Tuesday September 4, 2018
Trump's behavior poses serious threat.
Sen. John McCain had a long, distinguished career of service to our country. Yet President Donald Trump's White House disgracefully decided that flying the flag at half-staff for 48 hours was adequate recognition. This was a predictable affront to decency given Trump's personality combined with his prior refusal to mention McCain's name when signing legislation honoring the Arizona Republican, his attack on the senator by name hours later at a rally, and his claim that McCain's years of enduring torture as a prisoner of war were not heroic.
Trump views life as a zero-sum game: He wins, the other loses; the other wins, he loses. Therefore, any means are justified if they produce the ends of Trump winning. Thus, in Trump's hands narcissism, unfettered personal power, vindictiveness and lack of conscience are good, while compromise, cooperation, compassion and remorse are weaknesses to be exploited.
In George Orwell's "Animal Farm," the government states: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." In Trump's view, whites, males, the rich and the powerful are more equal than non-whites, women, poor/middle class and the vulnerable, justifying discrimination and bigotry.
Trump habitually violates truth, morality, ethics, social norms, professional competence, unity and trust. Thus, his defenders need to continually lower the bar of the acceptable. It's a chilling reminder that the catastrophic moral failure of what philosopher Hannah Arendt called the banality of evil is ever-present.
Ward G. Becker
President lowers bar for what's acceptable