A horse race and a dog whistle


To the Editor:

I am not a big horseracing fan, but  the Kentucky Derby is a national event — most of the time I am aware it is happening, and even know some of the names of the horses. Sometimes, something extraordinary happens, and I pay more attention to it. This year something extraordinary did happen; the first horse across the finish line was disqualified. It was the first time in Derby history.

I looked online about it, and sure enough, it was a prominent story. A quick search turned up the altercation. If you are reading this online, here  is a link to a quick look: youtube.com/watch?v=-jwy9m9oDg0. So what we have here is a clear violation, as one horse moves into another’s path, causing it to pull back. Unintentional or not (and I have not heard anyone say it was intentional), it is a violation of the rules. Pretty clear and simple. A review by a three-person panel entrusted with making the call unanimously agreed.

And then, on his 834th day as president, our 45th president took time off  from his 187th round of golf as president and chimed in on a horserace.

Here’s what he said: “The Kentuky Derby decision was not a good one. It was a rough and tumble race on a wet and sloppy track, actually, a beautiful thing to watch. Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby — not even close!”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump), May 5, 2019.

(Note the president is not sure how to spell Kentucky.)

Let me repeat the “dog whistle” to his base here:  “political correctness.”

Since before he was elected president, he has railed against immigrants, Muslims, and anyone who disagrees with him. He has referred to impoverished countries in profane ways, has referred to our strongest military alliance as “obsolete,” offended most respected leaders around the world, and embraced ruthless dictators and autocrats. He has lied about nearly everything he has done. He is refusing to cooperate with legal and legitimate inquiries from Congress into a number of questionable things he and/or his administration/family may have done. A number of his close aides are either in jail, have been in jail, or are on their way. No one will call him politically correct.

But back to the tweet — it shows a lot about the moral character of the man. It is a clear analogy that he would think it OK for a horse to violate the rules, and when the authorities that be call it, he claims they are only doing it because they are being “politically correct.”

It’s a horse race — he’s the president of the United States. He thinks it is all right to violate the rules and suffer no consequence. If there is a consequence, blame it on the liberals.

Think about it.


Don Keller

Vineyard Haven



  1. Mr Keller you seem to be addicted to outrage. It used to be apathy but now our national pastime is outrage. A controversial offense in a horse race when the entire spectacle of horse race gambling is foul is small beer. Tribes of Muslims residing in interment camps in China—- more than a million, that is an outrage you could focus on. Or will you be outraged at my use of the word “” tribes”?

    • Or we could discuss the reprehensible behavior of Mr Trump, that being the reason for the letter.

    • Another dogwhistle. It’s not “outrage” to state demonstrable facts in a clear and measured letter to the editor. What’s curious to me is that the same people who claim to be big supporters of the rule of law and the Constitution, sit back and watch a rogue President willfully break the law and violate the Constitution on a daily basis. Americans have every right to be outraged by his behavior and yet, you use “outrage” as a trigger word for “hysteria” in a not-so-subtle attempt to delegitimize anyone who opposes trump as simply a “nutty liberal”. Incidentally, we can be outraged by trump’s continued sociopathic behavior AND at Muslims being imprisoned in China. It’s not a zero sum game.

    • Andrew– you already tried to troll me on the word “tribe”. I care about people living in internment camps all over the world. I can’t do much about China’s internment policies, but I can vote against a president and his cronies who separate children from their parents, and intern them on American soil.
      You make the point of my letter here clearly. You are distracting by talking about China, and of course , trying to bait me into some sort of “politically correct” argument.
      The point is, this president is so morally corrupt, he blames liberals when a horse violates the rules of the track. Watch the video– there is nothing “controversial” about it. It was a dangerous move– it could have easily resulted in the deaths of multiple horses and riders. “Politically correct”!!! What a ridiculous comment by the president. You obviously aren’t thinking about it..

  2. Trump has even gone so far as to degrade the Presidential Medal of Freedom by awarding the one-time honor to his business associate and fellow golfer-who-cheats-on-his-wife, Tiger Woods. What a world. There is nothing more reprehensible than Donald Trump’s behavior… except for the right-wing religious right, all those “born again” hypocrites, who ignore it, make excuses for it, or attack anyone who is rightly disgusted by it.

  3. Mr Keller you dont know how to define morality—its anything that bothers you. I dont think horse bumping is immoral nor giving Tiger Woods a Medal of Freedom but Jackie does. Tennisstar36 mentions willfully breaking the law and violating the constitution but never tells us how. Jackie–right wing hypocrites dont look for integrity in their secular leaders only in their spiritual leaders. They look for results and policies. If we voted for moral presidents we would have no FDR, nor Kennedy, nor Eisenhower not Clinton and the list goes on.

    • Campaign finance fraud- Individual 1. Look it up. Stole money from his own charity to buy a painting of himself. Look it up. Defrauded students of Trump U. Obstruction of Justice, witness tampering -Volume 2 of Mueller Report. Read it.

  4. Andrew– Jackie never used the word “immoral” no one thinks it is immoral that a horse accidently got in the way of another horse– Focus, please..And since you don’t seem to be paying attention to the news, here is a short list of outright crimes and constitutional violations— by THIS president– the one we are talking about…
    He violated election laws by emailing foreign officials to solicit political contributions
    He violated federal laws by offering Ben Carson a job in exchange for his endorsement
    He’s violated election laws by using campaign contributions to pay $6 million to his own businesses
    He violated Wisconsin election laws by talking with voters as they stood in line to vote (trying to sway voters)
    His foreign policy proposals would violate NATO
    He’s violated copyright law for using copyrighted images without permission
    Many of the proposals he has vowed to pursue as President violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments of the Constitution
    Trump broke New York state law by lobbying to prevent an Indian casino from opening in the Catskills
    His vow to use torture on suspected terrorists would violate the Geneva conventions. He would be committing war crimes
    He broke anti-discrimination laws to keep a mob boss gambling at one of his casinos
    He violated immigration laws by misrepresenting his company on work-visa applications
    His staff violated a U.S. trade embargo by pursuing commercial activities in Cuba when it was illegal to do so
    He violated IRS rules by using $12,000 from his charity organization to purchase a Tim Tebow helmet
    Donald Trump has a long history of not honoring contracts with construction companies
    Donald Trump has knowingly and intentionally defrauded Trump University students, fleecing them out of thousands of dollars
    He may have illegally coordinated with his SuperPac
    He illegally used corporate resources to pay an employee to write a political speech
    He violated federal law by claiming proceeds from various Trump products would go to charity,although there is no evidence that Trump ever donated the money to charity
    He violated New York state education laws for operating a for-profit investment school without the required license
    Blackmail, money laundering, tax evasion, etc.
    A longer list with explanations is at :

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