It appeared that Donald Trump removed any doubt about his moral fiber–or lack thereof–when he declared that any NFL player who kneels during the national anthem is a “son of a bitch” who needs to be fired posthaste.
He apparently saw fit to blast Colin Kaepernick and others with harsher language than he has used in the past for the racists and Nazis who descended on Charlottesville last month. Yep, that’s right. People who were actively spoiling for violence, murdered an innocent woman, trashed her online, planned to crash her funeral, and bombarded her mother with death threats apparently don’t get a tongue-lashing. But NFL players engaging in peaceful protests are “sons of bitches”? Where is this man’s moral sense?
But what most people seem to have forgotten is that this was actually the second time that Trump proved that he lacks the fiber and temperament to be anywhere near nuclear codes. In case you missed it, on Sunday morning, Trump saw fit to retweet a particularly graphic and violent GIF shared by one of his diehard followers.
— Mike (@Fuctupmind) September 14, 2017
It shows Trump teeing off from one of his golf courses, then cuts to Hillary falling down inside her plane after being hit in the back with a photoshopped golf ball. At best, the fact that Trump even thought about hitting the retweet button shows he has no impulse control.
But that tweet is still on Trump’s Twitter feed as of Saturday night. That means that the president of the United States sees fit to condone a violent attack on an innocent woman. It also means that the man depicted on the “Access Hollywood” tapes as saying he can treat women any way he pleases is the real Trump.
Almost as telling is the reaction from his fellow Republicans. Or rather, the lack thereof. The only Republican who has gone on record about this outrageous retweet is Congressman Chris Collins of New York, who said with a straight face that Trump wasn’t really attacking Hillary. As for the rest of his GOP colleagues?
In a much more civilized political environment, any elected official who did this would have been told–not asked–to resign within hours. But here? Nothing.
Have Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, and what passes for leadership in the GOP even considered what kind of message this sends? This would never be acceptable in a private sector job. Anyone who did this in the private sector would not only be fired within minutes, but told–not asked–to seek mental help. For at least 20 years, the Republicans have said that government should live by the same rules as the rest of us. By that standard, Trump should be out.
This sort of thing is exactly why victims of domestic violence and sexual assault don’t come forward. It gives the impression that the system is rigged against them, and the very people who are supposed to protect them and encourage them will blow them off. Or worse, they fear being degraded and kicked in the teeth by those very people.
The religious right has yet to speak up on this. But the Fox News sexual harassment scandal gives us a good idea how they’d react if someone grew a set and called Trump out. Those who have claimed Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling, and others harassed them have been accused of being pawns of “children of the lie” bent on destroying “white men of power.” They have also been branded as pawns of demonic forces.
Indeed, during the campaign, when the “Access Hollywood” tapes came out, a number of fundies branded it as a demonic trick. If the religious right stopped bowing to Trump long enough, they would see that this tweet proves that he has taken them for a ride. No one who really had Jesus on his heart would have even considered retweeting this garbage.
Moreover, it proves beyond any doubt that Trump is a failure at his most important job–being a husband and a father. We already knew that Melania is a mere object to him. But would any man with any kind of love for his wife have even thought about sharing this? And what kind of an example does this set for Barron? No man with any kind of love for his son would even suggest that men should treat women this way.
I’m reminded of what happened when Jason Kline, a high school principal in Iowa, told his students in no uncertain terms that “real men” don’t talk about women in the manner that Trump did. He was actually forced to hide his comments on social media over concerns about “political framing.” And yet, no one in the White House, and no one that passes for leadership in the GOP, has held Trump to account for this retweet.
The fact that a principal can be accused of playing politics by telling his students that respecting women is not optional, while the president of the United States can get away with leaving this disgusting tweet on his feed, is too damn obscene for words. It proves beyond any doubt that it is time for a national conversation on how this country responds to domestic violence. It’s a conversation that we should have had long ago. Had it happened, Trump would have long since been held to account for being as bankrupt morally as he is financially.
The fact that this tweet is still up shows that he has no impulse control, and is a failure at his primary responsibility as a man. His outrageous speech on Friday shows that, at best, he has no moral compass. Either scenario by itself would disqualify him as president. All together? Get him out of here!
(featured image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)