The worst speech (so far)
During a speech in Phoenix, President Trump attacked the media for its coverage of the violent events in Chalottesville, summarizing, from his unilateral perspective, what really happened.
The President transformed an event that claimed the life of a person, and that disturbed the deepest vein of hate in American culture, into a theater where the real victim was nothing more and nothing less than himself.
To see a President forced to reread his words, to take out a folded paper where he printed what someone else wrote for him, in order to face one of the most important circumstances of social violence in recent years, and that was unleashed unequivocally by his inability to govern without dividing, is as worrying as it is deeply sad.
"If they're doing a story about me, I know if it's honest or false”, Trump said, starting his attack on media like CNN. Does that mean that his positions are not evaluable or refutable? Does this imply that the President cannot be tried because he’s the owner of the only truth?
With hundreds of supporters clustered in a single room, and many opponents demonstrating at the gates - surrounded by smoke and gas bombs - President Trump once again demonstrated that the Roman strategy of "divide and conquer" is still in place, and that violent rhetoric is his trademark.
The effusive and limitless leader who spoke in Phoenix is very distant from the sober man who addressed the troops only a day earlier to talk about the continuation of the war in Afghanistan, because in the United States domestic violence goes first.
The real enemy of the US president is not terrorism, it’s not the economic instability or the ideological disunion of his cabinet, it is the media that fulfill their fundamental task of putting in perspective and criticizing the path that a populism-founded government insists on following in the most aberrant way.
“It's time to expose the crooked media deceptions, and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions. And yes, by the way - they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that,” the President said.
He also questioned the journalistic work from the "love for our country", echoing his premise of "loyalty" that has cost him so many collaborators and supporters, especially when he has not been able to detach himself from his trajectory of racism and classism that haunts him like a tropical storm. To try to counter it, and failing again in the attempt, the organizers of the event tried to include on the same stage Alveda King, niece of the leader for civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr. and, in the fixed image of his speech, it was inevitable to shift our gaze to the man of color who was among the participants in the background, clenched, as if to convince us that the possibilities of the president's palette fit all.
But you can’t cover the sun with one finger. If the President wanted to sell the idea that his racism is unfounded by the media and that we all fit in the nation he wants to re-found, he shouldn’t have included former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, in his speech; a man known for his Human Rights violations and his design of a modern concentration camp for undocumented immigrants.
The president asked, “Do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe?” And his followers chanted, "Pardon Joe!" Who was among the crowd and has been charged with violations of undocumented immigrants rights in 2011 and with embezzlement this April.
But for Trump, Arpaio was just doing his job: “Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job? He should have had a jury, but you know what? I'll make a prediction. I think he's going to be just fine, OK? But -- but I won't do it tonight, because I don't want to cause any controversy.”
You mean more controversy, Mr President?
The nation "under God" and full of love that he mentioned during the first minutes of his speech went down the drain when he spoke of his famous wall, of the “obstructionist” Democrats; of the Republicans impeding his dream of encircling a country and banishing those who don’t meet his standards of color, race and nationality.
“But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we're building that wall,” he said. “The American people voted for immigration control. That's one of the reasons I'm here, and that is what the American people deserve, and they're going to get it.”
Closing down the government is an extremist and unnecessary idea, but the president can rest easy. His wall already exists, and is firmly settled in the unconscious of his nation. His mission is accomplished: he has dusted off a spiritual wall that we thought was only ruins of a very distant past, and his voice has awakened it, like a Lovecraftian demon that will take years to put back to sleep.