Personally I do not care one bit that the President used a curse word. Truthfully, from what I understand, he was not inaccurate in his description of at least parts of Haiti and some African countries and I have use the same term to describe places, some in my own local geographic area. To me, this would be a non-story, or a minor story, if President Trump merely referred to these countries as crapholes. Unfortunately that is not the whole story and the bigger issue is the history of what he has said or tweeted.
President Trump did not just call these countries crapholes, he asked why we were letting people in from these crapholes. That goes past just referring to the state of a place and is now passing judgement on people just because of where they come from. Combine that with him reportedly recently saying something along the lines of “all Haitian have AIDS” and if Nigerians come here they “would never go back to their huts in Africa”, it is no longer just a matter of the President using crude language but rather him insulting a wide swath of people based soley on where they were born. Is it racist? Maybe not but it is in poor taste, insulting, predujiced and beneath the office of the President of the United States.
Yes, I know the President’s appeal to his core base of supporters is that he is not PC, that he talks like they do at the local bar etc, etc, etc. That is all fine and dandy but I don’t want the loudmouth, bloviating drunk at the bar leading our country. Whether his core supporters like it or not to be a successful President one has to have some sort of diplomacy and nuanced thought. President Trump does not appear to have either.
President Trump’s rhetoric has long been divisive, petty and insulting. He started his campaign by getting off his gilded elevator and insulting Mexicans. He continued with petty name calling of other Republicans (Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, Low Energy Jeb) and then of course to petty name calling of Democrats (Crooked Hillary, Pocohantas). Since his election he seems to have targeted and insulted friends and foes alike.
In my opinion his rhetoric is dangerous both domestically and internationally. Domestically, while he may very well not be racist (and I am not saying he is), I think his talk has emboldened and legitimized some bad actors. I am not saying that that is/was his intent but it is a side effect of that tough, non-PC, shoot from the hips style that his supporters like so much. The David Duke’s of the world have come out and all but said that Trump has legitimized their views. While President Trump may not share their views I believe that his words and actions have made people feel comfortable enough to come out of the shadows to show their hateful and racist tendencies. It has led to things like the furthering of the alt-right movement, people being comfortable marching and chanting hate speech in Virginia and children and adults thinking it is ok/fun/acceptable to wear jerseys with names like “Knee Grow” and “Coons” on their jerseys to a youth basketball tournament.
Internationally the danger is our relationships and standing in the world pecking order. Not only is the President the leader of our country but he is the supposed leader of the free world. The President has insulted our allies with his pettiness and actions. Allied countries have had millions of people sign petitions to bar him from visiting and governments actually have had to legally debate the possibility of not allowing him to visit. Granted, for diplomatic reasons that will never happen but it is very telling that they are having those discussions. Our place as the leader of the free world is slipping away. Merkel and Marcon are stepping up as the new leaders of the free world. That is troubling.
Before anyone jumps in that I am just a liberal snowflake let me admit that I am a proud liberal and Democrat. That being said, I am not alone and this concern is not a partisan concern. Plenty of Republican leaders have come out and condemned many of Trump’s comments since the day he announced his candidacy for President. So have leaders from all around the world, allies and enemies alike.
The President’s words have consequences and I am afraid of those consequences…