Moral Confusion Demands Moral Action

The insufferable Jeffrey Lord, whom CNN shamefully hired a long time ago to defend everything Tr-mp says and does, was on television this morning, naturally, defending Tr-mp’s trashing of America on Super Bowl Sunday. The Lord was taxed to the max in trying to defend the trashing, so much so that at one point he tried to use Ronald Reagan’s old phrase about America being a “shining city on a hill.” Lord’s version came out, “America is still the city on a shining hill.” Whoops. The hill is shining and the city is dark? Hmm. If you think about it, that is closer to what Tr-mp has said and done with his Muslim ban, and closer to what Tr-mp said on Sunday, than it is to what Reagan said in is farewell speech in 1989:

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

For the record, here is what Agent Orange, whose affection for the honor of Vladimir Putin obviously runs much deeper than his affection for the honor of his country, said to Tr-mp sycophant Bill O’Reilly:

O’Reilly: Do you respect Putin?

Trump: I do respect him but —

O’Reilly: Do you? Why?

Tr-mp: Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.

O’Reilly: But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.

Tr-mp: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent. You think our country’s so innocent?

O’Reilly: I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.

Tr-mp: Well — take a look at what we’ve done too. We made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.

O’Reilly: But mistakes are different than —

Tr-mp: A lot of mistakes, but a lot of people were killed. A lot of killers around, believe me.

O’Reilly: Let’s talk about Mexico. There’s a report that you talked to President Nieto and you told him — this was the report, I want to know if it’s true or not — that if his army couldn’t handle the drug cartels, that U.S. army soldiers would. Did you say that?

Tr-mp: We have to do something about the cartels. I did talk to him about it. I want to help him with it. I think he’s a very good man. We have a very good relationship, as you probably know. He seemed very willing to get help from us because he has got a problem, and it’s a real problem for us. Don’t forget those cartels are operating in our country. And they’re poisoning the youth of our country.

Now, one would think that O’Reilly, if he had any journalistic sense at all, would continue to pursue the suggestion, from a man pretending to be the President of the United States, that our country and Russia are morally indistinguishable. But here was O’Reilly’s next move: “Let’s talk about Mexico.” That’s a little like saying to a man who just confessed to pussy-grabbing, “Let’s talk about Botox.”

Throughout the entire interview with O’Reilly, Tr-mp lied repeatedly (or passed on his delusions; your choice). But that has sort of become un-news these days. No reputable journalist expects Tr-mp to tell the truth about anything, yet his appearances and interviews are presented as if they have some meaning. Well, in a disturbing way, this particular appearance and interview did have meaning. Because it means something if the leader of a country like ours is morally confused about it and its ideals. Let’s look at his words again. Let them penetrate:

O’Reilly: But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.

Tr-mp: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent. You think our country’s so innocent?

We all know how President Obama was vilified by right-wingers for statements he made about the United States’ past mistakes and atrocities—statements always made in the context of living up to our cherished ideals. I could go back and dig up all the nasty quotes about Obama made by some of the same people now defending Tr-mp. But that is not my aim. I don’t want the force of what Tr-mp said here to be attenuated in any way. Let’s be clear about this: Tr-mp is incapable of making a moral distinction between a Russian leader who orders the murder of people who oppose him, a leader who has purposely bombed civilians to protect another killer who happens to be the president of Syria, and the past leaders of his own country. He is incapable of making a moral distishining city on  a hill.jpgnction between the government of the United States of America and the Russian Federation.

Perhaps this moral confusion in Tr-mp’s mind—which is a confusion that used to be found exclusively on the far fringes of the left—is due to the fact that he does not see himself in any moral context. He does not see his time in office in any moral context. Perhaps it is that we have a man in the White’s House who does not himself have any morals to put in any context. And that is why it isn’t enough for a few Republicans to merely come out and defend America’s moral and idealistic honor. They should, but won’t, go further and say that a man so incapable of coherent moral thought about a Russian killer, so incapable of defending the nobility of American ideals against a thugocracy, has no business pretending to lead our country.

Democrats should, today, start putting pressure on Republicans in Congress to begin the constitutional process of unpresidenting Tr-mp. Only Republicans can rid the country of this moral menace, and such a move would be a moral action. Otherwise, Tr-mp’s confusion about America and its ideals, which Ronald Reagan envisioned as a shining city on a hill, which Barack Obama saw as extending “across continents and across oceans,” can only lead us into moral and idealistic darkness.


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