As the 2020 presidential race, sitting commander-in-chief Donald Trump is kickstarting his campaign with… namecalling. Literally. After Trump derided him as “Alfred P. Neuman,” Democratic presidential contender and South Bend, Indiana’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg dismissed the issue, noting that he had to Google the reference to even see what on earth Trump was talking about. In other words — it’s not as though the insult is some kind of glorious zinger that’s prone to make the Buttigiegs of the world and their supporters falter. It’s the name of a derogatorily depicted character that appears on the cover of Mad Magazine.
Buttigieg shared with reporters in San Francisco, where he’s been campaigning:
‘I’ll be honest. I had to Google that. I guess it’s just a generational thing. I didn’t get the reference. It’s kind of funny, I guess. But he’s also the president of the United States and I’m surprised he’s not spending more time trying to salvage this China deal.’
— Carla Marinucci (@cmarinucci) May 11, 2019
Indeed — while Buttigieg stumps for a return to common sense in the White House and other Democratic presidential hopefuls present what’s ultimately a wide array of policy proposals to tangibly improve the lives of Americans, Trump is ignoring a growing issue that’s been sparked by his own metaphorical flamethrowing.
Trade talks with China that have been underway for months have stalled, with the Trump administration imposing harsh new sanctions in response. On hundreds of billions of dollars worth of imported Chinese goods, the Trump administration’s import taxes have spiked from 10 to 25 percent, and Trump continues to insist that the whole scheme is truly great for American industry, even as it suffers under the weight of retaliatory tariffs to the point of needing government assistance. There’s also the issue of American companies that rely on imported goods for their operations, and despite the hit to their business, Trump insists:
‘Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier & quicker to do. Our Farmers will do better, faster, and starving nations can now be helped.’
That’s nonsense. Tariffs translate into higher prices for consumers and businesses attempting to do business in the United States. Trump’s continued insistence otherwise is outlandish deflection — in similar fashion to his dismissal of Mayor Pete as “Alfred P. Neuman.” On another recent occasion, he went after Buttigieg’s name, mockingly offering at a Florida rally:
‘We have a young man, Buttigieg. Boot-edge-edge. They say ‘edge-edge.’ He’s got a great chance, doesn’t he?’
If that’s all he’s got, it’s not even going to be close.
Trump has already trotted out other nicknames for some other high-profile presidential contenders, referring to former Vice President Joe Biden as “SleepyCreepy Joe” and Sen. Bernie Sanders as “Crazy Bernie.” The nicknames are a convenient distraction from the true state of the 2020 presidential race — Democratic contenders have tangibly powerful proposals like the mitigation of the student debt crisis and Medicare for all, which has been implemented elsewhere in the Western world to success. Trump, meanwhile, has racism and attacks on the institutions of American society like the healthcare system.
Featured Image via screenshot