By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published on November 13, 2018
It has been one week since the Midterm elections. During this seven-day period, President Donald Trump has acted like a dangerous Pitbull that is unleashed and is mauling everyone in his sight. People inside and outside of the Trump Administration are afraid of him.
Attacking the Media
Last week, Trump angrily mauled Abilio James “Jim” Acosta on live TV and in front of his media colleagues. Trump later suspended Acosta’s White House press credentials as punishment for Acosta’s propensity to ask the President questions that challenged his public policy positions. Acosta, who is CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, is the son of a Cuban father, who was an immigrant, and an Irish mother.
Peter Alexander, the MSNBC reporter who stood up and tried to defend Acosta’s journalistic integrity, was promptly mauled by Trump, as well. The attack on Acosta and Alexander terrified the rest of the White House press corp.
Trump also attacked three African-American reporters – April Ryan, Abby Phillip, and Yamiche Alcindor -- who asked the President straight-forward questions about issues of domestic policy, including questions about the Robert Mueller investigation.
Trump called respected CNN contributor April Ryan, the NABJ Journalist of the Year for 2017, a “loser” and “nasty.” He also threatened to revoke Ryan's White House press credentials.
Trump claimed that Yamiche Alcindor, a White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour and the NABJ's Emerging Journal of the Year for 2013, posed a racist question when she asked Trump whether he was encouraging white nationalism in America. Alcindor’s question was a fair and reasonable one in light of the President’s recent comments about nationalism and his failure to condemn the Neo-Nazis protestors who chanted “Jews will not replace us” during a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year in which an innocent female counter-protestor -- Heather Heyer -- was murdered by one of the Nazis.
On Friday, Trump berated CNN reporter Abby Phillip for asking a "lot of stupid questions." Phillip had asked whether Trump wanted newly appointed Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to "rein in" special counsel Robert Mueller -- a matter of heavy speculation given Trump's objections to the Russia investigation and Whitaker's past criticism of it.
Insulting America’s Military Veterans and War Dead
On Sunday, Trump insulted America's veterans and dishonored her fallen soldiers during the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Trump and dozens of other world leaders who had gathered in Paris for the commemorative event were scheduled to attend an event marking Armistice Day and visit a cemetery where Americans who died in World Wars I and II are buried.
To the shock of the free world, Trump cancelled his cemetery visit due to rainy weather. He was the only world leader to do so.
More than 2,000 soldiers are buried at the World War I cemetery, many of whom died in the Battle of Belleau Wood. Ironically, these American soldiers fought and died in the European theater in the same rainy weather conditions that deterred Trump from honoring them.
“Normalizing” Trump’s Lack of Respect for Media Organizations and Soldiers
As expected, no Republican leader in the House of Representative or U.S. Senate rebuked Trump for his cemetery faux pas in France. Likewise, no Trump supporter or Evangelical Christian leader had the courage to confront Trump about his tirade against the respected White House correspondents he had trashed.
As expected, Fox News did not defend the right of Jim Acosta, April Ryan, Abby Phillip, and Yamiche Alcindor to ask President Trump questions on matters of significant interest to the American people. Furthermore, Fox did not applaud MSNBC’s Peter Alexander for attempting to defend Acosta’s right to ask the President public policy questions during Wednesday’s press conference.
It is well known that Donald Trump views the media as the “enemy of the American people.” He likes Fox News because it is a right-wing media organization that functions much like state-run media organizations in Russia, North Korea, China and other countries led by dictators.
Worst of all, Donald Trump does not care at all about America’s servicemen/women, war veterans, or fallen soldiers. America’s celebration of Veterans Day is an inconvenient annual occurrence for Trump. The President lost interest in this celebratory event when the military told Trump that he could not have his own military parade like the dictators in North Korea and Russia.
The only thing Trump got out of his trip to Paris this weekend was a visible “thumbs up” gesture from Russian President Vladimir Putin during one of the commemorative ceremonies. Trump seemed to gloat over this refreshed validation from “puppet-master” Putin.
Unlike his predecessors, Trump does not visit American troops at military bases on foreign soil. Yet, he finds time to golf at his country club in Florida every weekend.
What is worst, the Veterans Administration is one of Trump’s lowest cabinet priorities. Sadly, there is no Trump-led initiative to improve the delivery of health care services or other earned benefits to veterans.
Trump has repeatedly attacked “Gold Star” families, even when they are still grieving the loss of their loved ones. A soldier’s death in his/her service to our nation means absolutely nothing to Trump.
We must always remember that Trump was a successful draft-dodger during the Vietnam War. Yet, Trump has consistently refused to recognize the late Sen. John McCain as a “war hero” simply because McCain’s plane was shot down over Hanoi, he was captured by the Vietcong, and he endured years of torture as a prisoner of war. Trump justifies his callous attitude towards McCain by saying, “I like people that weren’t captured.” Those are mighty big words for a certified draft-dodger.
Finally, anyone with “walking around sense” can clearly see that Donald Trump has a real problem respecting women, people of color, Jews, gays, Muslims who are not in business with him, Gold Star families, military veterans, American soldiers who have died in the service of our nation, America’s national security agencies, and America’s longtime allies, among others. He panders to white nationalists and America's foreign enemies. He has no self-respect or control.
For these reasons, Donald J. Trump presents a clear and present danger to America and its allies.
PHOTO: White House correspondents Abby Phillip (left), Yamiche Alcindor (center), and April Ryan (right) have drawn the ire of President Donald Trump for asking straight-forward questions about domestic policy issues.