[OP-ED]: The President Who Stole Christmas
What if they gave a Christmas tree lighting and nobody came? A question that Donald Trump is well qualified to answer since this is what took place this year at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House.
A photo shared to Twitter by Washington, DC journalist Steve Rudin shows that Trump was joined by his wife, some family members and, well, rows and rows of empty chairs, very different from president Obama’s standing-only first tree lighting in 2009. Sad! as Trump himself would say.
Remembering the sparse crowd at Trump's inauguration on January 20, so much smaller than those at Obama's two inaugurations, a pattern seems to emerge: The American people can’t stand the aging buffoon and his tiresome shenanigans.
It is not a gratuitous hatred, mind you, it is a well-deserved feeling of disgust and embarrassment the president has more than earned with his racism, his persecution of immigrants, his ignorant imperial attitudes, his love of money, his lack of respect for the constitution, his moral vacuum, not to mention his unnatural love for all things Putin.
These are tumultuous times and we approach Christmas, a time in which the old “peace and love” slogan is supposed to become more than nice words, with a disquieting sense of foreboding, a pervasive feeling of anything-can-happen. And with good reason.
The tax bill the Senate passed Friday affects everybody, but to no one’s surprise it is designed to make the richest even richer on the backs of the rest of the population. While it reduces the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 20%, it raises taxes on the poor and the middle class, adds one trillion to the deficit, takes health insurance away from 13 million people, and raises premium by 10%. Although the president keeps saying the reform will be “very bad” for him and his rich friends, it is estimated the tax reform law will save the Trump family a cool one billion. Not for nothing Trump is known as the liar-in–chief.
Then there is the dark cloud of nuclear war hanging over the world while the president, oblivious to the consequences, feeds his ego by engaging in sophomoric name calling with the North Koreans. But it doesn’t stop there. Civility is not the former TV reality show actor’s strong suit, and he has picked fights even with Great Britain, the U.S. closest ally, after retweeting hate videos against Muslims posted by a British far-right fringe group, once more feeding the fire of violence against religious and racial minorities. Of course, his bigotry is nothing new and we all remember the vile lies he spewed about Mexican immigrants during his campaign.
“His slurs — labeling Mexican immigrants as rapists and Muslim immigrants as terrorists — form the context from which the administration’s (immigration) policies arise. They are affronts to U.S. tradition and values,” has said the Washington Post in an editorial.
Yes, we are approaching Christmas at tumultuous and strange times. Times in which women have found their voices and the courage to denounce male privilege and abuse, rightly provoking what Cuban-American writer Enrique Fernández has called “the toppling of male idols from all walks of public life” and making “colossal wrecks of former kings of kings,” while at the same time a self-confessed sexual predator sits at the Oval Office, and a seemingly sick pedophile is at the verge of being elected senator in the state of Alabama with the complicity of the Republican party and the full support of the nation’s president. That’s the state of the nation for you after one year of Trump’s presidency.
Feel free to puke.