Trump Uses Insults to Divide, Distract Nation from Constructive Dialogue

I don’t watch pro football or any other major league sports. I don’t find millionaires beating each other up that interesting.

I guess I have to take some interest when one of the millionaires throwing punches happens to be the spoiled occupant of the White House, who struggles to denounce violent white-supremacist agitators but instinctively calls a football player engaged in peaceful civil protest of racial discrimination a “son of a b****” in a public speech.

National Football league players and owners have issued reasonably literate statements on patriotism, protest, and discrimination. Acts of protest during the National Anthem certainly invite intelligent and instructive discussion about race relations, the role of sport in our culture, the First Amendment rights of employees on the job, and the authority, right, and perhaps obligation of entertainers to use their public platform to make their communities better.

But Donald Trump, an entertainer with the biggest public platform in the world, invites no such conversation. With the accent ever on bully, he uses his bully pulpit as if he were still at home screaming at his television. Archie Bunker doesn’t engage in moral inquiry; he simply stews in his resentments, calling everyone not like himself mean names. Donald Trump does not invite people into his house to share ideas and build a common understanding as mutual partners in building a better America. He throws the insults that draw the best crowd response, the most retweets, and the most blog posts (dang, he got me again) but which also push to the margins those with whom he disagrees. One doesn’t talk with or find common cause with or take seriously the concerns of a “son of a b****.” Using such language does not build unity; it only builds anger, which Donald Trump this morning calls “great.”

It is tiring having Archie Bunker as President. It is also counterproductive to the effort to fight the institutional racism that has led some NFL players to break with one small tradition at the beginning of their games. Donald Trump doesn’t want to make that Presidential effort; he just wants to keep shouting at his TV and making America share his hate.

19 Responses to Trump Uses Insults to Divide, Distract Nation from Constructive Dialogue

  1. Trump is a horrible and dangerous human being. Everyone needs to ignore his bullying and maybe he’ll let up a little. I have never disliked a president more than this sorry excuse for a human being.

  2. mike from iowa

    Name me the last potus that actively campaigned to divide the nation.
    Name me the last potus who was elected with help from our largest foreign enemy.

  3. Darin Larson

    I will admit to being taken in by Trump’s latest distraction. At the same time he was so focused on the attention he garnered for his critique of athletes expressing themselves, his repeal and replace was going down in flames once again. This was also the week he was supposed to be focused on his plan for tax cuts for the rich. So, I’m quite content to be wrapped up in Trump’s “oh, look, a squirrel!” moments as long as the Divider in Chief is as distracted as I am from his agenda to help the 1%. Heck, while Trump rails against the NFL, maybe he won’t have time to get us into a war with North Korea. Let’s find the next big distraction for him to focus on that doesn’t involve detonating nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula.

    But while I’m here, I am going to ask a few questions relating to Trump’s new found emphasis on respect. Where were his outraged supporters when Trump was disrespecting a Gold Star family? Where were his outraged supporters when Trump was disrespecting freedom of the press and the 1st Amendment when he constantly, personally attacks the press and goes so far as to suggest that members of the press should be censored and libel laws opened up to sue the press? Where were his outraged supporters when Trump was disrespecting John McCain for being a POW and not the war hero he is with more courage in his little finger than Trump has in his entire body? Where were his outraged supporters when Trump was disrespecting and attacking a federal judge because of his Mexican heritage and suggesting that Trump would take away the judge’s tenure like a tin pot dictator? Where were Trump’s outraged supporters when Trump was disrespecting Muslims and suggesting that Mosques in the US should be shut down no matter our rights to freedom of religion? Where were Trump’s outraged supporters when Trump was disrespecting the Eighth Amendment to our Constitution and our country’s emphasis on human rights and international law when he suggested the US should engage in torture? Where were Trump’s outraged supporters when Trump was calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S in violation of and disrespect for the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause?

    Trump has framed this issue in terms of respect for the flag and the anthem even though the protests are not really against the flag and anthem at all and he knows it. Even though Trump has not shown any respect for the great American institutions and ideals embodied in our Constitution and the great traditions of our democracy, that doesn’t stop him from trying to play the patriotism card. A man that has so little regard or respect for our democracy and who has done so much to undermine our great institutions when it suits his agenda should have little credibility when it comes to playing the patriot card.

  4. Well said, Darin Larson

  5. Mr. Lansing

    President Trump’s Agenda:
    1. Cut my own taxes so much that I’ll make more money while President than any other four X two fiscal period of my career.
    2. Say something so repulsive I’ll get the opening scene on the opening episode of Saturday Night Live (which just so happens to be this Saturday night).

  6. Roger Elgersma

    Anyone who could disrespect a veteran like John McCain, has no right to talk about how bad people are that are not respecting his leadership or his opinion.

  7. What bothers me is that the discussion of HOW the protest is happening has dislodged the discussion of WHAT these players are protesting. The issue of people of color being killed at an alarmingly higher rate than their white counterparts ought to be the discussion this nation is embracing.

