There was once a time, long ago, when the president of the United States was a competent and intelligent person, capable of empathy and nuance. Despite Trump’s touted “business acumen,” he continues to reach new heights of closed-minded xenophobia, showing himself to be unfit to represent the people of America.
Two days ago, during a meeting discussing immigration, Trump could not be bothered to search for a compassionate understanding of refugees and immigrants, stating (according to The Washington Post):
‘Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?’
There is no question that he said this. It was confirmed by several people who were in attendance, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin. (Kudos to Trump for accidentally creating a bi-partisan agreement.)
Former President Bill Clinton once again stepped into his new role as designated adult in the room, tweeting a mature admonition, aimed straight at Donnie T.:
I’ve traveled and worked in Haiti, and across Africa and Central America. The countries the president described with his epithet do not exist. Some thoughts as we remember those lost in Haiti eight years ago today: https://t.co/iXJwEAo2f6
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) January 12, 2018
In case Trump is reading this, in this context “epithet” means (according to Merriam-Webster): a disparaging or abusive word or phrase.
The staggering reaction to Bill Clinton’s tweet (in six hours, that one tweet has gotten over 14,000 retweets and over 62,000 likes) is a symptom of a very deep problem.
Our country has a leadership vacuum. The current administration refuses to recognize the humanity in anyone who isn’t voting for them.
Who doesn’t deserve respect and compassion, according to our current president?
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you … they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” (via The Huffington Post)
#2: Women with a small cup size
“A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.” (via The New York Times)
#3: All Muslim refugees
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” (via The Washington Post)
#4: Captured American soldiers
“[John McCain’s] not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” (via The Independent)
#5: “Deeply troubled” women
“They’re always the best in bed … You don’t want to be with them for the long term. But for the short term, there’s nothing like it.” (via US Weekly)
#6: Parents of dead U.S. soldiers
“His wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.” (via ABC News)
#7: Americans with disabilities
“Now the poor guy. You ought to see the guy: ‘Err, I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember.’ He’s going: ‘I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said.’” (via The Guardian)
#8: Women, in general
“Women: You have to treat them like shit.” (via The Huffington Post)
#9: Victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks
“I mean, 40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually before the World Trade Center the tallest, and then when they built the World Trade Center it became known as the second-tallest, and now it’s the tallest.” (via Business Insider)
#10: Speakers at the DNC
“I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard. I would have hit them. No, no. I was going to hit them, I was all set and then I got a call from a highly respected governor… I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy. I was gonna hit this guy so hard his head would spin and he wouldn’t know what the hell happened… I was going to hit a number of those speakers so hard their heads would spin, they’d never recover.” (via The Washington Post)
#11: American citizens choosing to exercise their right to protest
“I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There’s a guy totally disruptive, throwing punches, we’re not allowed punch back anymore. … I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya.” (via The Washington Post)
#12: “Poor people”
“My entire life, I’ve watched politicians bragging about how poor they are, how they came from nothing, how poor their parents and grandparents were. And I said to myself, if they can stay so poor for so many generations, maybe this isn’t the kind of person we want to be electing to higher office. How smart can they be? They’re morons.” (via The New York Times)
#13: Both children and mothers
“I like kids. I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds, and she’ll take care of the kids.” (via New York Daily News)
#14: Puerto Rican natural disaster victims
“If you look at the — every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds of people that died and what happened here with a storm that was just totally overbearing. No one has ever seen anything like that. What is your death count?” (via CNN)
#15: Widows of fallen U.S. soldiers
“But you know he must have known what he signed up for.” (via Huffington Post)
#16: Black people
I think the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is. I believe that. (via public Congressional record)
Trump’s complete and total inability to truly look at situations from anyone else’s perspective is horribly troubling. Thank God we have statesmen willing to rise up and make a stand for common decency and compassion.
Featured image: Getty/Miami Herald