Tag Archives: unity

‘Unity’ becomes hate speech


Do you remember when Donald Trump promised to “unify” the nation? Do you recall the many times he said he would be everyone’s president?

I do. It was just four years ago. It seems like an eternity.

Here we are. We’re on the cusp of another presidential election. My several social media networks are abuzz with memes, proclamations, hysteria. Donald Trump’s re-election effort has produced — at least in my memory — the most hateful back/forth possible.

Why is that? How did we get to this point?

I have to point straight, with both hands at the White House, at the guy who lives there with his wife and youngest son. Donald Trump has failed to deliver on many of his 2016 presidential campaign promises.

The “unity” pledge stands out. It’s a doozy. Trump’s strategy has been clear almost since the day he took the oath of office: He would speak only to his base; the rest of us, especially those who voted for his opponent four years ago, do not matter to him.

The result has been hate speech disguised as “political discourse.”

I’ll be clear: We have been through more divisive times in this country; the Civil War comes to mind; so does the Vietnam War; Watergate, too.

In my lifetime, though, this era — ushered in with the election of a first-time office seeker and former reality TV show host — has been unique in the level of hostility between the sides. Friendships have been plowed asunder. Family members are at each others’ throats. Prominent politicians have quit talking to those on “the other side of the aisle.”

Why is that? I focus my attention and the blame at the man at the top of the heap, the current president of the United States.

Donald Trump occupies the bulliest of political pulpits imaginable. The president is fully capable, were he so wired, to guide the tone of the debate toward a civil tone. Instead, Donald Trump has used that pulpit to foment the anger that has devolved into hatred.

This is my statement of fair warning that we need to prepare ourselves for the gutter-level campaign that Donald Trump intends to produce for us. This won’t be fun.

Call for unity and harmony runs smack into this

Take a gander at these tweets, sent out in tandem.

They came from the fingertips of the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. The president wants us to unite. He wants us to set aside our differences, or speak with civility to each other about them.

Why, then, does he insist on calling the media the “true enemy of the people”? Why does he keep insisting that the media’s mission is to spread “fake news” and to engage in “open hostility ” toward his administration?

This is the kind of message that runs directly counter to any phony calls for unity and harmony and for civil discussion.

The president and first lady will go Tuesday to Pittsburgh to speak to the survivors and family members of the victims of the massacre at Tree of Life synagogue. He’ll say the right things in the moment. Then he well could return to the type of messaging we keep seeing, reading and hearing.

If the president really intended to lower the temperature, he would stop sending messages like this into cyberspace. He would cease this endless, relentless Twitter tantrum/tirade against the media and his opponents.

I believe you could this “cyber bullying.” Isn’t that correct, Mme. First Lady?

Call for ‘unity’ gives way to more attacks

It’s been quite clear that Donald Trump’s calls for “unity” and “compassion” are as hollow as his claim of being a “self-made” zillionaire.

The president recited the correct words as federal, state and law enforcement officials apprehended a suspect believed to be responsible for sending pipe bombs to the president’s political foes and a major media organization.

Then he returned almost immediately to form.

He blasted Democrats as wanting to take the nation on a track to “socialism.” Moreover, he blamed the media for fomenting the anger that has infected the nation’s political debate.

No mention, of course, of his own role in the anger that allegedly prompted Cesar Sayoc to send out the bombs.

In a more perfect political world, the president of the United States would talk at his campaign rallies about the specifics of his policy proposals, rather than merely attacking those on the other side.

He would, for instance:

  • Articulate why his tax policies would help individuals and families.
  • Explain in detail why the nation wants to declare trade wars with its trading partners worldwide.
  • Line out — with specifics — his view that the nation’s environmental policies haven’t improved the environment and why they’re harmful to job growth.
  • Explain, again with detail and context, why the government is considering an elimination of the term “transgender.”

He won’t do any of that. He will rely on applause lines spoken to fervent crowds of supporters. He will continue to applaud chants of “Lock her up!” when the crowd erupts in anger at Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Trump is sincerely insincere

He’ll continue to applaud a politician who assaults a reporter while decrying “political violence.” He will keep insisting that the media are using the bomb/terror story for “political gain” against Republicans.

Unity, Mr. President? Sure thing. The man’s calls for unity don’t mean a single thing.

Try this out, Mr. President

These words likely won’t ever fly out of Donald J. Trump’s mouth, but I’ll suggest them anyway in advance of the president’s next political rally, set for tonight in Wisconsin.

