Is Donald Trump a racist? I am aware of nothing that would make me think so, but I am also aware that I am not the person most likely to be aware of such things. But I’m not sure it much matters anyway. Under our system of government, and in the current century, it would be rather difficult, I think, for even the most racist of presidents to erect signficant barriers to trade between people of different races. As long as the darkness in a man or woman’s heart does no material harm, I think we can live with it.
On the other hand, Donald Trump is certainly a xenophobe, which makes him as unlikable as a racist, and matters a hell of a lot more, given the ease with which our government routinely erects trade barriers between people of different nationalities.
So the answer to “Is Trump a racist?” is: I’d guess not, I don’t really care (except insofar as I wish nobody were a racist), and it’s the wrong question anyway. The right question is: “Is Trump a xenophobe?”, to which the answer is yes — and it matters.
Is Donald Trump a serial groper? The evidence is mixed. On the one hand, he seems to have lived several decades in the public eye without any visible complaints. On the other hand, we have the notorious Carpe Vulva tape, along with the flood of accusations that followed. The fact that those accusations gibe so closely with the words on the tape could be seen as evidence either for or against their veracity.
But again, who cares, really? The extent of Trump’s boorishness, whatever it may be, seems unlikely to be much different in or out of the Oval Office, and is therefore largely irrelevant to whether it would be a good idea to install him in that office.
Is Donald Trump batshit crazy? Obviously yes. He seethes with personal resentments, all of which loom larger in his mind than, well, anything, and appears genuinely incapable of fathoming the possibility that there are people who don’t particularly care whether someone high or low has been “unfair” to Donald J. Trump. He claims to believe that Hillary Clinton’s policies would be disastrous for the country, yet works to undermine the Republican congressional and Senate candidates who stand as a bulwark against those policies, because preventing a national disaster is less important than petty vengeance against those who have failed to pay Trump his due respects. Moreover, he seems genuinely baffled by the suggestion that anybody anywhere might prioritize things differently. He has, as I’ve said before on this blog (and as countless others have said, sometimes more poetically) the mental, emotional and moral maturity of a four-year-old, with an attention span to match.
Is being batshit crazy a disqualification for the position of Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States of America? Hell yes.
Summary: I do not know and I do not much care whether Donald Trump is a racist or a serial groper, except insofar as I wish nobody were a racist or a serial groper. When I’m deciding who to support for President, I care about things that will affect his or her performance in office. In Trump’s caase, I believe the xenophobia is a sufficient disqualification, though I think one could reasonably argue that, given the shortcomings of the alternatives, we should not be so quick to disqualify. But I do not think that one could reasonably say the same about the paranoia, narcissism, and all the related mental instability. The next time Trump goes off on an incoherent rant — and he will — try imagining him in command of the United States Army. Take that image into the voting booth.