AuthorLueders, Bill

Donald Trump's presidency has accomplished something remarkable: It has battered away our capacity to be shocked. His behavior is so consistently outrageous, shattering norms and continually aspiring to new lows, that it becomes difficult to muster the appropriate level of revulsion for each new affront.

Still, one moment from August--during the same week that Trump confirmed his interest in buying Greenland; shut down access to green cards for immigrants who might at some point require government assistance; approvingly shared a Fox News host's tweet about a criminologist who claims "there is no evidence that we are in the midst of an epidemic of mass shootings"; and declared that Americans have "no choice" but to vote for him in 2020, because otherwise the stock market will collapse and their 401(k)s will be wiped out--merits special attention.

After having earlier opined that four members of Congress, all women of color, ought to "go back" to the countries from which they came (three of them were born in the United States; the fourth is a naturalized citizen), Trump upped the ante, successfully urging Israel to deny admission to two of them--Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, both Muslim--claiming without evidence that they "hate Israel & all Jewish people."

Tlaib had been planning to visit her elderly grandmother in the West Bank, but refused to agree to the condition that she pledge to not express support during her stay for boycotting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

"Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me," Tlaib tweeted of her grandmother, who is Palestinian. She said a visit "under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in--fighting against racism, oppression & injustice."

That prompted the Insulter-in-Chief to tweet: "The only real winner here is Tlaib's grandmother. She doesn't have to see her now!"

Let us pause for a moment to reflect on the mentality behind such a statement. The breathtaking meanness of it. The small-mindedness. The lack of basic human decency. What more evidence could anyone need that the current President of the United States is a despicable person?

Tlaib's grandmother got in her own dig, in an interview with Reuters: "Trump tells me I should be happy Rashida is not coming. May God ruin him."

But the real rebuke must come not from above, if that is where God resides, but from within the United States. It is time to insist...

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