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No Voice Is Louder Than Silence

How President Trump just lowered his own abysmal bar.



Just when you thought you'd seen the worst of President Donald Trump, he has once again raised the standard of what it means to be the scum of the earth. As if the reports of criminal offenses of rape, obstruction of justice, fraud, tax evasion and extortion—worthy of years of incarceration for anyone else but the president—aren't enough, his latest anti-women and anti-people-of-color rants are yet another last straw atop the pile for the deplorable moral collapse of the Republican Party.

And yet, consistent with its historical position of accepting, and even embracing, Trump's behavior, the GOP is once again enduring—and tacitly endorsing—the pig slop that flows from the president's mouth. Really, folks, is this what it means to be an American? As the son of two first-generation Americans, I have a vision of how great our country can be; and I'm not liking its current trajectory. The idea that our president can espouse values so contrary to our Constitution and Bill of Rights floods my emotions with a sense of shame, and my mother and father are surely turning over in their graves.

While some might look on Trump's hate-mongering as yet another insignificant and mindless bird-brained tweet, the implications of his invitation—that congresswomen of color go back to their own countries—gives us a glimpse of what America would be if Trump had his own way. His racism and sexism (notice he didn't include any men of color in his little outrage) are certainly nothing new. After all, here's a man who can bestow accolades on neo-Nazis and refer to Hispanics as rapists and murderers, lumping together virtually everyone unlike his lily-white self. I suppose the GOP's response to his tweeted tirade—the absence of any response at all—is fully predictable, accepting the non-stop lies and criminality of "its man" without judgment and an enduring worship of the simple statement, "Boys will be boys."

Can't Republicans see the problem? Their party is whatever its leadership preaches, and that makes each one of its spineless members a dismal excuse for American values. Those politicians who fail to rise up in anger over the president's hateful words are just as bad as he. From our governor to Utah's congressional delegation (Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ben McAdams excluded), our own leaders are truly pathetic examples of how good men can choose to be caught up in the dangerous currents of the hateful rhetoric of their S.O.B-in-Chief. That makes Utah's senators and representatives women-haters; that makes them racists. They hate blacks, Hispanics and anyone who isn't Clorox-white. While none of them will actually articulate the blatant affronts of their leader, their acquiescence to Trump's disgusting behavior puts them squarely in his camp. How can Utah's leaders remain so quiet? As Jesus once spoke, "For whoever is not against us is for us." Big J's words were the ultimate acknowledgement of how abdication—for any group on any side—is just as good as becoming a card-carrying member. Republicans in all 50 states have sunk to the depths, choosing to do the mindless dictation of a pathological narcissist's game of Simon Says. But it is not a game, and blind loyalty has its consequences.

Remarkably, even the hollow devotion of the Christian Right (now, the Moral Wrong) remains buried in the sense that Trump's potty-mouthed megalomania somehow serves their God. After all, as long as he's pro-life, and the economy continues to sail along, that appears to be a reasonable conclusion. The sum value of their silence is the equivalent of shouting, "Heaven loves the leader of American bigots!" and "God considers women to be the second-class sex." It's very strange to think that the God who passionately loves unborn black, white, yellow and red fetuses of either sex, has a rabid prejudice against women and people of color. It would appear that the Christian Right is an integral part of sustaining and amplifying the ugly agendas of its president.

On the national level, there are a significant number of good people speaking out against the hate-mongering of the not-so-funny clown prez, and yet, Utah's leaders seem content to allow for the corruption of the presidency to dictate their own personal sense of conscience. Had Trump's oral diarrhea flowed from the mouth of a corporate CEO or some other government employee, he would have been ushered to the door and awarded a pink slip.

It should shake every one of us to consider what has happened to the ethics and morality of the pathetic people we elected to Congress. We rely on their voices, and yet they will not speak out, fearing the failure of their political aspirations more than the failure of our most sacred values. After all, we must remember that silence, when it comes to the endorsement of our resident's evil, may be the biggest voice of all.

The author is a former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and one mongrel dog. Send feedback to