When I learned that long ago as a young man, Trump racially profiled prospective tenants, it was enough for me to disqualify him for the Presidency, let alone [intending no insult to dog-catchers] dog-catcher.
And it should have been enough for everyone else! I italicized “young” because it will be asked, “He was young then, why should that matter now? I italicized “long ago” because it will be asked, “That was so long ago, why should that still matter now?”
It matters now because, even if he has never done that again, he is still the same person who did that. The issue is not what particular thing or things he did or even does, but the kind of person he is now, the kind of person he is!
It matters now because he has not redeemed himself from that, or anything else that he has done since. He is not just the same person he was then, but exponentially worse!
Our contemporary context begins with the “birther” issue. Sound familiar? The racial profiling back then, when we became aware of it, should have been enough for us to eliminate him. Since then, we have been subjected to an unending flow of escalating bad behavior, each action more disqualifying than the last, and continuing even now. Threatening a renewed nuclear arms race should suffice for a discussion of the present. Why isn’t even that enough? Why hasn’t any one thing along the way been enough? Why hasn’t the accumulated total of all the individually sufficient reprehensible behaviors been enough?
The answer is the same for each sufficient thing taken one at a time and likewise for the astonishing astronomical sum of all of them taken together.
The program has been from the beginning, whether just to change the subject or by plan, to replace the last outrageous thing with an even more outrageous thing. Although each individual action was, on its own, more powerful to disqualify him – and of course the ever expanding sum – and for the people to respond by rejecting him, each action was co-opted by the next one, and the next one, and then the next one, and then …. So we were captured by each distraction in succession, unable to focus on the one in hand, sufficient on its own, or all of them together, being thereby neutered!
The frog in hotter and hotter water, may or may not realize that it is being killed! Our tragic irony, different in kind from the benign early water for the frog, is that each individual incident, beginning with unconscionable racial profiling, was sufficient in itself to do us in! And that, without us realizing that we were being killed!
And we are still like frogs dying in water boiling!