Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Loser and a Racist to Boot.

An interesting article in The Atlantic, "Donald Trump and the Depressing Politicization of Everything." Writer Derek Thompson puts the man/baby president's endless tantrums down to two things.

What is the meaning of these seemingly frivolous skirmishes with athletes and sports leagues? His true motivations aren’t clear, but his behavior does fit a pattern.

As Adam Serwer wrote here, there is a clear racial element to Trump’s pronouncements. When the NFL star Tom Brady, a white player, skipped his championship team’s White House visit, the president was silent. (Brady has described Trump as a “good friend,” and at one point displayed a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker.) When Warriors star Stephen Curry, a black man, announced his intention to do the same, the president called him out on Twitter and rescinded the team’s invitation. In calling for NFL owners to fire protesting players, the president encourages an overwhelmingly white ownership group to disemploy members of overwhelmingly black NFL players union. As Serwer wrote, Trump’s instant criticism of Curry and black NFL players stands in stark contrast to his infamous hesitation to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Another reason that the president cannot resist commenting on every non-political issue in American life is that he seemingly cannot stand the actual work of American governance—a preference made salient at a moment when lawmakers are busy trying to repeal the signature legislative achievement of Trump’s predecessor. Several Republican lawmakers said the president never mastered the details of health care policy. The president’s recent NFL commentary suggests that national anthem protests, on the other hand, are a debate he can engage with.

Trump is choosing to politicize sports and entertainment, not only because he is inclined toward controversy, but also because he is so demonstrably uninterested in actual policy and the political process.

Nobody is forcing the president to morph into a sports radio commentator. It is merely the role that best suits the skills that come most naturally to the former game-show host. Consider the simple, uncontroversial fact that in his ninth month in office, the U.S. president has a clearer position on Stephen Curry’s White House clearance than on any single detail of health care or tax reform. Trump is so bored by the quotidian demands of his surprisingly “complicated”job, which requires guiding policy through a complex political process, that he uses his position to instead harass Americans on the internet. Judging by the attention his sports commentary received this weekend, one can assume that Trump’s shock-jock-in-chief routine will be a long-running show.


Trailblazer said...

The race card is always just under the surface.
Nigel Farage or Donald Trump , it matters little.
In the USA the civil war was never over ; just brushed over.
In the UK the Brit's never got over " Queen Victoria ,very fine man"

Trump and co are the latest of those that consider themselves superior to other races and other income levels.


Owen Gray said...

Let's remember that Trump thought Frederick Douglas was his contemporary.

crf said...

I do remember other athletes and media commentators heavily criticizing Tim Thomas of the Bruins for not joining his team for their visit to Obama's White House. His reasons were that he didn't like what the federal government's policies were.

(Just searching Google, here is one fairly ugly story pillorying Thomas: )

The Mound of Sound said...

The critical difference, Chris, is whether Obama took the protest in a presidential manner or whether he singled out Thomas and his team for public ridicule. Let me guess.