We’ve been understandably disappointed with President Donald Trump’s sharp attacks on the media — calling us “the enemy of the people” and denigrating the good work of journalists at every turn.
Those attacks are bad enough, and are an obvious attempt by the president to deflect criticism of his administration and policies.
We don’t typically take aim at the president on this page, but his words and actions of the past few days deserve the kind of rebuke he received just about a year ago when The Times joined newspapers across the country, led by the Boston Globe, in a show of solidarity for freedom of the press.
Trump’s angry Twitter rant against four members of Congress — Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — all women, is another instance that calls for everyone to speak out with disdain for the president’s actions.
Trump has been rightfully criticized by Democrats since hitting send on his outrageous tweet, but Republicans have been mostly silent on the issue.
To refresh: Trump tweeted on Sunday that the four congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” All four women are U.S. citizens, including Pressley, a newly elected member of Congress from Boston. Only one of the four women, Omar, was born in a foreign country, and all are women of color.
We find it reprehensible that not only have some members of the Republican Party not condemned Trump’s comments, but some, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have excused it by saying, as Trump has, that these women “hate” America. Graham doubled down and called the women “a bunch of communists.”
And given the chance to condemn Trump’s words in a House vote, all but four Republicans voted along party lines in a 240-187 vote on Tuesday. (It should be noted that the same House voted overwhelmingly, 407-23, in March to condemn hate speech in the wake of comments made by Omar that were considered anti-Semitic.)
We do applaud Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who hasn’t been afraid to call Trump to task when it’s warranted. Baker, a Republican, was quoted at an event Monday as saying, “The president’s tweets were shameful, they were racist, and … they bring a tremendous amount of, sort of, disgrace to public policy and public life, and I condemn them all.”
More Republicans should be speaking out against the president’s racist, xenophobic rants, and the only way that’s going to happen is if those who support the Republican Party have the courage and fortitude to speak out in large numbers that can’t be ignored.
Trump’s latest tirade has newspapers like the Boston Globe compiling the president’s most racist comments — and it’s a lengthy and disappointing list.
Can you imagine? How is anyone OK with this? What have we become where a politician acting in this way is acceptable to a large portion of his political base?
Trump’s comments are the type of behavior that leads to the viral videos you see on social media that show white people yelling “Go back to where you came from” at people speaking Spanish in public places.
He pushes divisiveness because that works best for a Trump candidacy.
We have to believe that Trump’s outburst was, in part, due to the outpouring across the country, including on Martha’s Vineyard, of people showing up and holding candlelight vigils to shine a light on the deplorable conditions at detention centers on the southern border of the United States. Even some Republicans have called out the conditions there. We have to keep that kind of pressure on this administration.
Trump is showing no signs that he’ll change his behavior. At a White House ceremony Monday, he was quoted as saying, “If you’re not happy here you can leave. That is what I say all of the time. That’s what I said in a tweet, which I guess some people think is controversial — a lot of people love it, by the way. A lot of people love it.”
A lot of people love it?
It’s time to prove him wrong. It’s beyond time for his supporters to let him know loud and clear that this behavior crosses the line and won’t be tolerated.