Endangering people to win politically is not leadership

One of the sad and scary truths with a president who lies, demeans, denigrates and bullies his critics is his more strident followers believe his rhetoric. A consequence of this stirring up of emotions is it places people who are critical of the president in danger of bodily harm or death.

Let me state this plainly. That is not leadership. It is promoting criminal behavior. It is not becoming of a president or any other legislator or person, for that matter. And, it should not be tolerated regardless of who does it.

Three items of late come to mind. The president stirred up his audience beforehand, but after stretching the truth and taking statements out of context, he had his followers chanting “send her back” in response to his demonizing four elected representatives. And, do not believe a word the president said when he tried to weasel out of responsibility the next day. He knows precisely what he is doing – using racism to divide America to get elected. That is beyond poor form.

It does not stop there. A law enforcement officer in Louisiana said this weekend what Representative Omar needs is a bullet. Really? And, you are in law enforcement. These four Congresswomen are already receiving death threats before the president’s recent racist comments. And, take this to the bank – if there is an attempt to harm any of them, the president will again weasel out of any responsibility.

Finally, we seem to be headed down a path to autocracy. That is scary for our democracy. So, pay attention to what happened in Hong Kong yesterday. Pro-Beijing gangs beat and harmed about 45 pro-democracy demonstrators in a transit center. The police were not used as that would look worse. So, as done on the mainland, gangs of thugs beat dissenters.

Could this happen here? Easily. Has it happened here. Yes, but not on a government sanctioned basis. But, with this “wind-up-the-extremists” president, it only needs Trump to do what he does well  – use lies and half-truths to rile people up.

Finally, to be fair, we do not need Antifa extremists promoting violence either. We do not need people treating others they disagree with like they would not want to be treated. Civil discourse is critical. When people use violence it diminishes their argument and cedes the higher ground. And, legislators please condemn violence, racism, lying and bullying, no matter who does it and that includes the president.

Let me close with the fact multiple global leaders have condemned the US president’s racist remarks – including, but not limited to New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Scotland, EU and Canada. That ireveals Trump’s comments as not exemplary behavior.

8 thoughts on “Endangering people to win politically is not leadership

  1. This nation is a tinderbox, just one spark away from violence. For a member of law enforcement to call for someone to shoot a member of Congress??? That is a whole new level of atrocity that hasn’t been seen in this country in decades. I thought … I thought we were better than this.

    Excellent post, my friend, although it is sad that it has come to this. I fear that your words, like my own, are largely only heard by those who already share our own sentiments and values, but we must keep trying, for to remain silent would be complicit.

    I shall re-blog.

    • Jill, the fact that 40% of Americans do not see Trump’s words as racist are troubling. My guess is the global condemnation is not discussed on Fox or by conservative talk show hosts. Thanks for the reblog. Keith

      • My pleasure, Keith. You do good work, and this is something that needs to be seen/heard by EVERYONE in this country, both democrat and republican.

      • Thanks Jill. I am going to post your quote from Representative Ocasio-Cortez regarding the two Louisiana law enforcement officers who were fired after furor over one wanting to shoot her (I had thought it was Rep. Omar, but it is wrong regardless of the target).

        “This is Trump’s goal when he uses targeted language & threatens elected officials who don’t agree w/ his political agenda. It’s authoritarian behavior. The president is sowing violence. He’s creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability.”

        Keith

  2. Well said Keith. We need ro recognise the bounderies that Trump is crossing and push back, not just in the US, but world wide. It almost feels like a hate virus is spreading. It is insideous, far-reaching, and endemic. It needs treatment, and fast before the whole world is caught in its grasp.

    • Colette, thanks. Now, the UK has a kindred spirit as their PM, a divisive person who will promote division tp further his populist agenda just like Trump.

      I have been watching the disturbing mini-series on HBO called “Years and Years” which shows what happens with the populist wave, as both thr UK and US move to more autocracy squelching dissent. Emma Thompson does a frightfully good job at showing how it could happen.

      Americans must shine a spotlight on bigotry, especially from people occupying positions of leadership.

      Keith

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