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Ugliness in the Nation's Capital Reflects the Ugliness in the White House

It happened in Washington, D.C.

According to some the boys in their red MAGA hats were being harassed and said nothing in return.

Others maintain that the Native American whom the boys confronted they did not confront at all, but stood calmly by as that particular Vietnam veteran tried to defuse an already volatile situation involving black men who identified themselves as Hebrew Israelites: this group is alleged to have shouted racially combative comments at the Native Americans and the students.

Just more ugliness from the source of so much.

Some will say we can’t blame Donald Trump for everything that goes wrong—or has gone wrong—in this country since he paraded down that escalator in 2015, but I say it’s a good to place to start.

He didn’t invent racism, but it has been his practicing credo. Nor did he create bigotry, but it has provided him with a focal point in his otherwise amorphous “politics.”

On the same day as the aforementioned skirmish, Trump offered the Democrats a plan to end the government shutdown, a proposal that once again called on Americans to envision immigrants the way he does: rapists and drug traffickers that need to be walled out of his country. The facts never get in the president’s way, nor does any appeal to our better nature. He of course has no better nature. What we see is all he has. As George Will opined recently, how awful to wake up each morning and be Donald Trump.

A few days before his latest immigrant smear, he had reminded Native Americans of their heritage, citing its most dismal illustrations and, as always forgetting (or choosing not to remember) the deprivation thrust upon them for centuries. His ignorance of the past—other than what confidants like Stephen Miller provide—makes such errors easy.

I don’t know who was to blame for Saturday’s ugly situation in the Nation’s Capital, but as with Charlottesville in 2017, singling out an avowed nationalist is always a good place to start.

And the Trump Shutdown, for all its collateral damage, has underscored how intellectually limited, how socially stunted, and how emotionally hollow the president is. If he is the best we can do to represent a democracy that has endured for nearly 250 years, maybe that government should remain shut down until we can do better.

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