If I May: The Hypocrisy of Donald Trump
Issue   |   Wed, 09/27/2017 - 00:10

The most infuriating thing about Donald Trump is that he is a bigoted, racist, sexist husk of a man who has more business being behind bars than being behind the Resolute Desk. The second most infuriating thing to me is Trump and his constituents’ constant hypocrisy.

Of course, there is the ongoing practice of finding a tweet that Trump made prior to becoming president that directly contradicts his actions while in office. There are many examples, but a particularly damning one is Trump’s oscillating opinions on attacking Syria. This past April, Trump ordered a strike on a Syrian airfield. He did not seek congressional approval, a decision for which he repeatedly criticized former president Barack Obama in 2013 in a string of tweets, one reading: “The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!”

Furthermore, at the time Trump launched the attack, his approval ratings were in a tailspin. However, in 2012, Trump tweeted: “Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in a tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.” Finally, the very act of attacking Syria at all was something Trump had repeatedly argued against on Twitter, like in 2013, when he said (yes, he really wrote it in all caps): “AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA – IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!”

There are countless other examples of this type of behavior from Trump on Twitter, but it is not just the president himself participating in this propagation of hypocrisy. The right-wing media, both mainstream and alternative, is unsurprisingly just as guilty. One of the most maddening is their ignorance towards Trump’s gratuitous golf outings. Both Trump and the right-wing media were relentless in their criticism of Obama’s tendency to spend his leisure time on the golf course. Of course, now that Trump is in office, he has played golf far more frequently than Obama did. According to a Politifact count, as of Aug. 1 of each president’s first year in office, Obama played golf 11 times, while Trump found time for 21 outings. Frankly, this fact alone really would not bother me. I, too, enjoy playing golf, and if I were president, perhaps I too would play when I had the chance. However, the fact that he and the rest of the right-wing media so viciously attacked Obama for the same type of behavior makes his golf participation and the media’s silence about it truly infuriating.

Finally, Trump’s and his supporters’ hypocrisy has been on full display in recent days. The right wing has taken great offense to the national anthem protests that are going on in the NFL. Trump has repeatedly expressed his view that not standing for the national anthem is disrespectful. There are many layers of hypocrisy here, but the most frustrating is the right’s treatment of free speech. Just a few weeks ago, Trump and the right-wing media were coming to the defense of white supremacists, declaring that they have a right to practice free speech. When these NFL players are participating in a very peaceful protest that they undeniably have the right to engage in, Trump and the right are bashing them to pieces.

It is no coincidence that the players taking part in these protests are mostly athletes of color. It seems that Trump and the right are very willing to suppress the same free speech they claim to champion if what is being freely spoken threatens them.