Identity politics Trumps all

On Twitter I’ve said almost everything I want to say about Donald Trump’s against the “Mexican” judge handling the Trump University fraud case.  (Did I mention that the Republican Party nominee for the most important job on earth is in the middle of a multi-million dollar fraud case?) But there are two more points to be made, which principled conservatives – if any can still be found – should take to heart:

First, it proves that Trump is lying (surprise!) when he says he’ll hire and listen to “the best people” when he becomes President, and his supporters are deluding themselves into thinking he’d even listen to their advice.

After Donald Trump makes his ignorant, factually incorrect comment of the day, his supporters rush to say that in office he’ll surround himself with smart people who will set him straight.   Trump himself keeps saying he’ll hire “good people” to work for him.

Well, either his presumably well-paid lawyers are hopelessly incompetent or he just isn’t listening to them, because there is no way any lawyer would advise his client to launch a public-relations war  – much less a blatantly racist public-relations war – against the judge presiding over his case.  I’ve had clients who’ve threatened to go to the local media to complain about the judge and the court system, and I’ve told them in no uncertain terms that they can go find a new lawyer after they do something like that.

None of my clients, to the best of my knowledge, have followed up on these threats.  This proves that my small solo legal practice in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, attracts a clientele smarter than Donald Trump.

Second, it shows that many Republicans actually believe what they’ve criticized the extreme left for believing: that your ethnicity is your destiny.

While I disagree with many of Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinions, I cringe when I hear people saying his judicial philosophy makes him some kind of race traitor.  I think it is grossly insulting to suggest that people of a certain race have to hold a particular set of opinions and way of looking at the world, and I tend to agree with conservatives when they fight against such divisive identity politics.

And along comes their standard-bearer for President of the United States, saying Judge Gonzalo Curiel (who put his own life in danger by prosecuting cases involving Mexican drug cartels) cannot rule fairly on his case because his parents were Mexican.  And a Muslim judge probably can’t be trusted, either.  So far he hasn’t ruled on which other ethnic groups are unfit to serve on the Bench, but I suspect it’s just a matter of time.

It is not just a gross insult to the American judicial system (which certainly has its problems, but an over-representation of minority judges is not one of them) but it shows that Trump supports and promotes identity politics of the worst kind.  And the Vichy Republicans rushing to support him are proving that maybe they were never serious about their own rhetoric, either.  Not when Team Elephant taking the White House is at stake.

In response they’ll say Hillary Clinton will be a bad President.  Maybe she will.  But there is no moral equivalence between her flaws and the way Trump is poisoning everything he touches.  Not even close.

 

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