If you watched any of Trump’s press conference yesterday, you learned two things.
You learned why his people don’t normally allow him to hold press conferences – he really sucks at it – and you also learned that Donald J. Trump is within a hair’s breadth of just plain quitting. This is an angry man, to put it mildly, and if he’s this completely frustrated at seven months in, he is unlikely to make it a year. Either he will quit in frustration or suffer a career-ending stroke or heart attack. There is no way someone with this much anger can possibly last four years in a job with this much stress. Even though he’s a proud narcissist, he is also a spoiled child, used to getting his own way about everything. He not only wants to “win,” he needs to “win.” And he’s not “winning” anything. And tone-deaf? I’m not sure it’s possible for anyone to be more tone-deaf than Lord Donny.
Take his answer to the very first question as an example:
Why do you think these CEOs are leaving your manufacturing council?
Trump: Because they are not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country. We want jobs, manufacturing in this country. If you look at some of those people that you’re talking about, they’re outside of the country. They’re having a lot of their product made outside.
Already, you can see a load of petulance. This is a group of CEOs who have volunteered their time to help him supposedly create manufacturing jobs. They are dropping out of his council because they are embarrassed by his views. To claim they’re not “taking their job seriously” is purely childish. They all have another job, in which they Are accountable to their shareholders, and they are very sensitive to their image and how they look to their customers and clients. Exactly what did Trump expect them to do? Besides, he is ostensibly their leader; if they weren’t being serious enough, it’s because he wasn’t. Again, this is a man who doesn’t see himself as anything but “Boss of America.” He has no concept that he is a publi servant.
This one gets even more odd in the context of what has happened the last few days. Look at who he singles out.
Trump: If you look at Merck as an example. Take a look where — excuse me, excuse me. Take a look at where their product is made. It’s made outside of our country. We want products made in the country. Now, I have to tell you, some of the folks that will leave, they are leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside and I’ve been lecturing them, including the gentleman that you’re referring to, about you have to bring it back to this country. You can’t do it necessarily in Ireland and all of these other places. You have to bring this work back to this country. That’s what I want. I want manufacturing to be back into the United States so that American workers can benefit.
By the time of this “press conference,” at least a half dozen CEOs had already decided to leave the manufacturing council, but here’s Trump, after having been called a racist and a white supremacist for several days (and actually, for about two years), and he is laser-focused on the one Black CEO on his “council.” Someone with even a modicum of common sense would worry about how that looked. He has been on the hot seat for spending three days being excoriated by the press for being tone-deaf on race; there is no way he should be criticizing the one Black CEO on his council without mentioning the others. It would seem that, even with two years as a politician under his belt, Lord Donny has no clue what that means. Yes, you can make excuses, but you also have to be aware of how you look to others.
When the next reporter asked why he waited so long to comment on Charlottesville, Trump’s answer was insane. First, he denied that he waited long, and then he lamely made an excuse for waiting so long, thus showing that he has zero political skills. And, as usual, he made the whole thing about himself and assured everyone listening that he is the greatest politician ever, even as he proved himself to be the worst politician in history. Look at what he said:
Trump: I didn’t wait long. I didn’t wait long. I didn’t wait long.
Reporter: It was at least 48 hours.
Trump: I wanted to make sure — unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct. Not make a quick statement. The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement. But you don’t make statements that direct unless you know the fact. (Blah blah blah about facts, about which he has absolutely no regard)… Saturday — we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America, and then I went on from there.
This is a typical Trumpism. First, he blathers on about how important facts are before launching into an absolute lie. And I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that he is deluded and thinks he condemned the white supremacists and Nazis in the “strongest possible terms” because it wasn’t even as strong as what he said Monday, which was also very weak. He continued blathering on about the typical Trump bullshit, in which he assures us how wonderful and perfect he is.
Trump: So, making the statement when I made it was excellent. In fact, the young woman, who I hear is a fantastic young woman — and it was on NBC — her mother wrote me and said — through I guess Twitter, social media — the nicest things, and I very much appreciated that. I hear she was a fine, really actually an incredible young woman. But her mother on Twitter thanked me for what I said. And honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice. But unlike you and unlike — excuse me — unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement I like to know the facts.
Keep in mind, this asshole as been taking shit for more than three days For being a complete igoramus. He has found it impossible to denounce NAZIS! How hard is it to denounce NAZIS? Yet, he still doesn’t get the basics of what he did. He refuses to say the “fantastic young woman’s” name, which is Heather Heyer, and he wastes an opportunity he could have used to improve his standing among people who don’t hate minorities and women (which is roughly 85-95% of the population) and instead, he lays into “fake news,” which has been surprisingly good on this story. The news media are telling the truth about the white nationalist movement and they’re telling the truth about him. When you have an opportunity to correct the record and you use it to take on the press, which is the only way any politician has to get their agenda through, you demonstrate a lack of skill that is absolutely breathtaking. And it’s not just about politics. For a supposedly “successful businessman” to be so tone-deaf is mind boggling.Put it this way; even the CEO of Walmart is less tone-deaf.
