President Trump is a hypocrite. That is true across many subjects, including the current national conversation on civility. Trump on the one hand is the worst well known offender, making ugly, bullying, racist, Islamophobic, and threatening comments. Yet, on the other hand, Trump thinks he can call for civility toward his supporters and his staff, and make that call using threats and language that are decidedly not civil. Somehow it is lost on Trump how hypocritical that is.
Former President Bill Clinton, in an interview on “The Daily Show”, called out Trump for that hypocrisy, saying , according to The Hill, that Trump has “poured poison down America’s throat”, and if a move toward civility is to begin, Trump and his administration must “stop the name-calling and take the lead”. According to The Hill:
Former President Clinton is suggesting that President Trump is at least partly to blame for a lack of civility in politics, saying he has poured “poison” down “America’s throat.” “It started off calling Mexicans rapists and murderers,” Clinton said during a Tuesday interview with “The Daily Show’s” Trevor Noah, referring to a line from then-GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s 2015 speech announcing his White House run…“A lot of poison has been poured down America’s throat since that 2016 campaign started,” Clinton said when asked about calls for civility after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was booted from a Virginia restaurant over the weekend by its co-owner over her role in the Trump administration…“It’s hard not to pour poison down people’s throat and not have some of it come back up and bubble up,” Clinton said on Tuesday.
After the incident with Sanders, Sanders used her work Twitter account to complain about it, which former director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub indicates is a violation of ethics laws, which dictate Sanders not use her office for personal reasons or to speak for or against any business. Then Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) weighed in, encouraging people to confront Trump administration officials in public establishments and refuse them service the way that restaurant owner did Sanders. Clinton’s point is that, while Waters’ reaction does not bring us closer to civility, it is understandable “blowback”, saying, according to The Hill, “My point is, sooner or later, people need to quit tearing each other down and go to work. You can’t foment as much hatred that has been fomented by the administration without having a blowback…So if they want to have more civility, they need to stop the name-calling and take the lead.”
Unfortunately President Trump has decided to go on the attack instead, attacking the restaurant that refused to serve Sanders as “filthy”, attacking Waters as being “an extraordinarily low IQ person”, and threatening Waters with “be careful what you wish for Max”. Trump’s standard for his own behavior is lower than what you’d expect from someone in grade school. Yet he thinks he can dictate other people’s behavior. He’s a hypocrite.