'A National Disgrace'

In your own language

Eduardo del Buey
Photo: Ap
La Jornada Maya

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Two weeks ago, we discussed extensively the lack of any Republican backlash to Donald Trump’s racially charged tweets against the four Democrat Congresswomen.

This week, I want to discuss the Democrat response, the Republican response, as well as the role of the mainstream media.

The title of this article is A National Disgrace –and this is how I see the Democrat, Republican, and mainstream media responses to these tweets and the depth of the hatred, racism, and misogyny that they represent.

In the first instance, the Democrats should have begun impeachment proceedings against the President as soon as they won the majority in the House of Representatives.

I can recall no president in modern times who has engaged in such questionable activities before assuming office or during his presidency. His fraudulent business activities throughout his career, his alleged sexual attacks on a variety of women who have since filed charged against him, his alleged business dealings during his presidency from which he and his family have directly benefited financially, and the hatred and division that he has sown and continues to sow in the United States, all militate for impeachment.

Senior Democrat leaders conclude that the Republican dominated Senate will never support a decision by the Democrat controlled House to impeach.

This is true.

However, history will judge the Democrats severely for making the politically expedient decision to avoid confrontation with the Senate and the White House rather than stand up for what is right and draw battle lines with the President and his Republican cronies in this pre-electoral period.

In my view, the Democrats have a choice and they are blowing it. In the end their message to Democrat voters and the independents and disenfranchised Republicans whom they desperately need for victory in 2020 is that they are afraid to take Trump on. This is a sign of weakness that does little to inspire voters who are fed up with the behavior of the president to date, his continuing campaign to vilify the opposition, and efforts to destroy democratic institutions for his own political and personal benefit.

As my brother Philip del Buey has observed, President Trump is not afraid to lose a battle to win the war. This reflects on his business philosophy that to get ahead you have to move ahead. You have to roll the dice and take risks. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The Democrats appear afraid of losing any battle strategically and tend to get stuck in the mud of their own indecision – certainly a sign of poor leadership and a complete inability to counter a President who is not only willing to throw the dice but is actually eager to do so.

Republicans are also in a disgraceful position.

Having succumbed to the cult of Trump, they now appear weak and feckless. Erstwhile opponents in 2015-2016 are now sycophants who support Trump’s every repugnant statement and move.

They too have had a choice.

Unity in numbers could have provided them with the political cover to challenge the President and show some backbone. Instead, they appear to cower before the bully and refuse to demonstrate any of the leadership and backbone that the United States so desperately needs.

In the end, history will likely judge them harshly as well.

Finally, the mainstream media cannot escape judgment.

Once again, they play to the ratings and give Trump 24/7 media coverage at the expense of the opposition. Rather than invite Democrats on television to challenge the President and outline their own policy proposals, they seek the advertising dollars that come with giving Trump supporters as much airtime as possible, thus generating high ratings and providing viewers with political bread and circuses.

There is a common adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Trump knows this and plays the game brilliantly. He throws the cat among the canaries and then moves on to his next ploy.

One bit of bad news is replaced by another diversion, and Trump continues with his mediatic chess game while the Democrats and the media play catch-up.

And, once again, he is dominating the airways while Democrats have a field of twenty-one candidates fighting among themselves to see who can take the party further to the left and away from the center where the votes are.

Trump knows this and will run with it once again in the upcoming campaign.

His initial tweets branded the Democrats as supporting radical policies and positions from which it will be hard for them to disengage. Issues like medical insurance for undocumented migrants and the forgiveness of student loans will not play well among taxpayers who will have to cover these massive costs.

Republicans may well be given their key messages directly by Democrats who will propose unpopular policies and leave mainstream voters with no option but to vote for Trump. The criticism of the potential winner by Democrat opponents will give the Trump campaign plenty of ammunition. What former President Obama called the Democrat’s “circular firing squad” may well happen, as Democrats cancel each other out.

Branding is Trump’s forte and the Democrat’s weakness.

His 40 percent base remains strong and united, while the 60 percent of voters against Trump remain hopelessly divided with no sign of a viable communications strategy or strong and determined leader capable of changing the conversation and putting Trump on the defensive emerging any time soon.

Trump will continue to control the airways and the electoral conversation for the foreseeable future, and Democrats will continue to produce confusing policies and messages.

Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans will stick together despite Trump’s divisive language and policies.

The Democrats are all over the place with respect to policies and proposals. And this isn’t likely to change any time soon. The Democratic leadership in the House appears to be out of touch with its rank and file. And a lack of unity of message and direction will continue to plague the party for the considerable future.

The mainstream media will continue to give Trump full coverage and allow his apologists equal airtime with his opponents. This may be good for ratings, and ratings are where the money is.

But it serves democracy poorly and creates an atmosphere where bullying is not only acceptable but actually welcome as a source of entertainment. When lies and the truth share the same moral equivalency it makes for good entertainment but for poor voter education. And an ignorant voter is a dangerous voter.

Herein lie the challenges facing U.S. voters in 2020, and the global community that will have to live with four more years of Trump should the situation continue.