White Trash in the White House

The definition of “character” as it refers to a human being is “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” Most Americans would hope, if not believe ardently, that the person legally occupying the White House would be a person of the highest moral and mental character, regardless their politics. Since January 20, 2017 Americans can hardly say the current White House occupant does not have “distinctive mental and and mental qualities,” but they certainly aren’t the qualities one expects of a civilized human being, much less the head of the Executive branch of government.

At this juncture, even dyed-in-the-wool conservatives are becoming outspoken about Trump’s character and it is still a mystery why they have waited until now to speak out. Shortly after Trump besmirched the office of the president with a crass misogynistic remark about a woman’s appearance and mental fitness, renowned conservative pundit and Republican stalwart Bill Kristol “Tweeted” the obvious. He said,

The problem isn’t Trump’s Twitter. The problem is Trump’s character.”

Mr. Kristol wasn’t finished with Trump, though, and addressed another “Tweet” directly to the @realDonaldTrump. He wrote simply that: “You are a pig.”

Kristol likely has a few other choice words for the Trump, most of us do. But his reference to Trump as “a pig” brings up an important point. It doesn’t matter how rich, how powerful, or how high an office or station in life a person occupies, their actions and words define their character. It is like the rhetorical expression, “lipstick on a pig.” The idea is that no matter the cosmetic enhancements a person employs, it is an exercise in futility to attempt to disguise their true nature with wealth or power; or expect a pig with lipstick to be anything other than a pig. As an aside, comparing Trump to a pig is an insult to the swine population everywhere; that is not this author’s intent.

It isn’t clear how involved Trump is with personal cosmetic enhancements, but if he or his acolytes believe for one second that being rich, living in the White House, or running a multi-billion dollar business empire makes him any less white trash, they are deluded.

White trash is a deliberately derogatory term typically used for Southern white people. But that is a patently unfair reference to Southern people and not just because this author is Southern born. No, white trash can be anyone regardless of their geographical location, station in life, or high-level of affluence.

Traits of white trash include a bent towards chauvinism, racism, bigotry, conservatism, protestant Christianity, and often country music; but that country music bit is unfair. White trash people also tend to be self-righteous, ignorant, lazy, illiterate and cheap; all accurate descriptions of dirty Don Trump.

This little screed is not about any group of Americans most would regard as white trash even though it is true that white trash definitely appeals to other white trash; a fact that explains Trump’s appeal to ignorant racists and evangelical conservatives. No, this is about the white trash in the White House. And although there is a monumental mass of white trash (see above definition) ensconced at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, only one of them is allowed to claim official occupancy of the Oval Office.

After Trump’s disgusting remarks about Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski, the senior vice president of communications for NBCUniversal News Group,  Mark Korblau, said:

Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, ‘it is beneath my dignity to respond to the president of the United States.’”

Mr. Kornblau was referring to Trump attacking Ms. Brzezinski as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and claiming he had seen her “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” Trump’s comments belie any sense of decency even for regular white trash, and they inform how monumentally ‘white trash’ Trump really is. This isn’t Trump’s first foray into publicly insulting women, but it is precisely why no small number of Americans think to themselves;  “It is beneath my dignity to even refer to dirty Donald Trump as president of the United States.

For dog’s sake, no president, no matter how inherently mean and vicious they might be, would ever even entertain the idea of sending a series of insults to their 32-plus million social media followers; they just wouldn’t consider it. However, before January 20, 2017, America has never had to suffer white trash in the Oval Office. What is very telling is that no matter how crass, vile and hateful the white trash in the White House gets, Trump still has devotees clinging to his every tweet as if uttered straight from the biblical god’s mouth.

This latest incident informs more about Trump than he epitomizes the worst of white trash; he is a spoiled crybaby that is incapable of taking any form of criticism, dissent, or even mild disagreement regardless the source. It is precisely why Trump hates any form of media that fails to praise him as a messiah, and just one of myriad reasons he may be qualified to be a skank on a reality television, but nothing else.

If Trump thought for a nano-second that the media was going to roll over, stop doing their jobs, and fawn over his every utterance simply because he gets to live in the White House, he is learning that the media, whether print, visual, or digital have two important tasks as members of the Fourth Estate.

First and foremost, journalists are beholden to report facts and events as they happen. Secondly, and more important for a civilized society; a journalist’s job is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” by reporting and commenting on how the government, or in this case the white trash in the White House, is hurting the people.

Donald Trump is, in obscenity-free street parlance, a bonafide “punk-ass bitch.” Even the whitest of the white trash would hesitate to publicly malign a woman’s intelligence, sanity, and appearance simply because she performed her job. Oh, it’s true there are plenty of white trash males who would badmouth a woman in the company of their closest confidantes, but they would never, never ever, take that route publicly. Even the dirtiest white trash comprehends that insulting women publicly is a serious breach of decency and that really is this author’s point. Donald Trump is the personification of white trash and he may be filthy rich, wear expensive suits, and live in the White House, but in the same way putting lipstick on a pig cannot hide the fact it is still a pig, Donald Trump living in the White House doesn’t hide the fact that he is pure white trash and the personification of everything that nasty label entails.

