At the Republican National Convention in 2000, then- presidential candidate George Bush promised to “uphold the honor and dignity” of the highest of ce in the land. These values, he said, were of paramount importance to the founding fathers, who envisioned a nation built on responsibility, compassion and character.
If the cornerstone of our country is civic virtue, then our 45th President is dismantling the very institutions on which America was founded. His election was the product of disrespect and defamation against ethnic groups, women and religious minorities. The of ce he holds was once a bastion of sincerity, and has now become a platform from which to ridicule the public. By normalizing this spectacle, we have become complicit in Trump’s ongoing charade.
The President’s latest tweets, however, have provoked such unfavorable backlash that some are questioning whether he has crossed another line. The other day, President Trump shared a GIF on Twitter of himself striking former Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton, with a golf ball. The clip was condemned as a misogynistic attack on women.
This incident is not Trump’s rst offense against women; scandals such as the Access Hollywood tape and the “nasty Wwoman” comment essentially de ned his campaign. More recently, in early July, the President responded to an episode of MSNBC’s Morning Joe by describing host Mika Brzezinski as “low I.Q.” and “bleeding badly from a facelift” when she visited Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve.
The response to that incident involving Brzezinski was swift and bipartisan. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) expressed that the attack was “not an appropriate comment.” Following suit, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) tweeted that the “Presidential platform should be used for more than bringing people down.” Across the aisle, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) referred to Trump’s statements as “an assault on the freedom of the press & an insult to all women.”
But neither of Trump’s tweets crossed a line. That would rst require a line to exist.
The 45th President has set such a low standard for civility that, at this point, no amount of public outrage will unsettle him. This is the same man who encouraged and admitted to sexual assault, mocked a disabled reporter, and suggested Second Amendment defenders should act on his opponent among other things. And, lest we forget, Trump opened his campaign by condemning Mexico for “sending people [to America] that have lots of problems” including drugs and crime.
The extraordinary thing is the lackluster response these performances have received. Lamentably, there seems to be no scandal that the President can shock us with anymore. Between his vacillating policy positions and daily vitriol, Trump has obliterated the integrity of his of office.
It is high time that we restore the fundamental values of respect and decency to the American political climate. No longer can the President be considered a role model for this nation, as he continues to denigrate his own people. At this point, we must re-establish the lines of courtesy and propriety in this country. By rede fining what is appropriate and tasteful in our national dialogue, we can recommit ourselves to the civil values of our country. After all, the authority of the government relies on the faith of the governed, and Trump is quashing that faith with great efficiency.
Our Constitution begins with a simple dictum, that “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Is this our idea of a more perfect union? We can do better, America.