By Paul Gable
Over the past year, Donald Trump has been labelled with more tags than any other presidential candidate in my lifetime.
He has been called a racist, misogynist and xenophobe with no respect for separation of powers or any other part of the Constitution.
It has been written that he is torching the most sacred American values and undermining the pillars of our democracy.
I read and hear these various commentaries in the media and from party, especially Republican Party luminaries, and I wonder why Trump is being held to a standard most are not.
Racism has been an integral part of America and we still have a long way to go to stamp it out. In 1776, we held truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. But, if you were a slave, you’re very humanity was denied you.
Not only were many of our early presidents slave owners, but Woodrow Wilson made “Birth of a Nation” the first film ever screened in the White House and called it quite good. Wilson’s comments were 50 years after the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments were passed and 126 years after the Constitution was ratified.
And we are not even considering the “Southern Strategy” which played so large a part in rejuvenating the Republican Party nationally.
As for misogyny, this country denied women the right to vote until 1920, as well as many other basic rights of citizenship, and still generally pays women less than men for the same job.
Criticizing Trump as a xenophobe for his various positions on illegal immigrants and immigration from Middle Eastern countries is to forget that this is the country that forced internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II.
And how many elected and appointed government officials criticized Joe McCarthy or J. Edgar Hoover for their racist, xenophobic and unconstitutional actions?
As for sacred American values and undermining the Constitution, this is a country that forgets its values and Constitution at will.
Witness, the Sedition Act of 1798 and Woodrow Wilson’s Espionage and Sedition Act, Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas Corpus, Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase with no Constitutional legitimacy, the many treaties with Native American tribes that were broken at the whim of the federal government and the Patriot Act as just a few examples of how the Constitution and American values have been trampled by our elected leaders.
Before calling out Trump as some kind of unique, dark presence in the history of presidential politics in America, be honest about American history as it really was.
Trump’s various comments may be better known because of the internet, social media, 24 hour news and the like, but they are not very different from many that have come before.