Saturday, January 14, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lashed out at Rep. John Lewis, blaming Lewis personally for crime and economic problems that may exist only in Trump's imagination.

The Twitter outburst was in response to Lewis' recent statement that he regards Trump's presidency as illegitimate because of Russia's interference and possible collaboration with Trump. Trump accused Lewis of engaging in "talk talk talk" while neglecting a district that is in "horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested.)"

Lewis' job as a member of Congress does not give him personal authority to do anything but "talk." However, in his previous career as a civil rights activist, Lewis was beaten at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma and, on at least 45 occasions, arrested for his work with the Freedom Riders and other nonviolent civil rights actions. 

It is not clear why (or if) Trump actually thinks Georgia's Fifth Congressional District, which includes the booming midtown and northern suburbs of Atlanta, is in such grim shape. Its median household income is well above the average for the south, and its crime rate is low for an urban area. It is, however, a majority-black district, and Trump has repeatedly expressed the belief that black urban areas are "hell."

Why should I care about this?

  • A president whose emotional outbursts in response to criticism are so easily predictable is a president who can be manipulated.
  • It's very bad if a president assumes that places where African-Americans live are "horrible" and "crime infested."