Here goes:

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Before I get into my remarks about the upcoming midterm election, I want to speak for just a moment about the news of today.

I condemn in the strongest terms possible the despicable threats leveled against two former presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and their families, against former CIA director John Brennan, against CNN, Rep. Maxine Waters, and against George Soros, the Democrats’ big campaign donor. I have pledged the government will work full time to find out who sent those explosives to these individuals and to CNN and we will bring them to justice.

Yes, I know I have spoken harshly against them. Some of them have spoken against me. The rhetoric has gotten too heated. It’s time now to “unify” the country. I can start right here and now with this speech.

Yes, I want Republicans to win. I want them keep control of Congress. I will fight for them with all my being. 

The time for denigrating our foes, for sanctioning violence with rhetoric is over. We need to restore a semblance of civility.

And from this moment forward, if you start yelling “Lock her up” or “Lock him up,” or question the patriotism of our foes, I will call you out, urge you to stop doing that.


Do you think that will happen? I don’t either. But you know, I am no longer going to be surprised or shocked at anything this president says or does.

Sure, this is the weirdest president we’ve ever seen. His weirdness actually could produce a stunning rhetorical reversal.

Trump ignites a new era of nastiness

Donald J. Trump won’t leave a warm and fuzzy presidential legacy.

I feel confident in saying so. He’ll leave office no doubt proclaiming all kinds of economic and foreign policy success.

He won’t, though, be able to declare victory in his stated pledge to “unify” the country after the contentious and bitter campaign that elected him president of the United States.

We are more divided than we’ve been in the past 50 years. More divided than Bush v. Gore and the Florida recount — and a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision — that decided the 2000 election; more than the impeachment in 1998 of President Clinton; more than the fight over the Affordable Care Act in 2010; more divided, even, than during the Vietnam War, when millions of Americans marched in protest against that conflict.

Trump took office and declared at his inaugural that the “American carnage” would end “right here and right now.” It hasn’t.

He has dragged public discourse into the gutter. He has ignited his Democratic Party foes to follow him there. Man, I regret that trend. We hear Democrats using Trump’s own words and behavior as justification for their attempts to out-shout the president and the Republicans.

Trump’s declaration that the media are the “enemy of the American people” has energized his base, which is totally fine with him.

Donald Trump is not the president of the entire nation; he speaks only to his base and speaks only in language that his base understands. They comprise something around 38 percent of all Americans. That’s enough to suit the president.

Does any of this portend a legacy that makes us proud?

Nope. Not as far as I’m concerned. I’m pretty sure a lot of other Americans feel the same way.

The national mood is getting more sour by the day

Am I feeling the burn out there?

The national mood, which wasn’t great prior to the 2016 presidential election, appears to be worsening.

Yep. I’m sure of it, actually.

Donald Trump Sr. pledged to unify the country after being elected president. How has he done? Uh, terribly. Maybe that’s just me, but I don’t think so.

Yes, congressional Democrats are stunned that their candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost to this guy. She should have won in a landslide. She didn’t. Democrats haven’t gotten over it … yet!

Now, that takes us to the guy who won. How has he done in the “gracious winner” department? Let’s see. He keeps harping on his record-breaking victory, which it wasn’t. Trump keeps reminding us how Democrats supposedly favor things like high crime, high taxes, open borders … those kinds of things. He won’t meet with Democrats to discuss legislative priorities.

The president has continued to stick his thumb in the eye of his foes. He yaps, yammers and yelps about how it’s everyone else’s fault that his legislative agenda gets stalled.

He disparages the FBI, the Department of Justice and the special counsel (Robert Mueller) who has been given the task of finding out whether the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russians who meddled in our electoral process.

And now …

The president has implemented an executive policy of “zero tolerance” on our southern border. The policy allows for the separating of children from their parents. Educators, clergy, human services experts, lawmakers (many from his own Republican Party) are aghast at the policy. They call it institutionalized “child abuse.” Four former first ladies have said the same thing independently about the policy: that it is inhumane.

There is a virtual uprising seemingly about to occur.

Trump’s response? He calls the children and their parents a threat to our nation. Hey, what about those Russian goons who meddled in our election, Mr. President? When are you going to drop the hammer on them? Ever?

Meanwhile, the nation is more divided than ever. Americans are growing angrier by the day.

Hey, it occurs to me yet again that the Russians’ attempt to sow discord and disunion … is working!

This is how you ‘unify’ the country? No way!

Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!

There you have it. One more tweet from the president of the United States of America, the fellow who promised to “unify” the country after his election in 2016.

