The Universal Notebook: Racists and sexists for Trump

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According to the Trump Doctrine of Due Process, I would not be able to get a fair trial before a Republican-appointed judge because I have written some pretty unflattering things about Republicans.

Well, Mr. Trump, I’m about to write a few more unflattering things about your presumptuous nominators.

Donald Trump has notoriously insisted that U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel should not be hearing the fraud case against his trumped up Trump University because, though born in the USA, Curiel is of Mexican descent.

“I’m building a wall,” complained Trump. “It’s an inherent conflict of interest.”

Technically speaking, Trump is not building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, he’s just threatening to do so if, God forbid, he is elected president of the United States.

If Judge Curiel does not recuse himself, Trump might just want to try buying off the judge, the way he did the attorneys general of Florida and Texas, each of whom declined to prosecute the Trump U case after Trump donated $25,000 and $35,000, respectively, to their election campaigns.

To her credit, Maine Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has withheld her endorsement of Trump and asked him to apologize to Judge Curiel and to the American people. Not much chance of that. Most Republicans, however, have not been so honorable.

“I regret those comments that he made,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said just a few days after reluctantly endorsing Trump. “Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed.”

Yet Ryan does not disavow his support for Trump, as though he can somehow separate the textbook racism of the comment from the racist who made it.

And that to me is the most troubling aspect of Donald Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican Party. He is a known racist, sexist and xenophobe, but his supporters just don’t care.

I get it that bubbas and bullyboys support Trump. As Michelle Goldberg so beautiful distilled the foul essence of Trumpism on Slate, he is “the unleashed id of a sullen, crumbling patriarchy.” Angry white men love Trump. But anyone else would have to be a complete fool to vote for the man.

There is a southern branch of our family that trends Republican. Last week I was informed that all of the women in the family oppose Trump, but that the menfolk are evenly split. I just find that so hard to believe. Trump is not a Christian, a conservative, or even a Republican in any meaningful sense of those words. But that doesn’t seem to matter to fundamentalist Christians, conservatives or Republicans.

Trump is not talking about downsizing government. He’s talking about a major expansion of homeland security and the military. He’s not talking about cutting taxes, either. He’s going to have to raise them to pay for all that heightened security. He is a demagogue with nothing at all to offer a principled conservative, other than his appeal to popular prejudice and empty nationalism.

But still the GOP embraces him. Better a racist than a Democrat?

This 2016 presidential election is shaping up to pit the old order against the new, white male privilege against a more inclusive diversity, a racist oligarch against a savvy woman. Racism and sexism run deep, dark and dirty through the American soul. None of us is untainted. But some of us struggle to overcome the sins of the past, while others cling to them desperately. That’s a fundamental difference between liberalism and conservativism.

There is speculation that Trump may finally have gone too far with his defiant insistence that a judge with a Mexican name cannot dispense justice impartially, but, as Gov. Paul LePage has taught us, just when you think he can’t sink any lower, he does.

I can only begin to imagine the depths of misogyny to which a man running against a woman might descend, a man who once divorced a wife because she lost her “softness” when she went to work.

Well, folks, there’s nothing soft about Hillary Clinton. I’m betting on her in the general election. Heck, I’d bet on Hillary in a street fight with Donald Trump.

Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Brunswick. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.