President Trump infused his State of the Union address with long deliberate pauses so his audience could clap and cheer further encouraging his hateful speech. This is the annual gathering of elected officials when they hear from their President and it appears from their reaction that many of them have become “core” supporters. Some in the press marveled at the President’s calmer, measured delivery instead of dissecting the content of his vituperative all-white words.
Conservatives enthusiastically applauded the litany of Trump’s self-aggrandizement including the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. It was one uncomfortable moment for the new Justice when his face filled the TV screen. It was as if this President was reminding him who gave him this opportunity. The law likes to use Latin whenever possible as in quid pro quo.
Hypocrisy, fear and hate are Trump’s tools and his immigration policies reek of them. They are not thinly veiled changes to existing immigration laws but in-your-face racism and bigotry that carry the imprimatur of the alt-right, all white that make up his base. That Republicans stood and cheered when he revealed his draconian immigration intentions is a clear sign of the erosion of Congress’ oath to serve all the people. They, like Trump, are pandering to the extreme right in order to appease this despot-cum-president. Of all the disasters of the Trump rein, none is as surprising or distressing as the Republicans embracing Trump’s overt prejudice.
As they drink from Trump’s trough, they become his sycophants, complicit in his racism, partners in his sexism and gender bias, feeding his hate and fear, aiding and abetting his dismemberment of the pillars of democracy so carefully constructed since the founding fathers wrote the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Their complicity, perhaps caused by blind ambition and drunken power, is tearing the fabric of America apart.