I’m going to skip over much of what he said, except to say,
- No, Trump – you have NOT “created over a million jobs since I’m president.” Presidents don’t create jobs. They create conditions that allow businesses to create jobs. And those conditions have been in place for more than seven years. Thank you, President Obama. The FACT is, Trump can’t point to anything he’s done to create a single job.
- All anyone had to know to make a statement on Saturday was that white supremacists and neo-Nazis had come to a quiet college town and were intent on making trouble. They went there backed by militias who were armed to the teeth and they were actively starting trouble. One reason Lord Donny may not understand this is because they seem to share his inability to understand that people yelling insults at you is not a pretext for physical violence. Like Trump promising to nuke North Korea if Kim Jong Un calls him a poopyhead, they started attacking people who called them… well… Nazis.
- Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and any other white supremacist sympathizers should never set foot in the White House, not even on a tour. That they all have jobs in Trump’s White House is distressing and shameful.
- Senator John McCain’s opinion on this issue has NOTHING to do with his vote on “skinny repeal.” For Trump to even bring it up demonstrates what a tiny, little child he is.
- I can define “alt-right,” as can almost anyone who pays attention, meaning Lord Donny isn’t paying attention. The “alt-right” is a sanitized name for people who are the worst in our society. People who fly confederate flags, Nazi flags and worship the confederacy and Hitler, as if they were heroes are “alt-right.” They’re assholes.
- As for the alt-left, they are a smallish group of “progressives” who spend far too much time trashing Democrats and helping the GOP win. But while they are a pain in the ass, they are nothing as compared to the “alt-right.”
Therefore, when he said the following, it was pure Trump fantasy:
Trump: OK. What about the alt-left that came charging at… Excuse me, what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right. Do they have any semblance of guilt? … Let me ask you this. What about the fact they came charging — that they came charging, with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day-
Wait a minute. I’m not finished. I’m not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day.
That was fake news. It never happened.
Reporter: Is it the same level as neo-Nazis?
Trump: I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it, and you have- You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. You had a group, you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.
This feeds into his initial statement, in which he tried to claim that “all sides” do this sort of thing. There’s just one difference; you really have to go back about 4 years or more to come up with an instance in which even the far left initiated violence. It just doesn’t happen anymore.
He continued with this:
Reporter: Do you think what you call the alt-left is the same as neo-Nazis?
Trump: Those people, all of those people- excuse me. I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups, but not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. … Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee. So … you take a look at some of the groups and you see and you’d know it if you were honest reporters — which in many cases you’re not. But many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So, this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself where does it stop? But they were there to protest- excuse me. you take a look the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of the Robert E. Lee.
It stops when Black people don’t have to feel intimidated by the constant reminders that some white people want them to “go back.” No one is calling for the removal of anything but statuary of and monuments to people who killed hundreds of thousands of Americans so that they could keep other Americans as property. These people were not heroes. Not only that, but most of these statues and monuments weren’t erected in the aftermath of the Civil War, anyway, but anywhere from 25-70 years later. They were put up by the KKK and other white nationalist groups for one reason; to intimidate black and brown people and to remind them of Jim Crow.
A few more notes:
- Race relations have been “frayed” for some time, but the fact of the matter is, overt racism has been unacceptable in most circles for quite some time. What has happened with the Republican Party and the right wing having too much power in the politics and the media for the last 40 years is, instead of just dealing with subtle forms of racism, we also have to deal with an upsurge in overt racism again. And that has accelerated under Trump.
- And no, Lord Donny, even if you did something to create millions of jobs, which ain’t happening, the overt racism of the white nationalist movement, which you are stoking for your own political benefit will not stop. The whole “economic anxiety” idea is just so much bullshit. These people are not reacting to any sort of “economic anxiety.” If there is any “anxiety” in evidence from these people, it is the anxiety that comes with no longer getting to have your way in a democratic country.
- Once again, while I find the alt-left, exemplified by the Bernie Stans, to be a royal pain in the ass and often patronizingly racist, there is no equivalence to be made between alt-left and alt-right. Alt-right are not just despicable, but they’re largely irredeemable. The alt-left is only mildly racist in tone.
- Yes, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slave owners, but they actually had some redeeming qualities. The confederacy was murderous and they had no redeeming value. Besides, they lost. Since when do we honor the losers in a war?And no, those white nationalist assholes were NOT there to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. If that was all there was to it, then why the histrionics? They were there to assert the supremacy of the white race. Period. And when others showed up to prove the white race is not supreme, they ran off like a bunch of cowards, and one of them committed a terrorist attack.
One last point. The following is a series of lies. I’m going to end this with Trump’s words, because they stand on their own.
Trump: OK, good. Well, are we going to take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner. Now, are we going to take down his statue? So, you know what? It’s fine. You’re changing history. You’re changing culture and you had people, and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned, totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You got a lot of bad people in the other group, too.
Reporter: Who was treated unfairly? Sir, I’m sorry I don’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? I just don’t understand what you were saying.
Trump: No. No. There were people in that rally — and I looked the night before. If you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people: neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest — and very legally protest, because you know- I don’t know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit. So, I only tell you this. There are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the country.
This child has to go. This country cannot operate on auto-pilot.
Also published on Medium.