Although I refused to use his name in my previous blog The Nationalist, I have to reverse myself today and call him Trump, the enabler of enablers. An enabler, Merriam Webster says, “is a person who facilitates the self-destructive behavior of another.”
Last week, Trump and his followers were enablers of mass murder, killing of a black couple, and threatened deaths of Democrats. Of course Trump didn’t send the pipe bombs to his Democrat opponents or provide the rifle that massacred eleven people in a synagogue on the Jewish holy day, or the gun that killed two black people in a supermarket. But, to repeat, Trump and his followers enabled the perpetrators.
At his rallies, Trump has pumped up the crowds with his ethnic and racial smears and insulting comments about members of the Democrat party, all of which ignites hatred in large numbers of Americans, some of whom have acted out their hatred by killing and injuring others with impunity.
Here is how Washington Post columnist Max Boot put it on October 29, 2018: “Trump — by championing ‘nationalism,’ denouncing ‘globalists’ such as Jewish financier George Soros, vilifying immigrants as ‘snakes’ and ‘animals,” fearmongering about a refugee caravan and defending white supremacists as ‘fine people’ — bears a substantial share of the blame [for the killings].”
At his rallies, Trump denounces hatred and talks about uniting Americans, but then within minutes turns to orchestrate the crowd: “Lock ‘em up!” “CNN sucks,” reporters and the media are “enemies of the people,” and loud “Boos!” whenever Trump mentions an opponent such as Democratic donor Tom Steyer, whom Trump on twitter calls “crazed” and a “stumbling lunatic.” Steyer was among those sent a pipe bomb. Media enablers on Fox “News” repeat the insults as do Trump’s right-wing spokespeople and white supremacists.
Trump supporters are not the only enablers. Members of the Trump administration have also demonstrated their enabling behavior—they don’t want to lose their ability to buy expensive office furniture (in one case a private telephone booth!), take nongovernmental luxury trips, and lavishly redecorate their offices. What about the Republicans in Congress? Why aren’t they standing up to condemn the hatred and bigotry that Trump mouths or posts on twitter? A few like Senator Bob Corker have tried, but colleagues remain silent. They fear repercussions from Trump who undoubtedly would persecute them any way he can.
Then there is the whole Trump family: daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Donald, Jr. and Eric Trump. All have business ventures around the world that have profited because of the influence of the office of the POTUS. Of course they will enable Trump, otherwise their wealth might be threatened. And Trump enables himself, using taxpayer funds to travel to and promote his businesses such as his golf courses and the Mar-a-Lago resort.
In short, Trump may say a few scripted words about unifying America. But as Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne noted: “For Trump and his enablers, national unity is not a noble goal but a dire threat to their political well-being.” And their wealth.