[OP-EP] Trump’s Appalling Ignorance is no Excuse
In truth, there are more Russians in these Trump stories than in a Dostoyevsky novel and, as was said before, it’s easy to get tired, frustrated, numbed, bored…
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It’s easy, after six months of Donald Trump’s presidency, to get tired, frustrated, numbed, bored about the appalling stupidity and bad faith, the Russia hacking saga, the president’s willingness to close his eyes to his much-admired Vladimir Putin’s shenanigans and meddling in U.S. elections. Unfortunately, this is what has dominated the news, to the exclusion of other issues of greater impact on the lives of Americans.
A few days ago, after his much-anticipated one-on-one meeting with Putin during the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Trump happily announced a “cyber security unit” program to ensure that no future U.S. election could be hacked. It would be designed and implemented in collaboration with the Russian president, who happens to be, well, the hacker in chief.
Not everybody was thrilled by such prospect, as you can imagine. For instance, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who could have been speaking for many others in Trump’s own party, called the plan "pretty close" to the "dumbest idea I've ever heard."
After 12 hours of relentless criticism, Trump, who doesn’t know the meaning of self-respect, shamelessly retracted his announcement. "The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen," Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday night.
Oh well, you know, he is not a politician, he has no experience in these matters, he is learning on the job, say those who still support him after every outrageous tweet, blatant lie or stupid mistake. It’s unbelievable, as so many other things in this administration, but these people seem to think that the president’s ignorance and recklessness are valid excuses for becoming the world’s laughing stock and giving away national security.
For good measure, Trump also met in Hamburg with Enrique Peña Nieto, his Mexican counterpart, who shares with him the dubious honor of being his country’s most reviled president in decades. Hard as it may be to believe, Trump, in front of Peña Nieto, responded to a question saying that he “absolutely” expects Mexico will pay for the infamous wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, one of his main –and most outrageous-- campaign promises. The Mexican president didn’t push back, didn’t utter a word, he just sat silently next to Trump, a timid school child terrified by the class bully. Mexicans were furious.
“Trump says again that Mexico will pay for the wall. When will [Peña Nieto] dare to say to his face and in public that Mexico will not pay?” tweeted Jorge Ramos, the Univision anchor whom, as you may remember, was expelled from a Trump’s press conference during the campaign. Probably never, Jorge, probably never.
Then, there is the president’s oldest son, Don Jr., and his scandal about meeting –and denying it--with a supposedly Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer during the campaign, whom he thought had damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Trump has called his son (who someone has described as the kind of person that would respond to those Nigerian millionaires’ emails), a “high-quality person,” and Jr., whose personal charm is questionable at best, has angrily denied any wrongdoing. Yet, just in case, he hired a high-profile and very expensive lawyer.
In truth, there are more Russians in these Trump stories than in a Dostoyevsky novel and, as was said before, it’s easy to get tired, frustrated, numbed, bored about the never-ending stupidity and bad faith.
Yet we must make whatever effort is needed to remain angry, alert, willing to resist Trump and his gang of heartless, despicable acolytes. Their persecution and abuse of immigrants, their attempt to eliminate hard-fought women’s and gay rights, their war on the press, their willingness to poison the planet in exchange for profits, their support for police abuse, their strange and mysterious dealings with Putin and Russia, must be stopped. Fascism cannot prevail.