Tuesday, March 06, 2018

What Respect , If Any, Is Due Donald Trump?


As readers of this blog no doubt have gathered, I have no respect for Donald Trump and I refuse to attach the word "president" to his name and I will not surrender to the bullshit argument that one should show him respect because of the office he holds.  Trump ha shown only disrespect for his office and has brought a level of crassness, vulgarity and corruption to the White House never seen before.   Richard Nixon looks almost noble in comparison and George W. Bush comes across as thoughtful and knowledgeable in contrast.  Trump has lowered the dignity not only of his office but of the nation as a whole.  Just travel abroad and see how many times you need to explain that you did not support the man to moral and decent people who still cannot believe America lowered itself by allowing such a foul person in the White House.  A column in the Washington Post lays out an argument as to why showing no respect to Trump is the decent thing to do.  Here are excerpts:
What respect — if any — is due President Trump?
I ask that because, ever since his State of the Union speech, I’ve been wondering if congressional Democrats were out of line when dozens of them refused to stand for him as he entered the chamber. My Post colleague, the enviably talented Dana Milbanktook the Democrats to task for their behavior. He said the office of the presidency, if not the man, deserves our respect.
I respectfully disagree. In the first place, I am unable to separate the man from the office. Trump certainly hasn’t. He has shown no respect for the presidency, not a nod of homage to the aura of his predecessors, some of whom he must have heard about. He has used foul language in describing certain emerging nations, wakes in the morning engorged with brattiness and tweets denunciations of almost anyone. In an instant abdication of all dignity, Trump began his presidency with a squalid visit to CIA headquarters, where he stood before a memorial for the fallen ranting about the size of his inaugural’s crowd. It was an epic act of civic sacrilege. Trump is frequently dismissive of his own aides. This, though, is their own affair. They are men and women who seemingly lack pride or, in an act of self-abnegation not seen since Henry II submitted to flagellation for the murder of Thomas Becket, choose to suffer for their own foolish actions. They hitched their wagons to a star, but he was really a one-man black hole who swallows truth. In assessing what respect Trump is owed, it is not the man I consider but his victims. All presidents have victims, of course. The lives of countless people, both here and abroad, were ruined or ended by George W. Bush’s Iraq War. The issue with Trump, however, is not over policy. It is about empathy. Bush himself was wrong about so much, but he is a courteous man who treated everyone with dignity. That is not the case with Trump.  The politicians, however, can take care of themselves. It is Trump’s other victims that I have in mind when I consider if the man deserves any show of respect. Should I stand for a president who has called Mexican immigrants criminals? If I do, does it show respect for some abstraction called the office of the president or a lack of respect for the actuality of the Mexican people?
Similarly, do we ignore how Trump mocked the physical disability of a New York Times reporter or attacked Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan? What about the Charlottesville protesters who Trump equated to neo-Nazis? I envision all these people feeling abandoned when Trump is cheered.
 [H]is aides are stalked by their former selves.  Whenever they accompany Trump anywhere, they should feel the contempt they have diligently earned by putting themselves at the service of a man who will sooner or later reward their stupidity with disdain. These are people who, in many cases, knew Trump was hugely unsuited for the presidency but let their demented hatred of Hillary Clinton and their personal greed blind them to the consequences. When they accompany Trump, they should feel the contempt Trump himself feels for people he’s bought. They are bimbos . . . .
There will be a presidency after Trump. With any luck, the next president will restore the dignity of the office, not merely with appropriate ceremony, but by acknowledging the honor and obligation of precedence. But until that happens, Trump gives us no choice. At the next state of the union speech, I’d like to see even more members rise to the occasion — by keeping their seats.
I would go further than the author and urge members of Congress to refuse to attend.   A half empty audience would be most appropriate.  Plus, it would drive Der Trumpenf├╝hrer nuts. 

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