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(171,203 posts)
Thu May 23, 2024, 07:31 AM May 23

Donald Trump Has Poisoned the Well [View all]


Donald Trump Has Poisoned the Well
by César Chelala | May 23, 2024 - 5:37am

In ancient times, it was common practice to poison sources of fresh water before the arrival of an invading army to diminish its strength. That practice has now been revived by Donald Trump to sap his adversaries’ strength, and has been widely used by his followers, with detrimental effects on the quality of political discourse in the country.

Perhaps more than any other political figure in recent history, Donald Trump has the street smarts of a New York adolescent thug always ready to hurl insults at his opponents. Who can forget his calling Marco Rubio “little Marco,” Stormy Daniels “horseface,” Joe Biden “sleepy Joe,” a political rival “bird brain,” a Democratic lawmaker “How does he hold up that fat, ugly face?” New York Attorney General Letitia James “Letitia Peekaboo James,” and his former Republican rival Ron DeSantis “Ron the sanctimonious.”

In November 2015, in a display of his kind and humanitarian nature, Trump physically mocked a reporter with a disability in front of a vociferous crowd of his supporters. The reporter, Serge Kovaleski, has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition affecting the joints. That offense from a man who asked for exemption from military service falsely claiming that he had bone spurs. Referring to this incident, Tom Harkin, a prominent figure in the defense of the disabled commented, “Democrats believe in working together and bringing people with disabilities in to develop policy. Donald Trump? He makes fun of people with disabilities. That’s a throwback to a half century ago.”


To demand civilian and respectful behavior from our lawmakers is not out of prudish concern. It is because political discourse influences individual behavior, and when it is disrespectful and demeaning it may create a climate of hostility that encourages violent actions. Like an evil genius, Donald Trump has poisoned the well, and nobody knows when –if ever—it will be clean again.
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