While looking for online news this morning about Hurricane Irma, up popped a live feed of Donald Trump talking about 9/11. I can only speculate that his goal was to offer his sympathies to the families of the victims and to the nation. Another objective seemed to be a riff on his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan, reassuring us and the rest of the world that the U.S. can overcome any adversities we face.
Take Trump out of the picture and the message itself was certainly acceptable. Not inspiring, but acceptable. I can easily imagine many other presidents giving a similar speech. The problem is Trump.
The words were coming out of Donald Trump’s gutter mouth. At moments like a 9/11 commemoration, we want to believe that the president has the moral authority to speak on our behalf, to unify us in our sorrow and conviction that our values still have meaning.
Trump has no values, except to feed his own grandiose sense of himself. His moral authority, if ever had any, vanished when he bragged about grabbing women by the vagina and being able to grope women whenever he wanted and get away with it.
As a product of Catholic schools, it reminded me of the lectures by pedophile priests and lesbian nuns about the evils of sex, real or imagined. Not a lot of credibility there.
As argument can be made that as high a price as we paid for the terrorist attacks on 9/11, in many ways it made us stronger, more vigilant, more united as a people. Within our grief, there was an upside. Being Americans we have turned something horrible into something positive about us and the country.
Contrast that with Donald Trump. An argument can be made that unless you’re a neo-Nazi, a white supremacist, or a billionaire looking for favors from the White House, there is no upside to Trump. It’s all a ghastly terrorist attack on our values, traditions, beliefs. He has torn our nation asunder in ways the 9/11 attacks never did.
Which is worse — Trump or 9/11? Trump wins in a landslide.