Amid the vast amount of and reasonable questions and valid criticisms of President Trump there is, naturally, a spattering of self-righteous childishness from high profile figures like Madonna and unknown vandals in the streets. Trump Supporters can easily point to these people as representative of, “The Left,” thus insulating themselves from genuinely considering any anti-Trump messages. The latest outrage, and it really is an outrage, was a Tweet from SNL writer Katie Rich, who attacked Trump’s 10 year old son, Barron. Many on the right saw this as typical of, “Liberals.” Siraj Hashmi at RedAlertPolitics.com was quick to frame the story that way and attack the hipocracy of those who, “spent 8 years protecting Obama daughters,” but are presumably fine with Ms. Rich’s comment.
Of course, both sides want to believe that their side is full of noble warriors fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, while the other side is a festering pile of rude and disdainful rubbish. And both sides look for the most offensive, stupid, and/or inaccurate things they can find on the other side in order to judge them by it. Intellectually honest people, however, should not fall into this trap. Ms. Rich’s poor choice is not political proof of anything fundamental to, “The Left,” or,”Liberals,” just as GOP Congressional Staffer Elizabeth Lauten’s belittling of Malia and Sasha Obama and Rightwing Talkshow Host Rush Limbaugh’s comparison of 12 year old Chelsea Clinton to a dog were not political proof of anything fundamental to, “The Right,” or, “Conservatives,” when those things happened.
Which brings me to the point that I set out to talk about. Did you catch this moment of frustration from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer yesterday? The relevant part is about 1 minute 52 seconds into this clip:
I almost feel sorry for him. I’m sure it is, “demoralizing,” and, “frustrating,” to listen to the constant drumbeat of a press corps that is largely negative and, sometimes, unfairly so. I agree that many members of the media, if not most, are looking to, “undermine [Trump’s] credibility,” and there is a, “constant theme,” here at a level we have, “never seen,” before. But I can’t help thinking of that famous phrase from Galatians 6:7, “A man reaps what he sows.”
Sean Spicer chose to work for Trump, a compulsive liar with little regard for facts or manners. A man who seems to believe that any and all poor behavior can be brushed aside by simply saying, “I’m not politically correct.” A man who looks to the most wild claims he finds on the Internet or in the tabloids first and readily rejects anything that does not fit into his predetermined conclusions, no matter how well documented it is.
You want to talk about undermining a President’s credibility? Who lead the racist birther charge for years (Yes, years!) claiming President Obama was not a real American? I’ll tell you who. The same man who took out a full page in four major New York City newspapers in 1989, calling for a return of the death penalty in response to the Central Park Five (five young men of color accused of and later falsely convicted of raping a white woman jogging in Central Park). The same man that refuses to accept the innocence of the Central Park Five, to this day, and has no sympathy for the 40 years of combined time they spent behind bars for a crime that did not commit. The same man who thinks it’s okay to mock the disabled, then lies and says he never did that. The same man who likes to brag about molesting woman, then lies and says he never said that. The same man who attacked a Gold Star Family and all POWs, despite his own record of multiple deferments to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War, and his own inability to understand the meaning of the word, “sacrifice.” The same man who can’t seem to control himself enough to avoid a 3am tweetstorm against a former beauty pageant contestant. Who thinks women should be valued based on their looks and ridiculed for having a menstrual cycle.
If I were to judge Sean Spicer simply on his tone in yesterday’s press conference I would feel very sorry for him and I would predict that he’s not going to last long in this job. But we should to look at the larger context and the kind of climate that his boss has set for us all. A meaner, less, “politically correct,”environment in which everyone gets their own, “alternative facts,” and anything goes so long as you win. Trump has come a long way with this worldview. It’s got him all the way to the White House. Now you expect that it’s not going to be used by reporters and others to get him out of the White House? Get real, Spicer. You ain’t seen nothin yet.