Sunday, June 5, 2016

O/T: Comparing The Courage Of Ali -- To The Cowardice Of Trump

One man, perhaps the greatest at what he did, who will ever live -- as Kareem has eloquently pointed out -- courageously chose to stop his career at the height of his physical powers -- and walk into jail -- to oppose a war he felt was unjust. In that moment, he created space for others -- less famous others -- (often impoverished, down-trodden, and yes, more than occasionally brown faced others) to oppose the Vietnam war. To effectively tell the powers that be that he -- and they -- wouldn't fight in that war. Whether one agrees with that stand is irrelevant, for this purpose -- he did it all courageously -- and honestly.

Now -- of small-minded cowards: Decades ago, Mr. Trump dodged the draft -- avoided military service, in Vietnam, getting repeated deferrals -- but not on principle. He did not offer to go to jail. Not even close.

Fast-forward a few decades: Mr. Trump, at least claiming to be at the height of his powers, uses his free speech rights to insult and belittle (on ethnicity, no less!) an eminently-able, well-balanced American-born federal District Court judge, simply because the judge has unsurprisingly ruled that the public has a right to see the contents of a public federal case file. This is what a free and open society looks like, Mr. Trump. Public records of your 3,000 or so lawsuits -- are just that: Public. Records. We all may see them. Just as you are entirely free to say idiotic, unhinged things. Things unbecoming the office you claim to seek. But you are free. Truly. Rant on. The best antidote for idiotic speech is more discourse. Discourse I am willing to provide, gratis, between now and November (if your candidacy, such as it is, lasts that long -- of course).

So let us both review what Mr. Trump has said -- and the responses from within his own party -- from the WaPo, then:

. . . .In this case, the condemnations have been swift and cutting, as Republican leaders scramble to protect their party against charges that their presumptive presidential nominee is engaging in a racist attack against a sitting judge. . . .

Bruce Buchanan, a professor of government at the University of Texas, emailed: "There is a long history of race-based unhappiness with court decisions (e.g. George Wallace’s tirades against desegregation orders). But Trump’s rhetoric amounts to a uniquely personal attack on a federal judge that signals a decidedly ‘un-presidential’ disrespect for the legal process. This cannot help his candidacy. . . ."

On Friday, Trump was pressed repeatedly by CNN’s Jake Tapper to explain the link between the fact that Curiel’s parents were Mexican immigrants and the judge’s ability to handle the case involving Trump University. "I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge," Trump said. "Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I’m building a wall, okay? I’m building a wall."

Trump continued to spar with Tapper, who eventually said, "If you are saying he can’t do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?" Trump replied, "No, I don’t think so at all. . . ."

Newt Gingrich told Mr. Trump this weekend, if he doesn't start listening to his "allies" -- who are telling him to end these appeals to ethnic hatred, he will. have. no. allies.

I will help him lose in November -- not because of his race -- but because of his deeply flawed, and illogical appeals to racists. In sum -- Ali: A great man. But a human, like all of us -- with flaws. Trump: hardly a man at all. More of a caricature -- of what I guess he thinks a man might be. It is disgusting -- simply disgusting -- to watch him.

No comments: