In the midst of another media storm, President Trump has gone to Florida to play golf. Of course, seeing Trump retire to the golf course is nothing unusual. The Trump Golf Count website reveals that the president has spent 90 days, or one quarter, of his presidency on the golf course. The latest media furor surrounding Trump centers on claims that the president is racist after he allegedly labeled a host of countries, including all of Africa, as “s**tholes.” The New York Times is forthright in its accusations against President Trump. They argue that “Trump is a racist: Period.”
“It is not a stretch to understand that Donald Trump’s words and deeds over the course of his life have demonstrated a pattern of expressing racial prejudices that demean people who are black and brown and that play to the racial hostilities of other white people.
“It is not a stretch to say that Trump is racist. It’s not a stretch to say that he is a white supremacist. It’s not a stretch to say that Trump is a bigot.”
Of course, President Trump denies that he used the words attributed to him about African countries. He also denies being racist. As reported by the BBC, Trump, speaking at a press conference at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach in Florida last night, said that “I am not a racist. I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”
Whether President Trump is racist or not, he has made clear on numerous occasions that he believes that attack is the best form of defense. Trump responds to any form of criticism in two ways. First, he labels any criticism as “fake news.” Second, he attacks his critics publicly, often with personal attacks and by labeling his critics as mentally deranged. Whatever your personal views on Donald Trump, few would argue that the president doesn’t behave in a way that we have seen from any former U.S. president.
In that respect, Trump is the least presidential president we have ever seen, a point not lost on President Barack Obama when he spoke on David Letterman’s new Netflix show.
President Obama Accuses Trump Of Damaging American Culture
It would be fair to say that Barack Obama and Donald Trump are polar opposites, and not just politically. Trump is loud, forthright, and brusque; Obama a quietly spoken man, ever the diplomat. Obama displayed that trait when he spoke to Letterman last night.
As reported by CNN, President Obama chose his words carefully when he sent a stark and clear message to Donald Trump. Being presidential, he said, isn’t about passing legislation, “it has to do with shaping attitudes, shaping culture, increasing awareness.” The implication is clear, they claim, Trump is shaping attitudes and changing American culture, but not in a good way.
CNN goes on to say that President Trump “is willing to use crass and hateful rhetoric in public” in a way that we have not seen from former presidents. Their argument is a simple one, Trump demonstrates that attacking and humiliating others can help you to win. Labeling an entire continent as a “s**thole” is fine if it helps you make a point. Assigning demeaning nicknames to others is OK if undermines the point they are making. Trump has shown that “divide and conquer” is a legitimate and winning strategy.
As reported by Politico, in his interview with Letterman, President Obama stated that when you are in the Oval Office “you have to act presidential.” Something that President Trump sees very differently to every former president. Only history will reveal whether Trump’s approach will damage American culture in the long term.