We Played Trump Cheap; Now the Joke’s On Us

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1967 said: “In several Southern states men long regarded as political clowns had become governors or only narrowly missed election, their magic achieved with a 'witches' brew of bigotry, prejudice, half-truths and whole lies.”

On Friday, January, 20 America inaugurated a narcissistic misogynist billionaire who marketed to what Dr. King called the “white backlash” by playing to racist sentiments, bigotry and hatred. Just as he stole the line “Make America Great Again” from Reagan’s campaign, Trump also stole the racist page from Reagan’s play book.

As Reagan, then Governor of California sought to reassure social conservatives (a.k.a. racists) by launching his presidential bid in Philadelphia, MS, Trump has fanned the flames of xenophobia and ill-founded fears of terrorism. His tweets and illogical rants were and continue to be a “witches brew of bigotry, ignorance, prejudice, half-truths and whole lies.”

We played him cheap and now the jokes on us. Early on in the 2016 presidential campaign “businessman” Donald Trump was the media darling. CBS Chairman Les Moonves said at a Morgan Stanley conference, "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS…It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”

America could not get enough of Trump’s bombast, buffoonery and total disregard for truth and fact. Mainstream media was so entertained by the novelty of Trump that it ignored his inability to articulate substantive policy and lack of experience.

According to a report from Harvard’s Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media Politics and Public Policy, “Only 11 percent of coverage focused on candidates’ policy positions, leadership abilities or personal and professional histories.” It’s imperative that we clearly understand that this white backlash as Dr. King called it, or politics of resentment as Dr. Ronald Walters called it, is not new.

What is the backlash in response to? What is this resentment directed towards? The answer to the question is; the election of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the United States. As Dr. Walters wrote in White Nationalism Black Interests – Conservative Public Policy and the Black Community “Within American society, which includes contending social groups, there exists a balance of power that conforms to that society’s racial composition”.

This balance must conform to the normal distribution of power if society is to remain in equilibrium. President Obama, in the minds of a many people became an indicator that the normal distribution of power was askew and in jeopardy. Now this normal distribution of power has shifted so far to the right that it has placed America in jeopardy. President Trump recently tweeted, “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

To date Trump has provided no evidence to substantiate this outlandish claim. But the man who ran on eliminating waste, fraud and abuse” is now asking Congress to open an investigation. “You have tremendous waste, fraud, and abuse. That we’re taking care of. That we’re taking care of. It’s tremendous.” The investigation should begin with Congress asking Trump to present to the public the information he used to make his claim.

If not, how much tax payer money will be wasted researching another unsubstantiated claim by Trump? The larger problem is it’s not just Trump, it’s also those around him. Here’s what Trump’s HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, said about enslaved Africans, “That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity…There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.” Carson tried to “clarify” his statement by saying that anybody who’s come from a foreign place is an immigrant. Ignoring the fact that Webster defines “immigrant” as “a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence”.

A person “comes” to a country based upon their free will. Enslaved Africans did not come to America to take up permanent residence in pursuit of opportunity; they were brought to America against their will and worked to death. Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently praised HBCU’s as “pioneers” of the school choice movement. DeVos ignores the historical reality that in Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana and other states it was illegal to teach and/or allow Africans in America slave or free to read.

In Virginia, any slave or free person of color found at any school for teaching, reading or writing by day or night" could be whipped, at the discretion of a judge, "no more than twenty lashes".

Mississippi state law required a white person to serve up to a year in prison as "penalty for teaching a slave to read". The creation of HBCU’s had nothing to do with choice and everything to do with the response to slave codes, Jim Crow laws and state sanctioned segregation. During his fist address to the joint session of Congress, Trump acknowledged the sacrifice of Navy Special Operator Senior Chief William ‘Ryan’ Owens, but failed to take responsibility for authorizing the raid in Yemen where he died. In fact, he tried to blame the Obama administration for authorizing the raid and leaving it for him to clean up.

According to the Washington Post, “In an interview with Fox News that aired Tuesday morning, Trump said the mission “was started before I got here.” He went on to say, “This was something that was, you know, just — they wanted to do…And they lost Ryan,” Trump continued.”

According to PBS, President Obama did not authorize the raid; it was suggested in early January that the decision be “deferred to the Trump administration, so they could run their own careful process. And President Obama agreed on that, that he would make no decision whether to do things like this, and instead that Trump should run his own process.”

Donald Trump is a man long regarded as a political clown. We mocked him, scoffed at him and dismissed him as we dismissed Sarah Palin; the lightest of lightweights. He worked his magic (and Republican thievery) and was elected by employing a “witches” brew of bigotry, prejudice, half-truths and whole lies. A tactic he continues to employ. You get what you vote for in America (or don’t show up to vote for).

We played him cheap; now the jokes on us.

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the author of Politics Another Perspective, Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon,” on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126. Go to www.wilmerleon.com or email: wjl3us@yahoo.com. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com © 2017 InfoWave Communications, LLC

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