Opinion: Trump should never be president
“It is a great advantage to a President, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man.” — Calvin Coolidge
Donald Trump is not a great man. His rhetoric, which has included denunciations of those who have served in the military (while he dodged the draft five times with a limp excuse about bone spurs) ought to disgust all but those who are in complete denial of the danger he would pose to the Constitution and the country should he be reelected president. Humility is not part of his vocabulary and words mean something, especially when they reflect character.
In the latest “indictment” of Trump’s virulent rhetoric, his former chief of staff, John Kelly, issued a statement in which he says he witnessed Trump insulting wounded veterans and others. Kelly says Trump called such people who gave their lives, limbs, eyes, or were captured by the enemy “losers and suckers.”
In a statement to CNN, Kelly said, “What can I say that has not already been said? A person that thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all ‘suckers’ because there is nothing in it for them. A person that doesn’t want to be seen in the presence of military amputees because ‘it doesn’t look good for me.'”
Kelly also cites Trump’s contempt for Gold Star families and his refusal to visit the graves of American soldiers on a visit to France.
On his Truth Social site, Trump posted a sketch someone did of him in the Manhattan courtroom on the opening day of his fraud trail. It featured a rendering of Jesus seated next to him. The implication is clear. Trump is being persecuted as Jesus was persecuted. By any definition, this is blasphemy. What might his devoted evangelical supporters think of that? If they’ve forgiven, or ignored, everything else he has said and done, why would blasphemy bother them?
The list of Trump’s incendiary rhetoric is long and growing. Some of his latest suggestions include the execution of former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, who he effectively said was guilty of “treason” for the way the pullout from Afghanistan was handled, apparently forgetting the buck stopped with President Biden, who made that decision after Trump’s disastrous bungling “severely constrained” his options.
On Tuesday, Trump posted the name, picture and link to a private Instagram account of a law clerk serving presiding Judge Arthur Engoron. In the post Trump referred to the clerk as “Schumer’s girlfriend.” He subsequently deleted the post, but the email blast and screenshot cannot be unsent. Judge Engoron has now imposed a partial gag order on the recalcitrant Trump.
Days ago in California, Trump suggested that police officers should shoot all looters. Other statements, while short of suggesting people be killed, are still the definition of incite: “to stir, encourage, or urge on; stimulate or prompt to action.”
Trump defenders and apologists like to say the reason they support him is that he’s a “fighter.” But even fighters are constrained by rules, like not hitting below the belt. Trump seems to spend all his time below the belt, and not just rhetorically, if you include his behavior with women and what he has said famous men (like himself) ought to be able to do to them.
There are other Republican presidential candidates without his baggage. They have learned to fight, too, but fairly and within the constitutional boundaries and with better deportment.
There was a time when grandmothers would threaten to wash a kid’s mouth out with soap for using language that was impolite. If that were applied to Trump, a lot of soap would be needed, so much so that the suds might violate New York environmental laws.
Trump is drawing all attention to him, which is his intent. He correctly says that with each new indictment, his poll numbers go up. That says a lot about his followers’ low requirements for high office. People who excuse his extreme self-possession may live to regret it. So will the country should he return to the White House.
— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Content Agency.