Does the president ever surprise us?

The more I think about it, the less surprised I get over the epithet that flew out of Donald John Trump’s mouth earlier this week.

I refer to his questioning why the United States accepts immigrants from “sh**hole countries” such as Haiti and those in Africa.

African Union member states have called on a retraction and an apology from the president of the United States. Democratic politicians in this country are howling about the racist-sounding rant the president leveled during a White House meeting to discuss immigration issues.

But this comment merely is the latest in a disturbing pattern of behavior that Trump has demonstrated for many years.

He questioned Barack Obama’s legitimacy as president; he called white supremacists, Klansmen and neo-Nazis “very fine people”; he said an Indiana-born federal judge couldn’t adjudicate a case because of his Mexican heritage; he has attacked a Muslim Gold Star family; he called Mexican immigrants criminals; he called for a ban on all Muslims entering this country.

And on and on it goes. Seemingly forever.

He cannot control his impulse to denigrate groups of people. He seems always inclined to target darker-skinned people or non-Christians. He plays solely to his political base.

Why is it a surprise, then, that he would blurt out an epithet about “sh**hole countries comprising dark-skinned citizens?

It’s not. The surprise would come if Trump ever could find a way to offer a word of kindness and compassion for those who want to come here in search of a better life.

I do not expect that from Donald Trump.

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