With all due respect to Pete Wehner, an evangelical Christian, former George W. Bush White House aide, and the author of the above quote, this analogy undersells Donald Trump’s depravity by a damn stretch. A person born blind would surely be curious about what color is. Further, he or she wouldn’t scorn others for seeing color, and wouldn’t reflexively assume it’s useless.
A better analogy might be that, to Trump, morality is like his gravely ill infant nephew, whom he tried to strip health insurance from (purely out of spite, mind you): He doesn’t give a shit about it.
The quote in the headline comes from a blunt essay by CNN White House correspondent John Harwood, who argues that we’ve never seen anything like Donald Trump’s amorality in any of our presidents.
Wehner sums up Harwood’s thesis well with another choice quote: “We've had presidents who were more moral, or less moral. We've never had a president who takes psychic delight in shattering moral norms, or discrediting morality as a concept.”
Harwood goes on to tick off a litany of previously unthinkable sins that would have been deal-breakers for any candidate — much less a presidential candidate — in saner times:
In the 2016 campaign, Trump put these qualities on a larger stage. He maligned John McCain's experience as a Vietnam War prisoner, and embraced torture as a military tool.
He mimicked a disabled reporter who questioned the truthfulness of his recollections about 9/11. He belittled the parents of a soldier killed in Iraq after they criticized his attacks on Muslims.
He ridiculed the poll standing and physical stature of Republican rivals Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio. He insulted Ted Cruz' wife, and baselessly linked Cruz' father to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
“The man is utterly amoral,” Cruz eventually fumed. “Morality does not exist for him.”
Harwood notes that Cruz has privately told White House lawyers that all 100 senators believed Trump had demanded a quid pro quo from Ukraine — but every Republican, with the exception of Mitt Romney, insisted that nothing he’d done was impeachable. And, of course, Rubio, and especially Trump’s pet Grahamster, have become two of the pr*sident’s most reliable — and pliable — bootlickers.
So what they’ve done is willingly — even eagerly — sell their souls to a man they know to be the Devil. And that’s just fine with them, it seems.
Harwood goes on to highlight the irony of a party that prides itself on “morality” incubating and encouraging the most immoral presidency in our, and likely anyone's, lifetimes:
Solid majorities have consistently told Quinnipiac University pollsters that he is not honest, does not care about average Americans and is not a good role model for children.
Yet Trump has compelled fealty from fellow Republicans nevertheless. Ironically, one reason is fear that, without solidarity, what Attorney General Bill Barr calls “militant secularists” will overrun the party of traditional values and produce “moral chaos.”
So it looks like the same old story. An amoral/immoral man co-opts religion to promote his own interests and prop up his own cult of personality.
The question is, what are we going to do about it?
Is Trump’s disgusting, tumescent blob of a head getting you down? Dear Fcking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump by Aldous J. Pennyfarthing can help! Find it at Amazon, along with its sequels, Dear Prsident A**clown: 101 More Rude Letters to Donald Trump and Dear F*cking Moron: 101 More Letters to Donald Trump. Reviewers have called these books “hysterically funny,” “cathartic,” and “laugh-out-loud” comic relief.