Opinion

A Voice from Pittsburgh: President Trump Should Own Up to His Divisive Rhetoric, False Statements and Encouragement of Violence

What kind of president implies that he longs for the days when protesters were carried out on stretchers, then says he will pay anyone’s legal fees should a supporter confront a protester at one of his rallies?

What kind of president claims at rallies that there are hordes of Middle Easterners (ISIS supporters, i.e. terrorists) embedded in the latest caravan of Hondurans trying to make it to the United States? Or suggests that Democrats are funding the caravan heading north to invade our country?

What kind of president advocates body-slamming a reporter asking a tough question? Or calls such reporters the enemy of the people? Or claims that if Democrats gain power they will take your guns away? Or implies that maybe the “Second Amendment people” could quickly make that problem go away? Really. He actually said that. That’s ten times worse than “pry it from my cold dead hands.”

What kind of president, when the inevitable result of such rhetoric manifests itself in horrific acts of violence, claims no responsibility, then puts all the blame on the media who are simply reporting the revolting things and outright lies he says or tweets every day? I’ll tell you what kind. A president who only cares about himself. Just ask Sean Spicer, Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon, H.R. McMaster, etc. I can’t even remember them all.

Then he has the audacity, with scripted text, to say that this sort of violence has no place in America. The hypocrisy is astonishing, the likes of which we’ve never seen in America. A complete disinformation campaign, the sort which the Soviets/Russians would be proud. Yet, thanks to Fox News and other panhandlers of nonsense like Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh, he gets a pass. It’s just plain in-your-face gross. Fox News is the equivalent of Pravda for the Republican Party and Trump in particular.

If you are not appalled by the hypocrisy of the last month from our president, from Kavanaugh to Khashoggi, from Honduras to the US-Mexican border, from South Florida to Pittsburgh, I ask you this: What does appall you about presidential behavior? Must he shoot someone on 5th Avenue?

Trump has a chance to own up and look “presidential” by acknowledging that his rhetoric is partly to blame. This country is beginning its fall into the abyss. By looking presidential, maybe the president can at least start applying the brakes.

I grew up in Pittsburgh. My career was in DC. I now live back in Pittsburgh and recently encouraged my son to move into the very Squirrel Hill neighborhood where just days ago, 11 were killed and 6 were wounded as a direct result of Trump’s and Fox‘s divisive rhetoric.

Pittsburgh is an amazing city. It is often at the forefront of change across the nation. We have simple standards here.  Put up or shut up. BS is easily spotted and dealt with quickly. As such, most people here didn’t want Trump to come, or to hear his empty words in an attempt to try to console us. He lost his credibility long ago.

But I can guarantee you that this is not the last you will hear from Pittsburgh. We rally when you hurt one of our own. We will not stand for this and neither should you. You will see it soon. The seed is planted to eradicate the hate among us.

As Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said, “We know that hatred will never win out — that those that try to divide us because of the way that we pray or where our families are from around the world, will lose. In Pittsburgh, we’re pragmatic, and we find solutions to problems. We will not try to rationalize irrational behavior. We will not try to figure out ways…to lessen the degree of crimes such as this. We will work to eradicate it.”

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Dennis Ross

Dennis Ross is a retired Senior Intelligence Analyst with over 26 years experience with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. He specialized in Middle East weapons of mass destruction programs and homegrown violent extremism. Ross was the recipient of numerous accolades to include the Director of Central Intelligence, National Medal of Achievement.

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