Donald Trump has had a terrible, horrible, no good, very last 48 hours. He’s been publicly fired by NBCUniversal, Macy’s, and Serta for using the launch of his effort to buy the presidency to disparage Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “killers.” As much attention as that has gotten, I have to count myself disappointed that something even more outrageous on Trump’s part has gone largely unnoticed. You may recall that last Friday, Trump got the bright idea to plaster the private cell phone number of Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos on social media. Recently, I discovered that Trump has not only failed to even try to apologize, but he’s actually trolling Ramos on Facebook and Twitter.
To review, days after Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language network, dropped plans to air the Spanish edition of the Miss Universe pageant, Ramos wrote Trump asking if he wanted to sit down for an interview–an obvious attempt to extend an olive branch. Ramos, whose standing in the Latino community rivals those of the Big Three network anchors, even provided Trump with his private cell phone number in case he wanted to discuss the details beforehand.
Trump responded by posting Ramos’ letter to his Instagram and Twitter accounts–with Ramos’ cell phone number completely unredacted. Trump told his social media followers that Ramos was “begging me for interviews” even as his bosses at Univision scrambled to cut ties with him. Both posts were gone by Saturday morning, as they were blatant violations of both Instagram and Twitter’s terms of service.
Putting a private cell phone number online in this way is beyond the pale. Somehow, I thought that Trump would have had the decency to apologize once he realized how outrageous this was. Well, I thought wrong. Thus far, the only official response of any sort from Trump came in the form of posts he made to Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday morning.
.@jorgeramosnews Please send me your new number, your old one’s not working. Sincerely, Donald J. Trump
? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2015
Hmmm–did it occur to Trump that Ramos was forced to change his number specifically because of Trump’s shenanigans? Apparently not. And now after having the gall to put someone’s private cell phone number online, Trump has the nerve to ask Ramos for his new number? That sounds like something a schoolyard bully would pull, not someone running for president. Ramos himself responded with class, saying on this week’s edition of “America with Jorge Ramos” on Fusion that all he wanted to do is talk to all credible presidential candidates–including Trump.
Incredibly, according to the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll, Trump is the second choice of Republican primary voters, behind Jeb Bush. This poll was out in the field 48 hours after Trump’s disgraceful posts, so it’s hard to believe that the respondents didn’t know about them.
If this had been Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia, Trump would have long since been drummed out of the race for his disgraceful behavior. In those countries, there is a basic agreement on the rules of the game, and things like posting a private cell phone number online are simply not tolerated.
After this episode, it should be clear beyond any doubt that Trump is morally unfit to be president. As I said last week, if Trump has anything left in him, he will issue a full apology to Ramos and get out of the race. I know what you’re thinking–we in Liberal America should be rooting for Trump to get the nomination, since at this point it would all but guarantee a 40-state Democratic landslide. But from where I’m sitting, if Trump is still being seriously talked about as a candidate after this stunt, it’s more proof that the party of Abraham Lincoln has been replaced by a far-right party. And that isn’t good for democracy in the long run.