|Adult Star Stephanie Clifford|
Another week in Trump's America leads to another round of offensive statements, damaging revelations and erratic behavior. It's hard to know where to begin.
Let's start with Michael Wolff's new book about the Trump administration, "Fire & Fury". Although there is some doubt as to the overall veracity of Wolff's various claims in the book, the portrait it paints of the Trump administration is both horrifying and believable: the president is seen as being child like, petulant, ignorant and bull headed. Members of his own cabinet privately insult his intelligence. Basically, the book confirms every negative thing about the administration that so many Americans like me have imagined. The picture it paints is so poor that Trump defended his mental state with a tweet, saying that he was "a stable genius." Because there's no better sign of being a genius than openly saying that you are.
There was little stability or genius on display a few days later when, during a bipartisan meeting, Trump referred to Haitian immigrants as coming from a "shit hole" country. He then asserted that he wanted more immigrants from Denmark in America. While there has been some pushback from the White House on the wording of these statements, Senator Dick Durban who was at the meeting claims that he said them repeatedly. The sad thing is that this is part of a pattern from him; this is, after all, a man who was sued by the federal government back in the 1970's for refusing to rent to black to people. And who repeatedly said that he believed that Barack Obama was not born in this country. And that Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers. And that an American judge could not rule properly on a case involving him because he was of Mexican heritage. I could fill out another page going on with more examples of his bigotry, but you get the idea. Sadly, this probably won't move the needle of his support by Republican voters, in fact, I'm sure many of them are silently cheering him on. Meanwhile, most Republican politicians have either cowardly said nothing, made only the most tepid of criticisms (Paul Ryan called them "Very unfortunate"), or actually tried to defend them! Let's face it, the minute the Republican party chose Trump as their presidential candidate, they threw away any pretense that their party is not the party of bigotry and hatred. Although many Republican candidates are not themselves bigots, they will gladly except their support if means getting more power. White supremacy is now their default setting, and until they finally publicly break with their president, it always will be.
And then another scandal emerged just yesterday, reminding us that Trump is as much a misogynist as he is a bigot. According to the Washington Post, he made a payoff of one hundred and thirty thousand dollars to an adult film star to prevent her from disclosing a consensual affair they had in 2006 right before the election. While part of me is not too concerned about this, given that it was a consensual affair between adults, and I don't want to be a hypocrite, given that I don't think Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky in the 90's was worth of impeachment, I do still think it does reveal much of Trump's mentality towards women: in 2006, Trump was in his sixties, married, and his wife had just given birth. And he still thought it was time to have an affair with an adult film star that was half his age. Classy. And let's not forget, there are sixteen women who claim that Trump sexually harassed or assaulted them in some way. The fact that he appears to have been chasing porn stars while his wife was caring for his new son only adds credibility to the notion that he sees women as there for the taking.
So, in the past week we have heard the president claim that he's a genius, make bigoted comments about nonwhite countries, and then heard about yet another affair he's had. If this is his idea of returning America to greatness, I'll take the country as it was from 2008-16, when we had a president who wasn't an utter embarrassment, thank you very much.