Monday, October 2, 2017

No wall, but Trump does have his foxhole

What a tremendous statue this will make:

Donald Trump aboard his golf cart, his polo shirt overstuffed, his ball cap pulled down to his brow, observing the world from his secure tee box.

An image for the ages, like Washington in the rowboat and MacArthur in the surf. Let us start carving the man for posterity.

He is a self-portrait in insularity: While Puerto Rico strangled on muck and cried out for clean water, Trump struck a pose behind a plastic windshield -- and picked maybe the most pointlessly venal fight imaginable.

You might say Carmin Yulin Cruz, mayor of San Juan, picked it. After all, she was in the midst of death and despair when she reacted to Trump's "really good news story" line about her Puerto Rico with, no, it's a "people are dying story."

Trump could have said, "Pardon me for being flippant. This is serious." Instead, he was flippant.

Trump's two-tweet response was that Cruz had "been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump . . . Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort."

Yes, that's our president: not interested in serving the people of this nation – and that includes Puerto Ricans. He's solely about self-service. The viceroy has been offended.

The mark of a great leader is the ability to see beyond the fray and lead where necessity lies. Trump sees what's on his TV cluster and gets a cramp in his Twitter hand.

What a glorious battle he waged against silent football players who might take a knee, exhorting crowds to boo and owners to fire the SOBs. History will remember this.

He said he wasn't criticizing black players. Of course, he knows what the whole matter is about; it's about being black.

He's not black. Why should he care?

Now, if difficulties arise for rust-haired, overly tan bankruptcy masters, you've got a fight from the man.

The racial divisions that are carving up this nation are getting more acute by the day, and Trump is happy to oblige.

As with his interchange with Mayor Cruz, he's not going to back down. He's not going to concede.

Stop that "come together" nonsense, people. The Trump presidency is going to be about trench warfare.

The man has dug his foxhole and spends every day fortifying it, digging deeper. These will be four years of poison gas and hand grenades. Right, Steve Bannon?

Every day and in every way, Trump and the Republican Party are making it known that they are determined to hold and administer power without the help of black and brown people.

Over and over, the courts have admonished the GOP for redistricting and vote-suppression shenanigans aimed at marginalizing people of color. The Republicans couldn't care less. That's how they plan to hold and administer power.

The Electoral College gives inordinate power to white-flight districts and white-dominated states. We get it. We got it. We got President Trump from it.

Yes, a lot of Americans needed to be reminded that Puerto Rico was, is, one of us. Of course, if you consider "us" to be human beings, that applies everywhere, say where desperate people seek refugee status.

The Trumpite response to Black Lives Matter is, "All lives matter." You really couldn't tell that after nine months of this presidency.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:

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