Most U.S. Presidents come into office publicly vowing to unite the entire country. In reality, even the most effective Presidents are only able to unite the left with the middle, or the middle with the right, but it’s enough to bring some majority of unity. Then there’s Donald Trump, who in just nine months has managed to do the opposite: he’s united people who have nothing in common with each other against him. Just consider who’s now attacking him.
In the span of the past month or so, we’ve seen North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un calling Donald Trump a “dotard.” Kim is a murderous lunatic who needs to be extinguished, but it just so happens that he’s right. The definition of dotard is “an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile.” Then we had NBA star LeBron James calling Trump a “bum” after Trump attacked Steph Curry on Twitter. Now we have Trump’s own Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling Trump a “moron” behind closed doors.
Trump’s incompetence, corruption, and all around grotesqueness have managed to unite large factions of people who couldn’t find anything in common with each other if they tried. LeBron James, Rex Tillerson, and Kim Jong-Un? That sounds like the start of a joke – and yet they all have the exact same opinion of Trump. One is his white collar underling; one is a deranged enemy; one is a famous private citizen. From their radically different vantage points, they all see the same thing – because it’s just that blitheringly obvious from any angle.
All Presidents have their supporters and detractors. Donald Trump does still have his base of racists and goons, but it’s narrow and shrinking. Apart from them, Trump has done something unique in uniting just about everyone else against him. That takes a special kind of odiousness.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report