us into civil war by announcing an end to elections. Remember that, regarding the concept of being “president for life,” he has said: “maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”
I talked earlier about a double standard, and we don’t even have space to go in depth into the double standard of the White House going bananas over Samantha Bee calling Ivanka Trump a c*nt (for which Bee swiftly apologized) even though Ted Nugent (who had called Hillary Clinton that exact same word) got a motherfucking White House tour and a photo of a handshake with the guy sitting at the big desk in the Oval Office.
Trump wanted an apology from the head of ABC—the network that cancelled Roseanne—for people who have criticized him in particularly harsh terms on that network. However, what Trump said about Nancy Pelosi and the entire Democratic Party (and it’s not the first time he’s said Democratic policies on immigration threaten your life) is far worse, and far more damaging than anything said about him by anyone in politics or on ABC, not only because of the specific claims Trump made, but because he is the president of the United States.
When the president talks about the primary opposition party in the terms he used, it threatens democracy. No, politics ain’t beanbag. We all know that. But this man is doing something very different. He is out there undermining the very legitimacy of the Democratic Party and its leaders, the only people who can defeat him in his quest to retain the power he currently wields. He is trying to convince Americans that the Democrats don’t care if you die. I’ll say it again: that’s not political debate.
When you hear his supporters scream “Animals!,” you are hearing hate being spread on a mass level. Think about the difference between that and the hopeful, inclusive chants from Obama rallies, such as “Yes, we can!” That difference defines the contrast between Donald Trump’s vision of America and Barack Obama’s. It’s the difference between fascism and democracy.