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Mon Jul 15, 2019, 03:50 PM

I may not agree with AOC's squad, but they are better Americans than Trump - Max Boot


By Max Boot
Columnist
July 15 at 1:21 PM

-snip-

So there is quite a lot that can be said in legitimate criticism of the Squad. But what Trump said on Sunday is not legitimate criticism. It is as blatant an example of racism and xenophobia as we have seen in our politics in my lifetime.

As anyone who has not been on the moon (or at Wimbledon) now knows, Trump tweeted: “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough.”

This is the kind of rude imbecility that I have heard in recent years from anonymous Trump trolls. They regularly tell me, a Russian Jewish immigrant, that I should go back to where I come from; their only uncertainty is whether that is Russia (the place where I was born and whose citizenship I lost when we left in 1975) or Israel (a place where I have never lived). Their xenophobic and anti-Semitic intent is clear. So is Trump’s racist intent. It doesn’t matter that all four members of the Squad are American citizens or that three out of the four were born here. (Omar was born in Somalia. In the world according to Trump, anyone who is not a white, native-born Christian is not a real American.

Trump is a bigot and doesn’t even bother to hide it. In fact — and this is the truly appalling part — he parades his bigotry in the expectation that it will win him votes. And — what is even worse — he may well be right. Such appeals to prejudice might be exactly what Trump needs to mobilize some blue-collar, white voters in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida who haven’t seen any economic benefit from his tax cuts, much less his trade wars. Trump can’t reopen steel mills or coal mines — but he can stigmatize people of color and win the votes of bigots. I wish that weren’t the case, but I fear that it is.

Many Trump voters, to be sure, aren’t racists. But all who support him do not consider his blatant racism to be a breaking point. Many Republicans turn a blind eye to Trump’s bigotry because something else — tax cuts or judges or Israel — is more important to them.

Sorry, Republicans. There is nothing — nothing — more important in the United States than racism. Where you stand on that one issue defines who you are as a human being. Silence is complicity. All Republicans who stand mute in the face of Trump’s latest racism are telling you who they really are. It’s an ugly picture of a morally bankrupt party that has now embraced racial prejudice as a platform.

I am ashamed to have spent most of my life as a Republican. I have significant differences with Pressley, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez and Omar — perhaps even greater differences on the issues than I have with the president — but they are better Americans than Trump.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/07/15/i-may-not-agree-with-aocs-squad-they-are-better-americans-than-trump/

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