Imagine for a moment that Mohammed Alshamrani was not a Saudi national. Alshamrani was, of course, the gunman at Pensacola who killed three sailors and injured eight more in a shooting spree last Friday.
Alshamrani was a Saudi national, and my hypothetical request would be meaningless had not the president responded in such a weird and disgusting manner. Of course, I’m a never-Trumper—a title I wear proudly—so I'll let you decide if this is the proper reaction to a shooting—on American soil— by a national from the country which fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 attackers called home.
Here's the president hours after the shooting:
“They are devastated in Saudi Arabia, and the king will be involved in taking care of families and loved ones. He feels very strongly. He’s very, very devastated by what happened and what took place. Likewise, the crown prince. They are devastated by what took place in Pensacola.”
“Very devastated by what happened and what took place.” Aside from the illiterate redundancy of that phrase, was he at all devastated? Was he promising aid to the families who had suffered the loss, swearing to get to the bottom of how a terrorist with expressed anti-American feelings was allowed to wander—armed!—around a military base? Or was he too busy deferring all action and his responsibility to the Saudis, specifically to his friend Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the murderer of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a while back. (Mention that to Trump and he becomes apoplectic.)
But back to the question at hand: what if Mohammed Alshamrani had not been a Saudi? He does not represent every Saudi, of course, but what if this shooter had been Iranian? Syrian? Iraqi? Mexican? Black? Gay? Jewish? Transgender? Puerto Rican? Homeless? A democrat? (The scope of Trump’s prejudices is all-encompassing: there’s room for endless bigotry in that soulless frame.) Anyone but a Saudi and the tirade would have begun instantly, and he would never have hesitated to call it an act of terrorism. He would not have claimed Mexico is devastated, or the transgender community is traumatized, or the Iranians are overcome. These groups would have shared in the guilt from the outset, and the act would have been used to further demonize them. And yet, when it comes to the Saudis who buy our weapons and the Russians who fix our elections, all is forgiven.
Unfortunately the impeachment hearings must deal with specifics—I get that; but if ever a president deserved to be removed from office for betraying his country daily—and in such a myriad of ways—it’s Trump. The British stateman Neville Chamberlain is remembered only for appeasing Hitler and now occupies a position of infamy in our memory, this despite all his previous contributions. Donald Trump has no previous contributions. When are we going to realize that his policy of appeasement is worse, is more widespread, and is guided not by a Chamberlain-like mistaken assessment of a foe, but only by Trump's own self-aggrandizement?
Unfit to lead the country—it's the elephant in the room of every impeachment meeting—and ought to be enough to remove the leader of some third-world nation. let alone the America's president.