Donald Trump needs to stick to written statements and teleprompters and eschew social media forever. I intimated as much in my blog yesterday. Yet, considering the gravity of the aftershocks in Charlottesville including the pulling down of a Confederate statue in Durham yesterday, it would be irresponsible for me to not at least update yesterday’s blog if not write a new one entirely. I have obviously chosen the latter approach. Yesterday, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Today, I take it back.
When Trump talks or tweets off the cuff, he fails. His messages are bullying, defiant and divisive. What he does accomplish, however, is to reveal who he really is – and he is all of those things just described. Yesterday, his tweets showed his condemnation of neo-Nazis and the KKK were for show. “Fake media is never satisfied” he tweeted after not getting the public reaction he sought. This amid pullouts by several prominent CEOs today from his manufacturing council. They too were discounted as Trump chidingly tweeted of their grandstanding and work overseas and other CEOs waiting in line to take their place.
One thing is certain: Donald Trump is someone who will never, ever learn. At a time when he should be talking of healing and a national dialogue to get there, he instead in a press conference today at Trump Tower gave some on the alt-right a pass while calling out members of the alt-left for inciting the violence. Even if we concede the old adage: it takes two to tangle, why take this approach? How do we move on and heal? As one. Not by pointing fingers and giving an out to individuals with no regard for anyone that doesn’t look of feel like them.
My grandparents were first generation Italians who braved German U-Boats during WWI to sail to the United States through Ellis Island and settle in Southern Illinois. There they worked their fingers to the bone and lungs to black in the local coalmines, contributing to the local economy. Catholic and immigrants they were terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan. Over 100 years later that sick ideology lives on.
It should not be defended. It cannot be perpetuated. Certainly not by the (by definition) leader of the “Free World.” No – Words must be chosen carefully. Humanity must be respected. A call for unity is paramount. Cue the speechwriter. Oil the teleprompter. Cancel the Twitter account. Time to start saying and getting it right.