Donald J. Trump is failing miserably in keeping that particular promise.

Trump’s election came after one of the bitterest and most bizarre political campaigns in U.S. history. He entered the presidential race after ignoring any aspect of public service for his entire working life. He insulted and denigrated a competent and qualified field of GOP candidates en route to capturing the party’s presidential nomination.

Then he insulted and denigrated his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, on his way to the stunning Electoral College victory he scored.

Trump’s inaugural address was nothing short of grim and ghastly. The only line anyone seems to remember is the one about “the American carnage” stopping “right here and right now.”

Democrats now have taken on the role of high tax, high crime obstructionists in Trump’s view of the world.

Presidents assume power presumably understanding that they make decisions on everyone’s behalf, even those who voted against them. Trump has decided instead to talk directly — and exclusively — to the bloc of voters who have hung with him.

To suggest that those of the other party are interested only in promoting high crime, high taxes and obstructionism is a direct slap in the face of tens of millions of Americans, many of whom actually want the president to succeed.

I happen to be one of those Americans. I didn’t vote for Trump. I won’t vote for him in 2020, presuming he’s still in office and gets nominated again by his party. I align myself more with Democrats than with Republicans.

That all said, I do not consider high taxes, high crime and obstructionism to be the prescription for American greatness.

Unity, Mr. President? When are you going to deliver on that pledge?

Didn’t hear much ‘unity,’ Mr. President

I awoke this morning during a lunar eclipse. But the sun rose in the east — just as it has done since the beginning of time.

However, I don’t believe I awoke to a country more “unified” after last night’s presidential State of the Union speech, which I watched from start to finish.

The president said his speech would “unify” the nation. Judging from what I witnessed on my TV screen, I didn’t see a unified joint congressional session. Republicans stood repeatedly. Democrats sat on their hands.

Is that somehow different? Is it unique to this president in this time? Not at all! Republicans sat on their hands when Presidents Clinton and Obama spoke to them, just as Democrats did during President Bush’s two terms (the president’s post-9/11 speech notwithstanding, when everyone was cheering his rallying cry to a grieving nation).

Donald Trump’s urging of unity was supplanted by mentioning tax cuts, the repealing of the mandates required by the Affordable Care Act, the battle over immigration and construction of “the wall,” the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice. Divisiveness, anyone?

The president took office in the aftermath of arguably the most contentious, bitter campaigns in the past century. He took charge of a nation divided sharply over his election — and it hasn’t gotten any less divided in the year since he took office.

If the congressional response we witnessed Tuesday night on Capitol Hill is indicative of the nation those men and women represent, well, the president has a lot more work ahead of him.

Unity? This is how Trump defines the term?

It’s been semi-official for some time, but I feel the need to perhaps restate the obvious.

Donald John Trump Sr. views the world from a parallel universe.

He keeps yapping about seeking “unity.” The president keeps telling us he’ll serve all the people. He keeps making promises to bind the wounds that have divided us.

Then he pardons one of U.S. law enforcement’s most controversial, polarizing and divisive figures. Yep, that would be former “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio, the ex-sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz.

Arpaio was convicted of a contempt of court charge. A federal judge ordered Arpaio to cease his roundup of illegal immigrants. The sheriff ignored the lawful order. Trump today issued the pardon while saluting Arpaio’s years as a lawman.

Arpaio’s conduct has been a graphic demonstration of racial profiling. He has sought out Latinos, arrested them and detained them simply because they look as though they’re here illegally.

The presidential pardon is just about as divisive a decision as the president could have made. He’s got his “base” of support on one side and the rest of us on the other. The “base” applauds the pardon; the rest of us are jeering it.

Unity, anyone?

Oh, and then he issued the formal order banning transgender troops from enlisting in — or serving in — the armed forces of this country. The men and women who call themselves “transgender” have served with honor, and some with distinction and heroism. To see the president order them tossed out is repugnant on its face.

How’s that for unity?

Donald Trump’s pledge to bring the nation together is now looking more like the empty gesture many of us have believed it was when first heard it in real time. He doesn’t understand how to do such a thing. Trump is not wired emotionally to carry out that serious promise.

His idiotic rant at that Phoenix rally earlier this week seemed to set the table nicely for what we are witnessing.

To think that he has done all this against the backdrop of what occurred two weekends ago in Charlottesville, Va. Go … figure.

Is any of that surprising in a man with zero public service experience — or interest — prior to his being elected to the nation’s highest office? It might be to some Americans. Not to me — or to millions of other Americans.