The darkness at Trump’s core

Charles Blow starts his essay on Trump’s passionate love for hatred by noting that we get exhausted by him and by the torrent of terrible news he creates.

When my enthusiasm for resisting this vile man and his corrupt administration starts to flag, I remember the episode that first revealed to me the darkness at Trump’s core, and I am renewed.

He then tells the story of the Central Park 5 – the forced “confessions” after more than 24 hours of interrogation without food sleep or water, and the exoneration via DNA evidence years later.

A few days after the attack, long before the teenagers would go on trial, Donald Trump bought full-page ads in New York newspapers — you may think of this as a precursor to his present-day tweets to a mass audience — under a giant, all-caps headline that read: “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police!”

Wanna see it?

Image result for trump ad central park 5

How did Trump respond after having called for them to be put to death? In true Trump fashion, he refused to apologize or show any contrition whatsoever.

In a 2014 opinion essay in The Daily News, Trump wrote that the settlement was a “disgrace” and that “settling doesn’t mean innocence.” He continued his assertion that the men were guilty, urging his readers: “Speak to the detectives on the case and try listening to the facts. These young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels.”

Some people will never admit that they are wrong, even when they are as wrong as sin.

But it is the language in the body of Trump’s 1989 death penalty ad that sticks with me. Trump wrote:

“Mayor Koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts. I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.”

And when evidence turns up that they didn’t kill, they should still be hated and executed, in the name of Glorious Hatred. Or something like that.

Anyway Charles Blow has named what it is that’s so shamingly awful about Trump: his embrace of hatred and rage, and his enactment of both in full public view many times every day. That may be why the Hitler comparison comes to mind so readily, Godwin or no Godwin – it’s because of all those clips of Hitler raging in front of crowds.

That to me is the thing with this man: He wants to hate. When Trump feels what he believes is a righteous indignation, his default position is hatred. Anyone who draws his ire, anyone whom he feels attacked by or offended by, anyone who has the nerve to stand up for himself or herselfand tell him he’s wrong, he wants to hate, and does so.

This hateful spirit envelopes him, consumes him and animates him.

He hates women who dare to stand up to him and push back against him, so he attacks them, not just on the issues but on the validity of their very womanhood.

He hates black people who dare to stand up — or kneel — for their dignity and against oppressive authority, so he attacks protesting professional athletes, Black Lives Matter and President Barack Obama himself as dangerous and divisive, unpatriotic and un-American.

He hates immigrants so he has set a tone of intolerance, boasted of building his wall (that Mexico will never pay for), swollen the ranks of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and attacks some as criminals and animals.

He hates Muslims, so he moves to institute his travel ban and attacks their religion with the incendiary comment that “I think Islam hates us.”

He always disguises his hatred, often as a veneration and defense of his base, the flag, law enforcement or the military. He hijacks their valor to advance his personal hatred.

A small quibble: no he doesn’t always disguise his hatred. He sometimes covers it up as flag-worship or similar, and he sometimes combines the two, but he also frequently lets the hatred hang right out there for all to see. His epithets and insults and taunts are not disguised.

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