There are already some in the media who are claiming that Donald Trump now has an “opportunity” to “unify” the country with his response to Hurricane Harvey. This narrative, which completely lacks context and substance, needs to be nipped in the bud immediately. Donald Trump squandered any such opportunity on Friday night. Per the New York Times today:
Hurricane Harvey was the rarest of disasters to strike during the Trump presidency — a maelstrom not of Mr. Trump’s making, and one that offers him an opportunity to recapture some of the unifying power of his office he has squandered in recent weeks.
Let’s forget for a moment that Trump actually hadn’t “squandered” the “unifying power” of his office “in recent weeks” ― he never had that unifying power, from even before he took that office, attacking protestors, a television comedy show and a Broadway play. Soon after he became president, he continued attacking the media, members of Congress, the FBI ― I could go on and on ― and has been underwater in the polls since his first few weeks of taking office.
But even if we look simply at his response to Hurricane Harvey itself, putting aside the past seven months, Trump exhibited how he’d recklessly use a natural disaster for his own purposes. The “opportunity” and “chance” to unify people is gone: Trump used the early hours of the hurricane, and the media coverage around it, to rampage on democracy and further divide rather than unite a nation.
Trump exhibited how he’d recklessly use a natural disaster for his own purposes.
He pardoned the racist former Sherif Arpaio, causing enormous backlash even among some Republicans and conservative pundits for this blatant contempt for the rule of law, and even later bragged that he did it at this time for “ratings.”
He signed the order to ban any transgender people from entering the military, again…