Bernie Sanders Didn’t Lie – He Blamed Media Because He Believed a Lie

 

It is, or it can be, easy to get caught up during a hotly-contested campaign and make statements that one might reconsider making after the fact. But if that  is the case, the wise thing to do is “walk back” the offending statement as elegantly as possible and if the statement was based on a gross error, or dog forbid a blatant lie, then admit the misstep, apologize, and move forward with the campaign.

Over the past couple of days all the rage has been the two Democratic candidates for the nomination claiming their opponent is “unqualified to be president.” The only problem is that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never said Senator Bernie Sanders is unqualified to be president; even though she was given three prime opportunities to do so.

In fact, Mrs. Clinton was pressured by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, three times, to state categorically that “Senator Sanders is not qualified to be president.” She refused to be dragged into what is typical of Republican politicians Scarborough is used to easily manipulating into saying what he wanted to hear. Hillary Clinton is not a Republican, and since she is very dedicated to maintaining Democratic unity, she was not about to be manipulated by the likes of “Morning Joe.”

Apparently, Senator Sanders, or his staff, failed to verify reports that Mrs. Clinton said on national television that he was unqualified to serve as president, so he reciprocated during a campaign speech. He said,

She has been saying, lately, that she thinks that I am quote-unquote ‘not qualified to be president.’ Let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton that I don’t believe she is qualified if she is, through her Super Pac, taking tens of millions from special interests.”

Now there are two specific problems with the Senator’s remarks. First and foremost; Hillary Clinton never said Sanders is unqualified despite being aggressively pressed on the issue three times. Second, taking special interest money does not make a candidate “unqualified to be president.”

If that were the case then Senator Sanders is as unqualified as he claims Mrs. Clinton is because he takes millions in special interest money as well; including from wealthy Hollywood elites and there is nothing wrong with it. It is, unfortunately, the nature of American politics and not a reason for either of Democratic candidates to be considered “unqualified” to serve.

What is wrong is that the Senator reacted negatively, and hastily, to something that never occurred. It is curious that no-one on his campaign staff alerted him that regardless what he might have heard, or wanted to believe about Mrs. Clinton, she refused to stoop so low as to say he was unqualified to serve despite being “aggressively pressed” three times. As one writer notedMrs. Clinton did what a ‘statesman’ would do;” take the high road to maintain unity with the Democratic base.

It took a day or so, but Senator Sanders did kind of walk back his statement regarding Mrs. Clinton’s qualifications to serve, but he blamed the media during a press conference yesterday for instigating his untoward remark about Mrs. Clinton’s qualifications. Senator Sanders even said he did not want to get into “that type of politics.”

This is not the type of politics that I want to get in, I know it’s what the media loves. It is not the type of politics that I want to get in, but let me also be very clear. If Secretary Clinton thinks that I just come from the small state of Vermont, we are not used to this, we will get used to it fast.”

Maybe that is how they apologize and say I made a mistake in  Vermont, but if that is the case it was unconvincing and likely irritated a few more on the left. The simplest thing to tell the press, his supporters, and the American people was not about being a victim of the media, but that he simply overreacted before vetting what he believed was a slight against his character and qualifications.

As noted by other columnists, “Simply calling your opponent ‘unqualified’ isn’t necessarily the wisest thing to do, but if it’s how you feel, it also isn’t necessarily earth-shattering heresy.”  Unless, however, that comment is based on a blatant lie with video verification it was a blatant lie; no matter where the lie originated. Senator Sanders’ comment rankled Hillary supporters and no small number of Democrats,  but a different response from the Senator would have allowed them to get over it and have a new sense of respect for Bernie and his campaign.

Even after learning it was lie, it was  unforgivable to shift the blame to the media; it is what Republicans do and it is beneath Senator Sanders as a man of integrity. It does not take any effort to say “I was wrong, I overreacted and I shouldn’t have; I apologize.” A comment like that would go a long ways to combat the “Bernie Lied” articles making the rounds on the Internet. What Bernie did was overreact to a lie, but made it worse by blaming the media instead of his campaign.

As yet another columnist commented, this nominating primary is not some kind of amateur game without serious consequences for the entire nation. It is all well and good to fight for the nomination, but as noted here, here, and here, anything serving to divide the left is a win for Republicans. It is exactly why the Karl Rove types are spending tens-of-millions to feed the “Left’s” smear campaign against Mrs. Clinton’s character.

Senator Sanders says he does not want to get into dirty politicking and that he wants to lead the most powerful nation on earth.  But as mentioned here, “if he can’t admit a simple mistake or apologize for it – which is what blame-shifting amounts to – his qualifications for the Democratic nomination may be fine. It’s his character that becomes a matter of debate.”

It is too bad that instead of a simple apology and “a strong walk-back by Senator Sanders himself,” Bernie made it look like he can be easily manipulated by a headline; one he was quick to blame for leading him to engage in exactly “the type of politics” he says does not want to get into. It is too late though, because blaming the media just defined the “type of politics” the Democratic campaign is now into and that is indeed very sad and unproductive.