You can get thousands of miles from the United States and still not quite leave it. Such is the case here on the cruise ship MS Westerdam. As I write this (Tuesday) it is making its way toward Baja California for one last port of call before our cruise ends Saturday at San Diego. Excerpts of the New York Times are provided at various places on the ship, and if so inclined you can also watch a few American news channels like Fox News and MSNBC in your stateroom. You can also read the New York Times online at no extra charge.
In any event, while at sea I am informed enough about American politics to understand that things are just as fouled up as they were when we left the States on January 5th. Trump continues to bumble his way through his so-called presidency, now approaching the one year mark. I was actually watching MSNBC when his remarks about “shithole countries” first made news. The news cycle has pretty much stayed in this track since. As usual Trump keeps changing his mind about his remarks. At first he seemed not to dispute them, then said the exact words were not correct, then decided he never said them at all all while carrying out policies that do their best to bar people from these types of countries. Lately, the line is he used “shithouse” rather than “shithole.” More amusingly, yesterday he decided that no one was less of a racist than he was, remarks made on Martin Luther King’s birthday. Trump celebrated the holiday by playing golf and of course doing nothing that resembled performing community service. You can see where his real values lie.
It really doesn’t matter if Trump uttered these words or not. It sounds like something he would say because he has said things like this over and over again. Why would anyone believe otherwise? That’s why when I heard them I said, “Why is this news?” He based his campaign on racism. During it he explicitly criticized a Hispanic American judge because he believed due to his enthnicity he could not be unbiased adjudicating a case against him. Now somehow the “shithole” remark suddenly proved he was a racist as if there was some doubt before? When he’s obviously been a racist all of his life? He’s just taking after his father who was arrested in the 1920s at a KKK rally in Queens, New York.
If a man isn’t a racist, you might think he would be comfortable with all races and have friends with every hue of the human spectrum. Trump has no black friends, but really he has no friends at all. Believing him when he says he is not a racist, or really about pretty much anything, is a complete waste of time. He will change his opinion on a dime. It’s clear that most of what he is told goes right through him. To the extent he learns it has to be visually. So when you brief him give him a Powerpoint chart with one bullet. He still probably won’t retain it. According to news reports he cites this disruptive aspect of his personality that is the source of his “genius”. By this standard anyone who constantly vaccilates and acts like an asshole most of the time is also a genius.
So just in case you are wondering, our president is a racist and likely one of the most racist people that you will ever learn about. Racism was the foundation of his campaign and it’s why his caught on when others did not. He assumed the worst about Republicans, not the best and was proved right. But long before he became a candidate racism still formed his center. He spent years attacking Obama for not being a real American, asserting that he was actually born in Kenya. He has promoted whites at the expense of all other races. Moreover, he has consistently made racism an integral part of his business, starting early when he refused to rent apartments to non-whites. He surrounds himself with rich white men.
The core of racism though is simply the belief that certain races inherently deserve privileges and have superiority that other races do not. That’s been Trump throughout his entire life! It’s baked into his personality. The only thing that would surprise me is if he went against his own biases. For Trump, this would qualify as genius.