As we approach the one-year anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, one thing has become abundantly clear: The anti-Trumpers, never-Trumpers, not-my-president Trumpers and many liberals and Democrats are not about to cease their whining about the fact that he is commander in chief.
Good sense and common decency should dictate that the vile and classless vituperation heaped on Trump by the foot-stomping, I’m-holding-my-breath-until-he’s-gone crowd should have abated somewhat.
If anything, it has gotten worse.
The reason seems to be that those who dislike Trump are beginning to realize that all their efforts to chase him from office in his first year have failed miserably and that he just might hang onto the Oval Office for another three, if not seven, years.
So, they are redoubling their efforts as we head into year two of his presidency.
The problem with this continued debasement of Trump the individual and Trump the president is twofold.
First, it demeans the office that he holds, the system that put him there and those who voted for him. Calling Trump an idiot, a moron, incompetent, insane, a slimehead or any of a number of other epithets is not only juvenile, it demonstrates that those who refer to Trump in that fashion are intellectually challenged to come up with serious, rational policy arguments.
Let’s make no mistake here: As I have said repeatedly since he entered the campaign in 2016, I am no Trump fan. I did not like him before the election, either as a businessman or a candidate. I did not vote for him. And, I do not like any number of his policies.
That whole southern border wall issue is a non-starter. People will always find ways over, under, around and through walls.
His recent decision to reverse a policy of Barack Obama that cut back on local police departments getting easy access to surplus military gear is a step in the wrong direction. When you give big boys big toys, especially ones that go bang, they are going to find excuses to use those toys against the people they are supposed to protect.
He has yet to come up with a decent policy on immigration that would give Dreamers a clear path to citizenship.
Of course, Trump does nothing to deter his detractors. If anything, he encourages them with his own daily barrage of insults via Twitter.
The second prong in the problem with this drumbeat of constant debasement is that it is creating a template that will eventually be used by those opposed to any potential future occupant of the Oval House, no matter from which political party he or she springs.
Where once there were rules, in the future there will be no rules, as there seem to be none now.
Where once there was certain decorum about the office and those who held it or those who ran for it, in the future there will only be chaos and low-brow, undignified insults, as there are now, going in both directions.
Trump has broken the presidential mold.
Now his detractors are doing their best to ensure that the mold remains broken and that all future presidential elections will be as mean-spirited as has been his first year in office.
One online story I read recently was headlined: “Merry Christmas From The Moron In Chief And His First Family Of Freaks, Felons And Fools.”
The subhead was: “A holiday greeting from President Donald Trump to all the white, Christian Americans who worship the ground he tramples on.”
That takes in a rather wide swath of our population, and while I am confident the author found it amusing, it was anything but.
Of course, most liberals and anti-Trumpers have no sense of humor and any time they make an attempt at it, it comes out horribly unfunny, such as in this case.
Last August, an aging rapper by the name of Marshall Bruce Mathers III (stage name Eminem) got 90,000 people to chant “(Bleep) Trump” at one of his concerts.
That’s really classy. But then “class” and “rap” seem to be mutually exclusive terms.
Any number of celebrities, both real and self-proclaimed, have eagerly enlisted in the anti-Trump army of insulters, as if their comments actually mattered to anyone who matters.
The anti-Trumpers seem to have this smug, self-certainty about themselves and their views while being derisively dismissive of anyone who does not agree with them.
If the anti-Trumpers think whomever they offer as a presidential candidate in 2020 is going to be graciously greeted and treated with respect, they are delusional. Not even Jesus Christ would be an acceptable candidate in this toxic political environment.
His problems would be too numerous to list, but among them:
He’s a religious fanatic.
The guy’s never had a real job.
He hangs out a lot with prostitutes and other sinners.
He needs a haircut.
Is he a Christian or a Jew?
And what about that whole son of God thing?
Imagine what opposition research would do to a guy like that. He wouldn’t last a day on the campaign trail.
Trump’s insults, while not exactly presidential, have had the effect of sending the opposition into paroxysms of outrage over minor issues and distracting it from major issues.
Through Twitter, Trump has become a master media manipulator. No sooner does he spark indignation over one issue than he moves on to another, forcing the angry Twitterverse to follow sputtering in his wake.
And he seems to care not one bit about the number of insults that are hurled at him, or how vile and classless so many of them are.
This whole thing is not unlike children in a schoolyard trying to outdo each other in insults with their limited vocabularies and even more limited intellect.
The thinking seems to be: “If we can’t rationally dispute his policies, let’s just say vile things about him personally.”
But that sort of thinking does not bode well in the next election cycle for either party and especially not for the American people.
Ron Martz is Marine Corps veteran (1965-68), journalist and former educator whose commentaries appear monthly. He lives in Northeast Georgia. Email him here.