Click to go to the Subscriber Log In Page
Go to menu with buttons for all pages on BC
Click here to go to the Home Page
Est. April 5, 2002
July 18, 2019 - Issue 798

Where Does the Presidency
Go from Here?
Only Down


"This president is taking the nation further down
the road to perdition that it has been traveling
for some time.  No, Trump is not fully responsible
for the state of the nation, but he has managed to
push it over the edge, as an unthinking 'leader' would,
if he were thinking only of himself and his own welfare."

Donald J. Trump is a racist.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, is a racist. For millions of Americans, this is something as evident as the sun rising in the east, but for others, it is a difficult word to say and that goes double for the mass media, the vaunted “free press.”

The U.S. press, especially the large papers, the papers of record, have been loathe to use the term racist to describe the actions and words of Trump, who plays them like musical instruments. He may be ignorant of many things (maybe, most), but he knows how to play his audience like any good con-man, but he really came into his own as he played the role of the master of the universe (economically and financially speaking) in his reality show, “The Apprentice.” It was a learning experience in which he saw that his audience wanted to see the downfall of one of his “hopeful” apprentices and to see the anguish that often accompanied being fired so publicly by Trump, who apparently enjoyed it immensely.

Now though, he has a much bigger stage, possibly the biggest ever and he is enjoying that immensely, as well. He has demonstrated his racism on many occasions, since he announced his bid for the Republican nomination for president and has only ramped up his racist actions and epithets since he became president. He's not the only president who has expressed his racism, but he has brought racism at the highest levels of government to somewhat of an art form.

In the past, some may have questioned his intent, as he pronounced his racist tirades, so the newspapers and television coverage generally avoided using the term racism or describing him as a racist. That failure by the press has emboldened him and the result has been events like that of the past few days, when he declared that four young women of color who happen to be duly elected members of the U.S. House of Representatives should go back to the countries whence they came. He said of the four that they hate the U.S. and Israel (don't ask why Israel was brought into the picture). The newly-elected women are Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Obviously, Trump let fly with his racist comments without knowing that all of them are American citizens.

Here is the rub: Early in his campaign and eventual presidency, his views were quite well-known, as was his character and his personality, but it appeared that the press was rather cowed into letting his rampant racism pass without much thorough analysis. The press did quote or interview such people as Democrats and GOP never-Trumpers (a few of them), but there were few hard-charging and persistent stories about what he was doing and saying and what that would mean for the future of the country. It was easy to dismiss those opinions as political. Possibly, the trouble has been that his well-known penchant for lying about everything made it impossible for the press to correct his every lie, since that would entail a newspaper that was half again the size it is and TV news would be twice as long and half would be corrections of Trump's lies.

There are those pros, however, who saw the failures of the mass press. In its July 15 issue, the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) did a critique of the coverage of Trump's tirade against the four women and noted how euphemisms have been used to describe press reports of it:

Yesterday, the president of the United States “fanned the flames of a racial fire.” According to a panoply of major news outlets, Trump “starkly injected” “racially infused” and “racially charged” words into a morning tweetstorm; the language he used was “widely established as a racist trope” and “usually considered an ugly racist taunt.” The remarks were “called racist and xenophobic:” “denounced as racist;” an “example of 'racism'...” (note the quote marks).”

Generally, it is the job of the free press to call a crook a crook and a racist a racist, but all of them apparently have been afraid of his calling them “fake news” so often that they might feel that the people (even those who firmly believe in the First Amendment) were beginning to fall for the repeated propaganda of Trump's calling accurate reporting as “fake news.” Much of his white supremacist leanings and racist endeavors were allowed to slide until, day by day, it started to become the reality of daily life for many Americans, who have forgotten what the nation's philosophical underpinnings and its stated ideals from the beginning. The shame is that those ideals and “equality and justice for all” might be spoken of in the past tense, as the president breaks down every rule, law, and tradition that might have eventually provided freedom and equality for all.

CJR went on to describe the press' response to Trump's racist attack on the four representatives:

On the whole, however, the news desks of mainstream news organizations did not call the tweets racist, or at least did not do so consistently across their output. (CNN, for example, used “racist” and “racially charged” in different areas of its coverage.) “Racist” often appeared in quote marks, which was a cop-out: “Reporters and anchors took the story seriously but largely leaned on ‘critics,’ primarily Democrats, and cited their accusations of racism,” CNN's Brian Stelter notes. Centering the voices of those who experience racism is important, but it is not, in itself, sufficient: here, “the significance of Trump's words risked being lost in a partisan fog,” as Stelter points out. The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan was blunter still. “Historians will look back on the US media’s refusal to use the L (lie) and R (racist) words in relation to Trump as one of the most inexcusable, cowardly and shameful features of this horrific political and media era,” he tweeted.

The complex relationship in a democracy among the press, the elected politicians, and the people provides an infinite variety of escape routes through which a racist such as Trump can pass and he has a map of most of them. He proclaimed this week that there “isn't a racist bone in my body,” again promoting his view of himself, proving again that one thing that escapes him is reality. The reason seems to be that he does not (perhaps cannot) believe anyone else but himself - in anything. This president is taking the nation further down the road to perdition that it has been traveling for some time. No, Trump is not fully responsible for the state of the nation, but he has managed to push it over the edge, as an unthinking “leader” would, if he were thinking only of himself and his own welfare.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to formally condemn Trump's Twitter attacks against the four representatives, by a vote of 240-187, with just four GOP representatives and one independent voting with the majority. By their silence and their defense of Trump's racism, the Republicans have shown their own racist tendencies. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has shown himself to be a willing participant in Trump's racist actions as president, including the Muslim ban, the attack on football players for “taking a knee” during the national anthem, to his call for execution of the “Central Park Five” who are innocent of the original charge, the declaration that Mexicans are criminals and rapists streaming across the southern frontier, his declaration that we don't want any more immigrants from “shithole countries” (mostly black or brown majority nations), that there are “good people” among the Charlottesville neo-Nazis, and a seemingly endless list.

His obsession with military might and the slashing of social programs to pay for the weaponry and hardware of war has shown where his heart is: Expression of his power over the world through the power of the U.S. and its armies and missiles and bombs. The rest of the world fears the U.S. and does not trust this nation in any agreement, treaty, or convention, especially in the time of Trump, who is pathologically incapable of telling the truth or keeping the nation's word. The House vote condemning Trump's racist attack on the four representatives shows clearly the bankrupt character and nature of the modern Republican Party, which has shown its true colors: The Dixiecrats have won. Columnist, John Funiciello, is a former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land developers. Contact Mr. Funiciello and BC.




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers