The vilification of President Trump in the mainstream media and by Hollywood celebrities continues,
CNN host Anderson Cooper said last week that President Donald Trump “acts like a drunk in a bar” during his daily press conferences. MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell chimed in with the opinion that Trump is a straight up “sociopath.” (A sociopath is a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience. Hardened criminals are usually described as sociopaths.)
Bette Midler opined that President Donald Trump has “30,000 corpses” on his hands as a result of his response to the Chinese coronavirus. She added that “Every single day you (Trump) cause death, destruction, and untold suffering. Four more years of your incompetence and we won’t have a country left!”
Hollywood director Rob Reiner suggested that President Donald Trump is putting people’s lives at risk by supporting those Americans willing to go back to work to help revive the economy that’s collapsed due to the coronavirus. “Donald Trump is stoking the anger of protesters,” Reiner said on Twitter, “by encouraging them to defy their Governors. The Stable Genius is having a hard time wrapping his stable genius mind around the concept of the difficulty of going back to work if you’re dead.”
Others took out their hatred of Trump by bashing his supporters. As some Florida beaches reopened under social distancing guidelines, Miami Herald metro columnist Fabiola Santiago tweeted that Florida residents packing beaches “should work nicely to thin the ranks” of supporters of President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis “who value money over health.”
Joy Reid of MSNBC finds it it “confusing” that Trump’s populist base supports him despite supposedly not “getting anything economically out of this plutocracy.”
Jane Meyer of The New Yorker said that Trump’s “racist and anger-laced” rhetoric “excites the lower-educated part of his base, the white-male base, particularly, and so he’s saying things that make his supporters feel good.” In other words, according to Mayer, “those racist hayseeds, hicks, and rubes are too dumb to understand, or just don’t care, that they’re getting ripped off by the ruling class.”
Vilification of the President of the United States is nothing new. Democrats frequently complained about the harsh words directed at President Barack Obama, though the mainstream press was hugely supportive of his administration and helped tamp down the opposition. Also, consider the bitter attacks against Abraham Lincoln, considered by many to be our greatest President. Quoting from a 2013 article by Mark Bowden in The Atlantic, Lincoln suffered “a steady stream of abuse—in editorials, speeches, journals, and private letters—from those on his own side, those dedicated to the very causes he so ably championed. George Templeton Strong, a prominent New York lawyer and diarist, wrote that Lincoln was ‘a barbarian, Scythian, yahoo, or gorilla.’ Henry Ward Beecher, the Connecticut-born preacher and abolitionist, often ridiculed Lincoln in his newspaper, The Independent (New York), rebuking him for his lack of refinement and calling him ‘an unshapely man.’ Other Northern newspapers openly called for his assassination long before John Wilkes Booth pulled the trigger. He was called a coward, ‘an idiot,’ and ‘the original gorilla’ by none other than the commanding general of his armies, George McClellan.” Even the assassination failed to silence some of Lincoln’s critics. Shortly after the fatal shot William Lloyd Garrison Jr. called the murder ‘providential’ because it meant Vice President Andrew Johnson would assume leadership.
Yes, the attacks on President Trump are nothing new to American politics, though the near unanimity of our so-called “mainstream media” in condemning him may be unparalleled. I deplore the vitriol, and I wish television and print reporters would present a more balanced approach. I believe that Trump is dealing with the coronavirus about as well as anyone could under the circumstances, and I feel some sympathy for him as he seeks desperately for praise. A showman like our President feeds off the adulation of his supporters, but he never gets anything but contempt from the opposition.
Lincoln had an almost imperturbable equanimity along with a great sense of humor. Our present President is no Lincoln. Until his election, Donald Trump had little experience with the rough and tumble and downright nastiness of partisan politics. He is overly sensitive to criticism, a street fighter, and he strikes back.