For Shame, Mr. Trump

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Valor, Mr. President?  Where is yours?

W.J. Astore

Trump has done it again.  At the Pentagon, before a backdrop that honors America’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, Trump signed an Executive Order on immigration.  The backdrop seemed to suggest that Trump was doing something honorable and brave himself in signing yet another Executive Order.  This EO, as the New York Times reported, “suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocked entry for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. It also allows Christians to be granted priority over Muslims.”

Last week, Trump appeared at the CIA, before its wall of heroes, blustering again about grabbing Iraq’s oil and boasting of the number of times he’d appeared on Time magazine (more than Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, which seemed to please him to no end).

Perhaps Trump will next appear before Christ on the cross to complain about how he (Trump) is being crucified in the press.

You’ve got to hand it to Trump: the man simply has no shame.  And no taste either.

Trump’s pomposity was captured perfectly yesterday in a quip at my local bank.  I was asking the teller about dollar coins (yes, we still have those), and she showed me a couple. They looked too much like quarters so I passed on getting any.  The gent behind me quipped: “Just wait until Trump puts himself on the coin.”  As I laughed and said words to the effect of, I can see it happening, the gent then quipped, “Trump will be on both sides!”

That about sums it up.  Trump would indeed put his own mug on both sides of the coin.  It would be a clear case of “heads he wins, tails we lose.”

7 thoughts on “For Shame, Mr. Trump

  1. Speaking of humorous Trumpian anecdotes, check out the following observation by Mark Shields of the PBS Newshour:

    MARK SHIELDS: “And there’s one thing that happened this week, I think, that, if I were in the White House, I would be deeply concerned about. And that was the Dallas Stars hockey team, the National Hockey League team, plays in the American Airlines Center in Dallas that has a capacity crowd of 18,562.

    “They had a capacity crowd last Saturday night right after Spicer, right after the CIA. And they put up on their JumboTron, on the big screen, attendance, 1.5 million.

    (LAUGHTER)

    MARK SHIELDS: And the whole place erupted in laughter.

    And that’s — when you become a punchline 30 hours into your presidency in Dallas among hockey fans, that portends a problem.”

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  2. On a less humorous note, The Donald’s latest red-meat culture-war stunt has caused quite a few persons to reflect upon the words engraved upon the base of the Statue of Liberty:

    The New Colossus
    by Emma Lazarus (1883)

    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    My own take on what Donald Trump and/or Steve Bannon would write today — if they already haven’t — should anyone foolishly ask them to further desecrate the little that remains of what a better America once meant to the world.

    The Statue of Calumny

    “Keep, Muslim lands, your victims of our might.
    What made you think it wouldn’t come to this?
    With smirking lips, I say: “Go elsewhere! Fight!
    Yourselves. We’ll sell you guns”: a poison kiss.
    Beside my Homeland Gate, I douse the light;
    Then lift my skirt and squat — on you to piss.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortuneteller,” copyright 2017

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  3. As usual, Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept, January 28 2017) has provided a balanced and necessary analysis of the issue at hand: namely, America’s precipitious moral and ethical decline over the past sixteen years of the so-called “War on Terror.” Donald Trump deserves much criticism, yes. A buffoon and thin-skinned Narcissus in the White House, yes. But only the latest in a string of them. See: Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Culmination of War on Terror Mentality but Still Uniquely Shameful.

    George “Deputy Dubya” Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump. Hothouse Orchids and Special Snowflake “warriors,” yes. Nothing new here, just the culmination of a national disease simply expressed in its most noxious and unadorned ugliness. Not at all funny; but then, if we couldn’t laugh we would have to cry — because:

    War is Kind
    By Stephen Crane

    Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
    Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
    And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
    Do not weep.
    War is kind.

          Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
          Little souls who thirst for fight,
          These men were born to drill and die.
          The unexplained glory flies above them,
          Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom—
          A field where a thousand corpses lie.

    Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
    Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
    Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
    Do not weep.
    War is kind.

          Swift, blazing flag of the regiment,
          Eagle with crest of red and gold,
          These men were born to drill and die.
          Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
          Make plain to them the excellence of killing
          And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

    Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
    On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
    Do not weep.
    War is kind.

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  4. “Little souls who thirst for fight.”

    I should have emphasized that line from Stephen Crane’s poem above. It so explains in a nutshell the shrivelled, craven caricatures who have occupied the U.S. presidency ever since at least Lyndon B. Johnson (who at least had Medicare and the Civil Rights Act to his credit). The little souls just keep getting thirstier for “fights” and smaller as a consequence.

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    1. Thanks, Mike, for the Greenwald and Crane references. I’ve read Crane’s “Red Badge of Courage,” but I don’t recall seeing this poem. It wasn’t taught in my schools. I wonder why?

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