Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mr. Trump has a way with words

While I admit that I took no offense when Donald Trump called Senator Ted Cruz "Lyin' Ted" during the debates or questioned whether he might actually be Canadian, I was slightly more offended when Mr. Trump recently referred to reporter Tony Llamas as "a sleaze" at a press conference about Trump's veterans donations. 

It seemed a bit much to me when Mr. Trump described the federal judge overseeing the fraud claims against Trump University, a Mr. Gonzalo Curiel, as someone "we believe Mexican," as if that had anything to do with anything. 

But Mr. Trump really has gone too far when he refers to my senator, Senator Elizabeth Warren, as "the Indian," or more recently as "Pocahontas." 

I mean, really. Whatever could be next?

Oh yes, when asked if this is the kind of language he will be using if he becomes president, Mr. Trump affirmed. "You think I'm going to change?" he said. "I'm not going to change."

2 comments:

  1. The reference to Curiel was because he provides legal representation to La Raza, I believe.

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  2. The problems with Trump's attack on Curiel are too numerous to recite here, but there has been much good reporting on the subject since, and I recommend reading some of that. I will point to yesterday's Washington Post piece by Jose DelReal and Katie Zezima (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/06/01/437ccae6-280b-11e6-a3c4-0724e8e24f3f_story.html) which notes that "Katrina Pierson, a spokeswoman for Trump, has expanded on the accusations of bias, wrongly suggesting Curiel is part of a group organizing protests at Trump rallies around California. Curiel is a member of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, a professional group that she appeared to confuse with the National Council of La Raza, an advocacy group." In a May 31 piece in the online Vox, author Dara Lind offers this assessment, "It's not news that Donald Trump doesn't have a lot of respect for democratic norms. But the smear campaign against Curiel is one of those moments in the Trump campaign when the presumptive Republican nominee isn't just damaging political discourse — he's posing a threat to the independence of the judiciary itself." The idea that Curiel, a federal judge, cannot act impartially because of his last name, or that ethnicity more generally might be a disqualifier for participation in democratic processes is not just offensive, it is anti-democratic, which is what Trump seems to be. Trump's own logic might lead one to the (equally absurd) conclusion that those of German descent, which Trump is, should be disqualified from participating in the endeavors of liberal democracies, given the German historical predilection for authoritarianism. Of course, that too would be anti-democratic, and as it happens would have disqualified one Dwight D. Eisenhower, a real loss for freedom and liberty around the globe.

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