The Unforgiven: Michelle Obama and Donald J. Trump
It is a good thing for former First Lady of America Michelle Obama to tell President Donald Trump she will never forgive him for pushing the “birther” movement, one of Trump’s first big lies that shocked most people in America and earned him a semi-permanent following.
Trump’s strongest supporters are predominantly white, Southern and older than 60. Many are also well educated (57 percent attended at least some college) and financially well off (43 percent reported a household income of at least $75,000).
Recall that citizen Trump, before he was a candidate for president, told the whole world that President Barack Hussein Obama was not born in America and was an illegal immigrant and unqualified to serve. He also stated this week that African American candidate for governor of Georgia Stacey Abrams is “unqualified.” Both comments are, in my book, racist.
Today, Trump is still on his sophomoric soapbox signaling to his followers that former president Barack Obama has a middle name that starts with the letter “H,” for Hussein. The guy has a strange hell bent for hate kind of mind.
Michelle Obama is on nearly every news show these days promoting her book, “Becoming Michelle Obama.” And she’s sharing some private thoughts and conclusions about her experiences at the White House and about politics in general.
She writes that Trump played a key role in pushing the lie that put her family at risk. "What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls?" she wrote in her book, according to The Washington Post. "Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family's safety at risk. And for this I'd never forgive him."
Also recall that some mental health experts in America have concluded President Trump “has the mind of a 5th and 6th grader.” He likes an audience wherever he can get it. Every time he gets a chance, Trump calls people names – like when he told African American reporter April Ryan she asked a lot of “stupid” questions and was a “loser” to boot.
"She got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always expect a little controversy," Trump said about Michelle Obama. "I'll give you a little controversy back, I'll never forgive (President Barack Obama) for what he did to our US military. It was depleted, and I had to fix it," Trump said. "What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you."
That is another lie. We have always had a strong military and could hold our own anywhere in the world. The world’s best American generals said so.
Obama also wrote in her book that the "birther" movement was "crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."
Trump has always stirred up the wrath of the mentally unstable. His favorite “news” organization is the National Enquirer. Other news organizations are creators of “fake news,” he says.
Obama also recalls how her "body buzzed with fury" after hearing Trump's lewd comments on videotape about grabbing women. "It was an expression of hatred that had generally been kept out of polite company, but still lived in the marrow of our supposedly enlightened society — alive and accepted enough that someone like Donald Trump could afford to be cavalier about it," she writes, according to the Washington Post.
As we get closer to 2020 and Trump starts his run for another term, we will hear more outlandish lies and bizarre proclamations. And his followers will eat it up. We’ll hear about voter fraud, more voter fraud, and more and more voter fraud. That’s the GOP’s routine lie. There is no truth to it at all. Voter fraud is fake news from the far right.
What is even more troubling to me is that mainstream television media experts and hosts regularly laugh about Trump’s lies, not realizing that they give Trump permission to lie some more – like bystanders that see something funny about a school yard bully – which is exactly what Trump is. He gets encouragement to act like an arrogant high school football hero when folks find something hilarious about his lies and his belligerent behavior.
There’s a cultural disconnect for me there.
Trump really thinks all Americans should find him glorious, omnipotent, a genius, and more popular than every president who ever held office. That’s what he expects from you and me. But his approval rating has been the lowest in all of history.
I have always been a supporter and admirer of the Obamas. To the surprise of all of America, an African American man was voted in twice as president of these United States – for the first time in history. To my way of thinking Trump hasn’t done anything significant for anyone but himself. President Barack Obama gave us the economy we now enjoy, and the new Congress, with 100 women, (40 of whom are women of color) will give us a lot more once they’re sworn in. And no, Michelle Obama doesn’t have to forgive Trump for his dangerous claim that her husband Barack Obama wasn’t born here.
John Tetpon, Inupiaq, is a longtime Alaska journalist, musician and artist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org