The Trump Watch: Mid-September

Remember the “shock and awe” military campaign? Well, The Curmudgeon continues to watch the Trump campaign with chagrin and despair. The following are a few of the less-noticed lowlights.

*            *            *

So we all heard about that ridiculous medical report describing The Donald’s medical condition: in it, Trump’s doctor wrote that

If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.

Really: that’s what he wrote.

Trump's gastroenterologist. Never trust a man who lives with his hand up people's asses."

Trump’s gastroenterologist. Never trust a man who lives with his hand up people’s asses.

It’s no wonder this letter turned out to be pure hot air: the doctor who wrote it was Trump’s gastroenterologist. The doctor later admitted that he spent only five minutes writing the letter while someone was waiting for him to hand it over.

You also have to wonder: why is Trump’s family doctor a gastroenterologist? (Insert your own “windbag” joke here.)

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Speaking of candidates’ health, Trump and the people who speak for him continue to make undocumented, pull-it-out-of-your-ass accusations about Hillary Clinton’s health. They’re just making this stuff up out of thin air.

But…

Hillary Clinton is 68 years old, so of course her health isn’t perfect. Have you ever met a 68-year-old who had no health problems?

And Donald Trump should understand that because he’s a year older than Mrs. Clinton.

*            *            *

Smart people learn from their mistakes, so that Trump doesn’t may tell us something about his intelligence. During the primary season he ran into a buzz saw of negative reaction when he criticized the physical appearance of Ted Cruz’s wife, so you’d think he’d have the good sense not to comment on the appearance of his Democratic opponent.

And if you thought that, you thought wrong. In this case, he told a reporter that

Well, I just don’t think she has a presidential look, and you need a presidential look.

Translation: presidents don’t have breasts.

*            *            *

Not the real thing but pretty funny.

Not the real thing but pretty funny.

After more than a year of insisting that he can’t make his tax returns public because he’s undergoing an IRS audit, Trump announced that he’ll share those tax returns after all if Hillary Clinton shares the missing emails.

So in other words, he can share those tax returns when it suits his purpose. That’s what it’s always been: not a matter of CAN’T but a matter of WON’T.

*            *            *

Sometimes the extent of Trump’s hubris is just breathtaking. Two weeks ago, you’ll recall, he visited Mexico and met with its president. The driving force behind the Mexican president sitting down with The Donald apparently was Luis Videgaray, the country’s finance secretary. The visit turned out to be very unpopular with the Mexican people so Videgaray either did what he thought was the honorable thing and resigned last week – or he was pushed. We don’t know.

But The Donald does. As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Trump told a televised U.S. national security forum Wednesday night that “the people that arranged the trip in Mexico have been forced out of government. That’s how well we did.”

How completely full of himself can one guy be?

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Remember Richard Nixon’s enemies list? The Donald has a similar list: news organizations to which he has refused to speak, including the Washington Post, Politico, the BuzzFeed web site, Univision, and the Daily Beast. Last week he ended their exile, telling CNN that “I figure they can’t treat me any worse!”

The idea of a president refusing to speak to individual news outlets is ridiculous, offensive, and potentially dangerous. What’s next? If elected, does he start an official state news agency? Maybe he could call it…Fox News.

Or Pravda.

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The Curmudgeon is always wary of holding candidates for any office accountable for what their supporters say, write, or do. His perspective in general is that it just isn’t fair, that there’s no way a candidate can control or be held responsible for such things. Even so, some of the things written by people closely associated with the Trump campaign are pretty alarming, as reported by the Associated Press, which examined the social media feeds of 50 people who currently work for the Trump campaign or did so during the primary campaign.

Like one about whom the AP wrote:

Before being tapped as statewide director of coalitions, Craig Bachler of Bradenton, Florida, posted jokes in 2015 about Mexican accents superimposed over pictures of an overweight man wearing a sombrero.

Or this one:

Teresa Unrue, a field organizer and graphic designer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for Trump’s advance team, shared a video on her Facebook account July 11 — the week before the Republican National Convention — of a black man eating fried chicken while shaming fellow black people.

“Why are you mad about slavery?” the man asks. “Y’all weren’t no damn slaves.”

And another:

“How about this little white boy being murdered by a black man,” grassroots organizer Annie Marie Delgado of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, wrote in December 2014 post, one of a number highlighting crimes against white people before Trump declared his candidacy. Delgado also shared a discredited, hoax photo of the State Department’s Kerry with Jane Fonda, and commented: “I say hang them!” She was paid $11,146 through April, according to campaign records.

