strange as it seems, I now view the Bush years with nostalgia. Both
Big Bush (POTUS 41) and his son Shrub (POTUS 43) incurred the ire of
Democrats, with Shrubs Supreme Court-complicit theft of the 2000
election prompting anger and protests. Both Bushes, perhaps because
of their love of country, comported themselves as gentlemen despite
the protests. In the face of Democratic anger, they exuded
civility. And why not? Each won his election, each loved the
country, neither had to be mean or hateful to Democrats, people of
color, immigrants, Jewish people, the GBLTQ community or anyone else.
While they did not budge on their ideology, neither painted their
political opponents as enemies.
forward. Now we have a President who lost the popular vote by 3
million. He bullied his way into the Republican nomination, doing
the kind of name-calling that we'd put a 5-year-old on a timeout for.
And he has blustered his way into the Presidency with the same
invective, hate, anger, and crowd-pleasing tirades that marked his
campaign. Even when he attempts to be decent, which means merely
reading from the teleprompter language someone else has drafted, he
has to stop, mid-comment, to pat himself on the back and remind us
that he is "being good." Really! A 70-year-old man
trumpets that he is "being good" and he expects applause.
tragedy of Trump is that his Republican allies have not condemned his
nonsense because they see political gains in his "leadership."
Motivated by 45, Cesar Sayoc has "allegedly" mailed at
least 15 pipe bombs to Democratic political figures that Trump has
criticized. Instead of doing the decent thing (like calling his
predecessors, Presidents Obama, and Clinton to pledge to use federal
resources to get to the bottom of this madness), he spent time
speculating that perhaps this was a Democratic set-up. Even when
Sayoc, with a van emblazoned with Trump paraphernalia and anti-CNN
propaganda, was caught, he had little to say to condemn the bomber.
We don't know if Sayoc worked alone, or had company. We do know that
Democratic leaders are being forced, now, to take precautions against
the same week that Sayoc was arrested, on October 24, a white man,
Gregory Bush, 51, tried to break his way into First Baptist Church, a
Black church in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville.
When he failed to gain entry to the church, he went to a nearby
Kroger and shot a Black woman Vicki Jones, 67, in the store. Then he
shot Maurice Stellard, 69, in the parking lot, in front of his
12-year-old grandson. A white man had the possibility of shooting
him to stop him, but when Bush assured the white man that "white
people don't shoot white people," he let him go. Thankfully,
law enforcement officers caught him, but it took them four days to
declare his crimes a hate crime. Why? Have we so normalized the
shooting of Black people that it is okay for an armed bigot to go
into a public space and kill Black people and law enforcement
officials have to think about whether this is a hate crime or not?
end of a week when hate prevailed was the occasion of the worst crime
of that week. Robert Gregory Bowers, 46, entered the Tree of Life
Synagogue in Pittsburgh and massacred 11 people. The oldest was a
Holocaust survivor in her 90s, the youngest, a pair of disabled
brothers in their 50s. Bowers has now pleaded not guilty to 44
counts of murder, attempted murder and hate crimes. Our hateful
President, despite community pleading, insisted on visiting Pittsburg
for a photo op (he says to pay his respects).
is futile to think that a man who uses hateful rhetoric as his stock
in trade will back down, even as it is clear that the rhetoric is
working. It is pointless to think that Republicans will call him to
task because they are gaining too much from his hate. It is
fruitless to think that some of the Republican white men in power –
Senator Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Lindsey
Graham, and others – will talk to white men like Gregory Bush,
Robert Gregory Bowers, and Cesar Sayoc – to explain why their
actions are unacceptable. The new reality is that we have an
unchecked leader who spews hate and his loyal army follows with
hateful actions, whether it is assaulting people who come to his
rallies, chanting ugliness, or sending bombs and killing people.
week of October 22 may have been one of the saddest weeks in our
nation's recent history. It is unfortunate because of the hate
spewed and the lives lost, but also because of the delayed news
coverage of the Jacksontown massacres of two Black people at a
Kroger's store. Initially, the media failed to connect the dots,
leaving many Black people ready to shout, again, Black Lives Matter.
Hate is hate is hate is hate, and we have to resist it all!
Republicans of conscience, where are you.