Obama is weak, not tough enough, not a real man.
Those are the words I heard most before we elected Donald J. Trump 45th president of the United States. What we need is a man who isn’t afraid to be politically incorrect, a man who will project raw power, a man we can be proud of.
What we need, I heard over and over again, is a “man’s man.”
In recent days, the president has defamed the FBI, saying the agency’s “reputation is in tatters” and calling former Director Jim Comey a liar; he has insulted war heroes, the Navajo Code Talkers, with jokes about Pocahontas during a ceremony in their honor; he continues to denigrate the NFL and professional black men for kneeling; he has tweeted fake, xenophobic videos which led some in the British parliament to call for the cancellation of his state visit.
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And now, he has thrown his full-throated support behind the candidacy of Alabama’s Roy Moore, alleged child molester and sexual assaulter, for U.S. Senate.
Here in Lawrenceburg, I roll my Walmart shopping cart past a young mother wearing her “Proud member of the basket of deplorables” t-shirt. One year post-election I wonder: What exactly is she proud of? What matters to her?
As regards Moore, it does not seem to matter that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell initially said, “I believe the women,” before changing his tune and allowing the GOP to support Moore financially.
It does not matter that nine women have made credible allegations against Moore. That, when he was in his 30s, he reportedly was banned from the mall for preying on teen girls and watched by law enforcement at ball games because they did not trust him around cheerleaders.
It does not matter that the president’s own daughter tweeted, “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.”
Special place in hell or no, President Donald Trump — himself accused by more than a dozen women of sexual assault — has decided the election of an accused pedophile beats losing the seat to a Democrat. And plenty of his supporters believe he is right.
I remember the indignation, the outrage, the downright fury of Trump supporters when Hillary Clinton made her infamous “basket of deplorables” remark during a campaign speech.
Yet if you read Clinton’s statement in full, the president’s words and actions, with he support of his base, continue to prove her right. “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.”
Clinton did not say that all Trump voters are deplorable. She said half. And you only need to look back at t-shirts worn to Trump rallies to find the half:
“Trump that bitch.”
“Hillary sucks, but not like Monica.”
“Rope, tree, journalist — some assembly required.”
“Make America White Again.”
“Powerful, politically incorrect, a man’s man.”
A man who belittles and insults colleagues, friends and enemy regimes alike — Pocahontas, Liddle Bob Corker, Flakey Jeff Flake, Crooked Hillary, Little Rocket Man — while throwing the full weight of the White House behind a serial predator: “Go get ‘em Roy Moore!”
On Dec. 3, the Waco Tribune editorial board warned: “The problem with continuing to look past these daily presidential digressions into hate-mongering, conspiracy theories and artless put-downs is that, sooner or later, this could provoke an incident that costs lives.”
No matter. The president’s core supporters remain on board his famed Trump Train.
There are those who say they are simply religious conservatives, one-issue voters — not racists or xenophobes or sexists, oh heavens no! — who vote strictly against abortion rights or for their guns. They are not, as Clinton claimed, deplorable.
And yet, come Dec. 12, these same folks down in Alabama will throw their full support at Moore and they will be cheered on by Trump-loving Kentuckians, fellow religious conservatives in their cause: the possible nabbing of another Supreme Court seat.
Ivanka Trump was right: “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.” And that place, according to her father, appears to be in the United States Senate.
Reach Teri Carter, a writer in Lawrenceburg, at www.tericarter.net/contact.html.