And

On Facebook, Mark Kevin Lloyd of Lynchburg, Virginia, who has been paid $36,000 as Trump’s field director in the state, shared a post June 30 calling Islam “a barbaric cult.” He shared a meme June 16, four days after the Orlando nightclub shooting by a heavily armed Muslim who professed allegiance to the Islamic State group. The meme said people should be forced to eat bacon before they can purchase firearms.

One offered a simple solution to a current challenge:

We need Islam control, not gun control.

Or

Phillip Dann, a field organizer in Massachusetts who recently relocated to Florida, was paid $6,153 between January and March. He shared a meme mocking “Muslim sympathizers.” He also shared an article about Trump threatening to bring back waterboarding “or worse,” and added “where is the gasoline?”

"I never actually played trumpet but if I did you can be sure I would have been the best ever - better than Louis Armstrong, better than Dizzy Gillespie, better than Miles Davis, I would have sold millions and millions of records."

“I never actually played trumpet but if I did you can be sure I would have been the best ever – better than Louis Armstrong, better than Dizzy Gillespie, better than Miles Davis, I would have sold millions and millions of records.”

And then there was this observation:

Many accounts AP reviewed embraced conspiracy theories. Lloyd, the Virginia field director, said Obama is aiding the Iranian nuclear program as part of the president’s “‘final solution’ to the Israel problem,” a phrase evoking the Holocaust.

Stay classy, Trump-eters.

*            *            *

While on the subject of race…

We like to put labels on groups of people based on some identifiable characteristic, and perhaps the most recently identified group has been labeled the “alt-right,” as in “alternative right” – another version of the right wing. The Washington Post recently took a look at this group; the following are some excerpts.

From his Fairfax County home, Taylor has edited the white nationalist magazine American Renaissance and organized racialist conferences under the “AmRen” banner. He said that Trump should “concentrate on his natural constituency, which is white people,” suggesting that winning 65 percent of the white vote would overwhelm any Democratic gains with minorities.

When Trump made Breitbart News CEO Steve Bannon his campaign’s chief executive last week, Taylor found reasons to celebrate. It was the latest sign for white nationalists, once dismissed as fringe, that their worldview was gaining popularity and that the old Republican Party was coming to an end.

And this:

Breitbart, not founded as part of their movement, became a welcoming place for it. The site found millions of new readers clicking on stories about “black crime” and the threat of Syrian refugees. At Breitbart, undocumented immigrants are “illegals,” Black Lives Matter activists venerate “cop-killer heroes,” and Gold Star father Khizr Khan is a busy promoter of sharia law. Michael Brown, the man whose death kicked off the protests in Ferguson, Mo., was unfairly mythologized by the media.

 Kurt Bardella, who handled Breitbart’s public relations until the spring, said that Bannon’s staff meetings were roiled by discussions of Islam and mass immigration.

“It was stuff like ‘these people don’t belong here, they’re overrunning our country,’” he said. “That kind of white nationalist sentiment.”

And this pearl of wisdom:

“Imagine a media that was more Breitbart than New York Times,” Taylor said. “Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown have been even more important than Trump, in one respect. They are the people who make whites realize that what the media have been telling them about race relations is simply wrong.”

And this:

“What the GOP needs to do is Southernize the white vote,” Brimelow said. “You need to have everybody in the country voting the way that Southern whites vote.”

A view from one alt-righter:

“I really don’t think that African Americans want to be stuck where they are,” Johnson said. “They’re basically glorified slaves — they get free this, free that, free this, free that, and they can’t get a good job and depend on the government. What else do you call it?”

These are some seriously scary folks.

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Finally we move from race to religion, and to a radio news report The Curmudgeon heard just hours before he posted this entry in which Trump uttered a line he has apparently used throughout his campaign:

"And god, he said unto me, Mr. Trump - even god calls me Mr. Trump - Mr. Trump, you're going to be my greatest creation ever and of course a great, great job creator, really terrific."

“And god, he said unto me, Mr. Trump – even god calls me Mr. Trump – Mr. Trump, you’re going to be my greatest creation ever and of course a great, great job creator, really terrific.”

I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.

Because god apparently has time on his hands after making it possible for baseball players to hit all those home runs and actors to win all those awards and wanted to endow the U.S. with a great jobs president.

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