President Donald J. Trump, who over the past three and a half years has wanted to make us believe that he didn’t say what he said and didn’t do what he did, dedicated himself, this presidential candidate nomination week, to trying to convince us that he is not who he is.
It’s like a movie playing on a loop, where any form of justification of his supremacist tendencies sounds and tastes like hypocrisy, and becomes a national insult when he brings it to a political platform like the Republican National Convention, which has been nothing more than a tortured act of magic to try to sanitize the image of Trump and resell him to the voters.
The senior magician Trump, adorer of dictators, king of division, gutter politician, liar, xenophobe, sexist, classist, prejudiced and anti-immigrant, wanted to portray himself as a magnanimous statesman, one who cares about workers, minorities, immigrants, women, the nation. Perhaps, but for a nation of one color only that he has wanted to “restore” through anti-immigrant and especially anti-Latino rhetoric, as well as “purify” the land in which he finds the mere presence of people from, as he called them, “shithole countries” inconvenient, but of whom he has made use, even if they are undocumented, to maintain his businesses and stores.
But you have to have been living under a rock over these past few years to believe the theater that has been the Republican National Convention, where African Americans, Latinos, and immigrants were used to send a false message of “inclusion” to undecided voters so that they give this president a second term in the White House.
Nothing presented coincides with the stark reality of the Trump administration’s public policies on various topics, such as immigration, and even less reflects the story of this president, or of Trump as a civilian previously, with his discriminatory treatment of immigrants, ethnic minorities, and women. His idolizers, of course, will continue insisting on the “purity’ with which the president wields his hand to govern, without being political, keeps the United States on the “correct” path that no longer exists. They want to return to this, by force of rhetoric and deception, ignoring the undeniable presence, influence, and contributions of millions of minorities.
The scene of the naturalization of five immigrants in the White House is one of the clearest examples. This administration has done the unspeakable to limit legal immigration, hinder the naturalization process, and end the system of asylum. But there was a radiant Trump welcoming the new citizens with a fake smile, some of whom, according to The Wall Street Journal, did not even know they were participating in the Convention. And that’s not to mention who naturalized them: Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), is in his position illegally and has signed official documents and presided over ceremonies in the name of the government, so far without legal consequences.
And while Kenosha, Wisconsin is inflamed in manifestations after African American Jacob Blake was shot in the back by a police officer, leaving him paralyzed, Trump and his spokespeople ignored the underlying problem, opting to invite African American speakers, as if their simple presence would resolve the problem of racial tensions in this country and the systemic racism in law enforcement agencies.
And of course nothing was mentioned about the emboldened adolescent, a Trump supporter, according to reports, who with gun in hand shot protestors point blank, killing two of them in Kenosha, because certainly some will look kindly upon this act of ideological barbarism, just like the supremacists who participated in a march in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 and who the president did not condemn, but rather embraced.
For his part, in his renomination speech, Vice President Mike Pence briefly touched on the subject, only to say that we can do two things at once: support law and order and “our African American neighbors.”
As if the parade of African American speakers could erase Trump’s hostility toward the protestors of all ethnic groups and creeds that took to the streets to rally against police violence toward minorities in the Black Lives Matter movement. Trump has branded them “street thugs” and in Washington, DC, the Attorney General himself, Bill Barr, ordered the dispersal of a peaceful and legitimate demonstration with tear gas so that Trump could march to a church near the White House, with the goal of a photo-op, in his hand the Bible whose precepts he does not respect.
And so he is called the “law and order” president, a leader who makes chaos a part of his daily routine, who has paid to silence porn actresses and pardoned criminals.
Pence asked for another four years to “make American great again… again.” And even though the house is burning, between COVID, unemployment, and racial tensions, all during the Trump presidency, they want to make us believe that none of this is happening and, if it were, it’s “the Democrats’ fault.”
On November 3 we will find out if there will be a change of command, or if the voters prefer to continue living in Trump’s parallel universe.
To read the Spanish version of this article click here.