Sunday , January 14, 2018 - 5:15 AM6 comments
For someone who’s supposed to be this “very stable genius,” the guy sure can be unpredictably dumb.
We begin this week with two spoiler alerts:
SPOILER ALERT 1. This column involves an extremely vulgar word that may be inappropriate for some readers.
SPOILER ALERT 2. This column involves an extremely vulgar president who is turning out to be just plain inappropriate.
As such, I encourage you to shoo the small children out of the room — as well as the thin-skinned folks who can’t abide criticism of our current commander in chief (as opposed to their own criticisms of our last commander in chief). Because the adults need to have a frank and serious conversation.
On Friday, the excrement hit the fan amid reports that President Donald Trump — in a meeting with lawmakers about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy, or DACA — wondered aloud why we can’t get more immigrants from delightful places like Norway instead of … wait for it … “shithole” countries like Haiti, El Salvador and your assorted African nations.
Why, indeed. Perhaps it’s because no respectable Norwegians would be caught dead immigrating to a country whose leader would use such a crass term to refer to other places around the globe.
Trump denies he ever used that word, tweeting: “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.”
But not even Trump’s most ardent supporters are disingenuous enough to insist they believe that lie. Besides, the president had already admitted in another tweet that the language he used at the DACA meeting was “tough.”
So what we have here is a president — who’s never minced words on sensitive subjects in the past — using admittedly tough talk to say Haiti is a poor and troubled country. Even if we were to give him the benefit of the doubt on his word choice, we’re left wondering precisely what he called these countries — something that wasn’t quite “shithole” but was almost certainly much stronger than a simple “poor and troubled country” reference.
A few educated guesses, based on the man’s track record:
• “Third-world Dumpster fires.”
• “Places that, if we shared a border with them, we would totally build a wall to keep them out.”
• “Countries bleeding from a badly botched foreign-aid package.”
• “Countries not attractive enough to grab by their gross domestic products.”
• “The Rosie O’Donnell of nations.”
Of course, it could also be that our plain-spoken president really did use that horrid s-hole word.
With this latest braying, it’s all finally beginning to make sense. When Trump promised he was going to “Make America Great Again” I just assumed he meant, you know, doing stuff to improve things here in our country. But it would appear he’s merely out to make her great by comparison.
It’s classic bullying behavior. Deep down, bullies are an insecure lot, so the quickest way to feel better about themselves — without having to address their own shortcomings — is by constantly denigrating others.
I had my share of run-ins with bullies back in elementary school and junior high. And each time I came home upset over being called names, or made fun of, or punched, my mother would sit me down and say: “Son, the thing you need to understand about bullies is that they’re scared, and the only way they know to make themselves feel safer is by passing that fear on to somebody else.”
At the time, I didn’t fully comprehend this wisdom of my mother. Because all the bullies I’d encountered didn’t seem scared at all. They just seemed mean and loud and brash and pushed the weaker kids around and didn’t care about anyone but themselves.
Fortunately, by high school even the bullies had matured to the point where they no longer needed to go around looking for validation in the pain of others.
Most of them, anyway.
Roughly half of the people in this country think Donald Trump is this amazingly strong, confident leader who stands up for the little guy. In reality, he’s nothing more than an insecure, entitled bully who tries to look tough on the outside but on the inside obsesses about perceived failures like the relative sizes of his crowds and his hands.
I may not be that scared, skinny little kid anymore, but I still know a frightened bully when I see one. And the worst part is that this particular bully has somehow managed to become the face of the most powerful nation on earth.
President Trump’s latest reckless word choice only reveals the utter contempt he harbors for much of the rest of the world. And while he keeps trying to tell us he’s making America “great,” I fear the actual term for what she’s becoming may be wholly unsuitable for publication here.
Because imagine what could be worse than living in a “shithole.”
Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at facebook.com/MarkSaal.
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