    Above and beyond the racial overtones, the Trump philosophy of employer as “owner” (beyond the context of the NFL) is also clear in his remarks.

  8. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    “I don’t find millionaires beating each other up that interesting”……That is hilarious! That quote is going to make my day, I must say…

    But now on to a more serious note, this NFL squabble is nothing. Just wait until Trump goes into North Korea in order to control all debate and our nation. Like Trump’s fight with Rosie O’Donnell eleven years ago was a dress rehearsal for his future presidential ambitions, this NFL obsession by Trump is merely an attempt to hide America from the health care debacle in Washington and the hurricane messes to the south, and is a blue print to his real strategy with North Korea, which is not to solve a problem, but to create a problem. like a war, in order to consolidate power and debate to his liking under the auspices of the Constitution.

    They say Trump feeds off of chaos and likes fighting. A conflict with North Korea would be a perfect example of this Trump desire. At some point, good Republicans are going to need to come together with the Democrats to politically, legally, and constitutionally end this current presidency, and the sooner the better for the sake of us all…… Trump has demonstrated once again, with his NFL comments and artful political acts, that he is truly the greatest threat to western values since the formation of the Axis powers in the 1930s..…. John, Mike, and Kristi, are you listening?

  9. Mr. Lansing

    Hear, hear “o”. The NFL players are protesting the undeniable fact that cops kill black people for things that white people only get arrested for. For Trump to distract from that message is an insult to USA. Using prominent black athletes to fuel that attempted distraction is also insulting.
    RESIST and promote the message.

  10. I have an outraged Trump-supporting relative who has declared he won’t attend NFL games anymore. So I asked him if he had any tickets that he could give me. Of course not. As a Nevada resident I doubt if he has attended an NFL game in the last 20 years. But it’s the Trump-fueled outrage that counts. He won’t be buying those tickets he wasn’t going to buy anyway.

  11. Mr. Lansing

    I don’t know about Ror’s relative but I do believe that there’s a large group of Republicans who don’t care about the NFL as a sport but see it as a place where rich, white owners tell black men what to do and think. Players protesting police violence is just about unbearable to their bigotry.

  12. It absolutely BURNS me the way right wingers have spun this into a “disrespect” deal. Our flag and anthem are rooted in dissent. Dissent is the whole reason our country exists. If anybody is disrespecting those who have fought and died, it’s THEM… for trying to muzzle others because they don’t agree with their cause.

  13. mike from iowa

    Drumpf does not have, and never has had respect for the office he sought and now occupies. He does not add anything to that office. He uses it to enrich himself and stroke his overblown, childish ego.

    Rating him as the worst, most despicable potus ever is a no brainer. He isn’t even attempting to keep the seat warm for the next occupant. I believe he is hell bent on total destruction of that office.

  14. “I don’t find watching millionaires beating each other up that interesting”

    Ah, but Mr. Heidelberger I humbly differ….
    You love watching millionaires beat each other up… they just have suits on and attorneys.
    God I love this bar. Thank you so much Cory.


  15. “I don’t find watching millionaires beating each other up that interesting”

    It would be very interesting to see two billionaires Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in a Conor McGregor/Floyd Mayweather style pay per view match. Those two can keep the money if they agree to settle their differences petulant child to petulant child instead of starting a nuclear war. They are probably in the same weight class, though Trump is much taller. Kim has bigger hands.

  16. Mr. Lansing

    “I don’t find watching millionaires beating each other up that interesting” What does the qualifier “millionaires” quantify? Would you rather watch poor people beating each other up? Would you rather not watch anyone beat up another, no matter their financial status? Is it the physical contact which loses your interest? Even bicycle racing is a physical contest and riders often get beat up. Aren’t you a Twins fan? High cheese and chin music are physical components of baseball. Are those grapes probably sour, anyway? lol :0)

  17. Eve Fisher

    Mr. Claussen, you’re right on the money. We are all going to get up one morning and find a tweet saying, “Just bombed rocket man off face of earth. Huge. Good day.” Not because diplomacy hasn’t worked – it’s been working for 70 years – but because President Trump wants to use a nuke. And why not? It’ll be a win-win: his base will be euphoric (for a while), his enemies will be apoplectic, Kim Jong Un will (perhaps) be dead, and he’ll have proved he’s a real man, and a Strong Leader.

  18. Eve, I dread Trump’s exercise of military power. Whether words or bombs, Trump uses his power not for the general welfare but for his own ego. Appalling.

    Like Jenny, I am strongly inclined to ignore this childish oaf. I’d love to see the press declare a moratorium on Trump news, since he says nothing that helps inform and edify the public about policy. But I keep coming back to the idea that we can’t ignore the President of the United States, that we must report his words as statements that matter, statements for which he and the entire nation must be held accountable.

  19. A glimpse of what leadership looks like. I case you forgot in our present climate.