Former Olympic medalist and BBC athletics announcer Brendan Foster once observed that the life of the international athlete is one of waking up in the morning tired and going to bed at night very tired. It might be said that’s not unlike the life of those of us who make anti-Trump polemics our business. We wake up disgusted and go to bed very disgusted.
In a hyperbole-defying tweet Monday, the “president” doubled down on his media-excoriating policy by yet again declaiming the media the “true enemy of the people.” This ought to be a jaw dropping pronouncement in the wake of the carnage of the past week, and to some extent, it is. But to the extent that it is not is explained by the fact that it is precisely the kind of rhetoric we expect from Donald Trump. We have grown used to it.
The danger of such rhetoric is immediately obvious to most of us. After years of monstrous calumnies and lies directed against Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Soros and others, no one was surprised when one of Trump’s followers inevitably tried to murder them with bombs sent by mail. Nor are we mystified when “globalist” is made both a dirty word and a dogwhistle for “Jews” and then a synagogue is attacked and eleven Americans are slaughtered.
When Trump’s deft enlistment of bigots inspired a Louisville gunman to kill two African-Americans in a grocery store last week, after having tried and failed to shoot up a black church, we hardly batted an eye. It’s the way it is in Trump’s America.
It needs to be said and it needs to be said loudly and clearly: in all likelihood there would have been no bombs mailed and the thirteen people who were mindlessly butchered last week would be alive today had it not been for Donald Trump and his rhetoric of hate. Trump is either too stupid to notice the power of the weapon of division he wields or too evil to care. I’m guessing it’s the latter.
Whatever the case, Trump’s latest tweet proclaiming the media the “true enemy of the people” is something that should not be tolerated. I, for one, am tired of awakening in the morning disgusted and going to bed at night very disgusted. And I doubt I’m alone.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.