Donald Trump sought to strike some sweet notes during his State of the Union speech, asking for an end to politics of revenge, seeking more cooperation and compromise and less confrontation.
If only the president had made one more pledge, one that I wish would come from his mouth. I wish he would pledge an end to insult and innuendo.
To my ears, those have been the hallmarks of Trump’s time as president. He continues to hurl insults at his foes. He denigrates opponents’ patriotism, their intellect, their motives.
He just recently said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a “danger” to the country. Why? Because she resists spending billions of dollars to build The Wall along our southern border; she pushes back on the president’s effort to ascribe certain motives behind why she believes what she believes.
Trump’s call for compromise and his plea to reject revenge is fine as far as it goes.
The coarseness of the current political debate is attributable directly to the president’s continuing use of insults and innuendo. I won’t suggest that he has caused the coarseness solely, but he at the very minimum helps perpetuate it by the manner in which he hits back at critics.
Trump’s friends keep justifying his crude language by citing his obvious lack of fluency in politic-speak. He doesn’t utter politically correct sentences, they say; the president speaks from his gut while “telling it like it is.”
Well, that’s their view. It ain’t mine. Donald Trump cannot respond without hurling a verbal brickbat.
That doesn’t make America great . . . again.