Gerson: “We have a president who summons the darkness”


Michael Gerson keeps the moral heat on Trump at The Washington Post.  Here is a taste: of his recent column, “The poison of Trumpism is tainting the GOP“:

The most fundamental moral principle in the universe may well be: “You break it, you buy it.” But a close second is: You can’t call women cruel and misogynist names, defame ethnic groups, discriminate based on religion, accuse opponents of being “un-American” and “treasonous,” excuse and encourage violence by your supporters, threaten political rivals with prison, tear migrant children from the arms of parents and then credibly call for national “unity” when it is politically useful.

This is the horrible reality of our political moment. The president of the United States says something entirely presidential — “We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony” — and it did nothing more than add another layer to his lies. More specifically, President Trump wants Americans to join him in a fake reality — to prove their loyalty by taking outlandish hypocrisy at face value. It is like the sophomoric entrance ritual to some secret society. Eat this cow eye and pig intestine, and we will be bound forever by our willingness to do asinine things on command. Trump’s call for national unity is the functional equivalent of an offal banquet.

It would be different if Trump had accompanied his words of reconciliation with any sense of remorse. But this is a difficult thing for a narcissist to fake (though some have that talent). I come from a religious tradition where anything can be forgiven — but only if repentance involves demonstrated sincerity. Trump could not maintain his ruse of reconciliation for 15 seconds. He used his call for unity to blame the news media for hostility and negativity. This is like a leper blaming the mirror for his sores.

Read the rest here.

8 thoughts on “Gerson: “We have a president who summons the darkness”

  1. Gerson is right . . . again. These above comments against him simply reinforce how pervasive this blindness is within the “Christian” community. Trump and his followers have set the Christian message back at least a generation.


  2. That is true, John, but the fact that he hails from Missouri and attended Wheaton College does not necessarily mark him as a current Washington outsider. The Washington Post would not run his column if he were a real threat to the cozy system in that city. After all, doesn’t the Post still carry George Will? (I might be wrong on Will, but I think they used to carry his column.) In any case, the Washington establishment allows a limited number of “approved” conservatives to voice their opinions.

    We also have to look at the psychology of this whole thing. There is a strong attraction to being seen as a “thoughtful” conservative. While I cannot comment specifically on Will and Gerson, the “USDA approved” conservatives do get invited to the semi-official cocktail and dinner parties in Georgetown and on Capitol Hill. On the other hand, the “right” people in Washington tend to keep their distance from “all of that Trump rabble.” Those WalMart types are just so crude. Elitism has a strong and heady appeal.


  3. The problem isn’t Trump. It’s the number of Americans that admire him and what he represents and says.
    And I am tired of people saying, (I have many friends who do this), “I don’t like everything he says and how he says things”.
    Words MEAN things. A person’s words reveal things.
    I owned and rode my own horses for years. I preferred the ones I could trust the most because I didn’t want to get killed or injured along the trail.
    We are heading for big trouble riding this horse. He can’t, and shouldn’t, be trusted.


  4. Gerson is also being comically hyperbolic. “Summoning darkness.” Trump is Sauron, locus of all badness, and the Nazgul are gathering.

    Trump says many foolish, inflammatory and irresponsible things. But the notion — advanced here by Gerson — that Trump has such talismanic power that he is now the cause of ongoing, nasty political campaigns — is both stupefyingly amnesiac and silly.

    Guess what: incivility, demagoguery, narcissism and political animus all existed long before Trump found the ring of power in the fountain at Mar A Lago.

    We should all strive to be better. Trump should stop being part of the problem. The Democrats should stop shrieking about Hitler. The media should … no, the media is beyond rehabilitation. Mr. Gerson, Max Boot, Jen Rubin should breathe deeply into a paper bag.


  5. It sounds like Michael Gerson is getting his talking points from the Democratic National Committee. Some of these Republican Never-Trumpers are too proud to admit that a man can come from outside the acceptable Washington-approved clique and do a better job than someone in the anointed, established class. It’s fitting that his piece appears in the Washington Post, the chief organ for business-as-usual Washington. These people just can’t handle someone shaking up their apple cart. I find it refreshing.


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