Largely as the result of President Donald Trump’s behavior over the past month, it’s hard not to wonder whether we’ve reached a place where nothing matters. A few weeks ago, after the tweets about "the Squad" and before the suspected domestic terrorist attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Gilroy, California, I wrote racism is a powerful drug that, in combination with single-issue voting, has led to this moment we’re in.
Since then, the president seems to have gone off a narcissistic cliff.
With America facing a rising tide of white nationalism and a world on fire, we have a leader who is dangerously unfit, makes everything about him and takes advice on war and peace from cable news hosts.
Trump grievances litigated daily
We wake up each morning to the president of the United States live tweeting "Fox and Friends" and litigating a laundry list of personal grievances. So obsessed with cable news is Trump that he regularly attacks the hosts of a rival morning show before criticizing Fox News' more moderate dayside coverage before promoting Fox News’ prime-time opinion shows while simultaneously raging about CNN’s prime-time opinion shows. That is absurd, and we need to say so, because the world is watching.
The repetition makes it work: Trump won't stop his racially charged rhetoric
Over the weekend, as protests flared in Hong Kong with the specter of another Tiananmen Square looming large and America still reeling from three mass shootings in a week (two of them under investigation as acts of domestic terrorism), the president was busy tweeting conspiracy theories about a suicide and waging a Twitter war with a former employee who is now a private citizen. That is absurd, and we need to say so, because the world is watching.
Tuesday, as the situation in Hong Kong continued to deteriorate, to the point where all flights had to be canceled for a second straight day, the president predictably made the crisis about him by tweeting, “Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?” He then wrote a tweet indicating that China was amassing troops on the border with Hong Kong and said, "Everyone should be calm and safe!”
New campaign shirt, no China warning
Noticeably missing was a warning to China that any crackdown in Hong Kong would result in disastrous consequences. But Trump’s campaign did launch a new line of merchandise making fun of CNN news anchor Chris Cuomo. That is absurd, and we need to say so, because the world is watching.
Montel Williams: Racism got Trump elected and could win him a 2nd term
Our constitutional system of government relies on the basic assumption that our elected leaders will put country over party when it matters the most. Instead, my former party has spent the past few years covering for Trump’s incompetence. Instead of telling the president his behavior is unacceptable, even crazy, Republican leaders have chosen ambition, hate, greed, fear, lies and winning their next election over their country.
We will be defined by what we do in this moment. Because of my former party’s intransigence, we are likely stuck with an inept, emotionally unstable president until the next election in 2020. Who shows up to vote matters, so please treat voting like our country’s future depends on it. A low turnout election will lead to four more years of escalating chaos and depravity.
Political independent Montel Williams, a former Republican and a 22-year veteran of the Marine Corps and Navy, was host of the Emmy-award-winning "Montel Williams Show" that ran for 17 seasons. Follow him on Twitter: @Montel_Williams
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump goes off a cliff amid world on fire and rising white nationalism