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Monday, May 29, 2017

"How about We Just Give Trump a Chance?"

As for “giving Trump a chance,” there are as far as I can see only two possible justifications for doing so. The first is that he has personally earned a chance. I think that whatever your stance on the man’s policies or positions, someone who spent the last eight years trying, without a shred of evidence, to undermine the legitimacy of his predecessor by claiming he was a Muslim from Africa, has not personally earned the chance. Personally he’s earned scorn and derision and the constant whining of Trump and his supporters about how “unfairly” he’s been treated deserves nothing better than maniacal laughter. Despite his claim of “great surety” that no politician in history has been treated worse or more unfairly, in fact no one is seriously denying the legitimacy of his victory. He hasn’t been treated worse than he himself treated President Obama.

The second reason to “give him a chance” is that it would be for the good of the country. That claim has a little more weight. Even Obama himself—a man infinitely more gracious, patriotic, and civil minded than the current president, said we should wish Trump success. It sounds good. One should, if possible, set aside the well-earned scorn Trump has worked so hard for and wish him well if not doing so is harmful to the country. However hard it may be to swallow the anger and let this man off the hook for his myriad sins against pretty much everything an American should hold dear, we should let him off the hook indeed if that serves the greater good.

But what does it actually mean to do so? Does it mean sitting back quietly while he tries to implement policies that go against one’s values? Does it mean staying silent when he delegitimizes the press (and therefore the Constitution)? Should we shush ourselves when he insults the world’s billion Muslims? Does it mean giving him no opposition when he tries to funnel more and more of the nation’s wealth away from the poor and middle class up to his billionaire cronies? If that’s what it means to “give him a chance,” then no. No American should for one moment let him off the hook. We could forgive or at least ignore for now the lying, divisive, bullying, ignorant, hate-filled rise to the presidency if doing so would be good for the country. But—and this is not exactly surprising—the perverse values of the disgusting campaign that led this disgusting lard ass to the job are the same values that guide his presidency. If he ever deserved a chance, he’s already warn that deserving out. He wore it out the moment he first tried to ban all Muslims from the country. And he’s shown again and again since how little he deserves a chance and how dangerous it would be act in any way other than in the strictest opposition.

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