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America has entered a political Land of Oz

By Steve Burgess

The words of Donald Trump on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville should remind us of why we must stand up to intolerance (File photo).

The words of Donald Trump on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville should remind us of why we must stand up to intolerance (File photo).

The Britons say, “Keep calm and carry on.”

Donald Trump says, “Soak your hair in lighter fluid and strike a match.”

At this point it is difficult to describe any episode of Trumpism as some kind of new low—Trump hit bottom long ago and has built himself a fancy, gold-plated basement suite down there. But his response to last weekend's terrorist attack in London was confirmation that the man Americans placed in the White House is an embarrassment, a walking, tweeting cartoon exemplifying every lazy, ugly cliche ever perpetrated about Americans.

The London attacks claimed a B.C. victim, Christine Archibald of Castlegar, who was in London with her fiancee. Her family's response to such an unimaginable tragedy was a model of human decency. In the midst of their grief they urged people to help out or contribute to homeless shelters in their daughter's name. “Tell them Chrissy sent you,” the family urged. What strength of character, and under the worst possible circumstances.

And Donald Trump? How did the most powerful man in the world respond to this human misery? By urging panic, by attacking the mayor of London (based on a complete misreading of the mayor's message to Londoners), and by using the tragedy to bolster his own hateful political agenda. Once upon a time the job of the U.S. president was to guide the nation, and to some extent the world, through troubled waters. The current job holder is running around on deck like a  headless chicken. Allowing President Trump to conduct international diplomacy is like hiring a cat to drive a school bus.

You could find a better president than Donald Trump by putting the Oval Office on Craigslist. You could find a better president by calling a cab. You could find a better president by landing a helicopter in a prison yard and grabbing the nearest guy in an orange jumpsuit. Trump is a disgrace. And last week he struck another blow for idiocy by pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, apparently in the belief that whatever doesn't kill you makes you a better swimmer.

America has entered a political Land of Oz. The country is being led by a man with no heart and no brain, and there will be no impeachment unless the craven and cynical Republican Congress asks the wizard for some courage. Heads up, munchkins.