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Trump à la défense des statues des confédérés

La culture et l'histoire américaines sont taillées en pièces par le retrait de statues représentant des personnages de la confédération sudiste, affirme le président Trump, déjà dans la tourmente dans la foulée des violents événements survenus en fin de semaine à Charlottesville.

Andrew Coyne: After his Charlottesville response, no excuses possible for Trump

There are two ways to look at Donald Trump: with eyes open, or with eyes closed.

The first is to take it all in, to register, without blinking, all of the countless ways in which he falls short of the most minimal expectations of a functioning adult, let alone the president of the United States — the damaged, childlike psyche; the insecurity, the constant need for affirmation; the compulsive lying; the bottomless ignorance; the coarseness; the lack of elemental judgment or self-control; the refusal to be bound by for any norms of behaviour, personal or political, ethical or even legal; the fantasy policies; the exaltation of violence; and of course, as we have lately been reminded, the indulgence of, if not overt appeals to racism — and having done so, to form a judgment: that this incontinent simpleton should never have been allowed anywhere near the office of the presidency.

The other is to refuse to do either: to ignore, deny or explain all of this away, even as his presidency reels from crisis to scandal to fiasco to outrage and back again; to seek refuge in such facile rationalizations such as “everybody does it” or “Hillary would have been worse” or “anyone the left hates so much can’t be all bad;” to assume that the sheer scale of the awfulness, the documented daily avalanche of the outrageous, must reflect, not the uniquely aberrant nature of the subject but the bias of the observers, as if “balance” demanded the furnishing of redeeming virtues where none exist.

The first is admittedly harder. It requires an ability to believe what seems unbelievable, to accept the evidence of one’s own eyes even in the face of the natural human craving for normalcy, the reassurance that “this can’t be happening” or “it can’t be as bad as they say.”

More than that, it requires us, as Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, murdered by a neo-Nazi in the Charlottesville madness, put it, to “pay attention.” You can’t see what you can’t even be bothered to look at.

The Trump critic is weighed down by the burden of fact, constrained to the single narrative of what actually happened.

By contrast, the Trump apologist is liberated, free to adopt whatever version of events seems pleasing, to invest in Trump qualities — slayer of deficits, defender of America against her adversaries, plain-spoken truth-teller — he does not possess.

The Never Trumper comes across, unavoidably, as a tiresome scold. By contrast his defenders can delight in the role of impish provocateur, free-spirited contrarian. Or could, perhaps, until this week.

And yet there is nothing new in this latest assault on decency. The Trump we saw this week, equivocating about white supremacists, denouncing with an even hand both the neo-Nazis and their antagonists, pretending there were “very fine people” among the torch-bearing Jew-baiters in Charlottesville, is not one bit changed from the Trump we saw on the day he declared for office. It may be shocking, but it is not, as they say, surprising.

Of all the ways in which a president might respond to the horror of Charlottesville, refusing to unambiguously denounce neo-Nazis would seem the worst possible, exceeded only by actually defending them.

That Trump managed both is not accidental. In any situation, he always says and does the worst possible thing, for one very simple reason: because any superior course would have been recommended by someone with actual knowledge or experience of the matter.

And if there is one thing Trump knows, it is that no one knows anything — least of all the people who know something. Whatever the experts advise, then, he will do the opposite.

Granted, the video of actual Swastika-bearing Nazis chanting “blood and soil” has caused a rush for the exits among the fellow-travellers of the “alt-right,” who now profess themselves shocked to discover what the movement has always openly and candidly said it stood for.

Whether that will cause the same folks to break with Trump, now that he has so unambiguously tied himself to the white nationalists, is another matter.

And it would not lessen the indictment against them, any more than Trump’s belated, insincere, and as it turned out temporary denunciation could alters the disgrace of what he so plainly believes. He is who he is, and they are who they are.

The case against Trump is so voluminous that by this time argument is pointless. It is, rather, a question of judgment. You either have the judgment to see him for what he is, or you do not.

Indeed, with the passage of time it has become more and more a test of character. Perhaps it was forgivable, or at least understandable, when he first burst upon the scene to allow extraneous considerations to cloud over the central question of his candidacy — is this man fit to be president?

But by now the effort of obtuseness this requires leaves less room for clemency. What was indefensible has become culpable.

Vladimir Poutine plus populaire que Donald Trump

Les gens ont encore moins confiance en la capacité du président américain Donald Trump d’agir convenablement en matière d’affaires étrangères qu’en celle de son homologue russe Vladimir Poutine, relève un sondage du centre américain Pew Research Center.

Trump dissout son Conseil pour l’industrie américaine

Donald Trump a annoncé mercredi la dissolution de deux des instances qu'il avait mises sur pied pour le conseiller sur les questions économiques, après que plusieurs patrons d'entreprise qui y siégeaient ont claqué la porte.

Trump dissout son Conseil pour l’industrie américaine

Donald Trump a annoncé mercredi la dissolution de deux des instances qu'il avait mises sur pied pour le conseiller sur les questions économiques, après que plusieurs patrons d'entreprise qui y siégeaient eurent claqué la porte.
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