Donald Trump doesn’t understand that words matter. Words have consequences.
People are affected by words. Some may even be inspired by words to mail explosive devices to political opponents or lash out at desperate people fleeing abject poverty and violence in the hope of better lives for their children.
The president doesn't get it. Or at least I hope he doesn't get it.
He appealed for unity and civility last night as if unity and civility can be flipped on and off like a light switch.
It took a series of bombs for Trump to be forced to say, “Those engaged into political arena must stop treating political opponents as morally defective.”
And of course, he expected fulsome praise. “Do you see how nice I am behaving tonight?” he said.
Pathetic. He can't even fake acting presidential.
In true Trumpian fashion, the president made no mention in Wisconsin of the explosive devices; rather he bemoaned the treatment of Republican politicos, who have had their dinners disturbed by fellow restaurant patrons and activists.
And of course, Trump could not overcome the temptation to criticize the media or as he calls them, the enemy of the people.
“As part of the larger national effort to bridge our divide and bring people together, the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and stop the endless hostility and constant negative and often times, fake attacks and stories,” said Trump.
That’s the ultimate false equivalency.
And Trump today apparently ditched his pitch for peace, love and understanding.
He fired off this tweet:
“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!.”
Trump also ginned up fear-mongering of the so-called caravan. The tweeter-in-chief is sending 800 American soldiers to the Mexico border to stop the 7,000 bedraggled men, women and children heading north to turn themselves over to US officials at the border.
His bid to create fear of a Hispanic hoard may be delicious red meat for his political supporters, but it goes against the core of what this nation hopefully still stands for.
The president hasn’t dispatched any troops to the newsrooms of the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and NBC.
Let’s see how the midterm election plays out.