When Surrogates Attack: Donald Trump’s Campaign against a Federal Judge

On Sunday, June 5th Donald Trump appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper where he discussed the lawsuit against his now defunct Trump University. So the media webosphere is abuzz about the comments that Donald Trump made about a federal judge’s inability to be fair because of his Mexican Heritage. Well, the Political Great Whine would like to contribute its two cents as well. To get started, below is the entire interview with Jake Tapper. The part where he starts to talk about Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage begins at 14:50.

It is now Tuesday and three days later, so rather than repeat Trump’s comments exactly, I will just jump right in there!  SOOooooo, Mr. Trump is upset that Judge Curiel did not throw out the lawsuit against Trump University and believes that it is because he is of Mexican heritage.  Trumps logic is that, since he plans to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S and because Judge Curiel’s parents were Mexican immigrants, then he is not able to be impartial on Trump’s lawsuit and should recuse himself from the case. When asked if a judge with Muslim heritage would be unable to give him a fair trial, Trump replied that he did not think so. In a nutshell, Donald Trump is saying that any judge who has ties to a race/ethnic/religious/gender groups that he has said negative things about, then they are not able to act professionally and do their job.

Despite clearly stating that the judge is unable to do his job due to his Mexican heritage, Trump’s surrogates have been ordered to defend his comments so they are saying that what he said was not racist and it is the media who has turned this into race issue.  HUH??  What?? Below is a video clip from a campaign speech Trump gave in San Diego a month ago during which he called Judge Curiel a “hater”.

So, to be clear…it was Donald Trump who chose to use a political platform (campaign rally) to discuss his personal views of a judge who is handling a personal civil case. In his speech, Trump actually seems to incite his supporters to agree with him that the judge is a “hater” who cannot be fair because he is “Mexican”.  As pointed out by Jake Tapper during his State of the Union interview, Trump’s comments are the very definition of racism; however, his surrogates staunchly proclaim otherwise and state that Curiel’s involvement in a Latino organization called La Raza (CORRECTION: San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association) means that he is unable do his job which is to make decisions based on facts and not personal emotions or bias. According to Trump’s surrogates, Judge Curiel gave a scholarship to an undocumented immigrant student via the organization. However, some journalists did a little research and found that the organization is NOT pro-immigrant and that claims made by Trump’s surrogates against Judge Curiel are false. More about that can be read in the Washington Post article.

To say that someone is unable to do their job because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age or sexuality is discriminatory and it boggles the mind to watch Trump’s surrogates say otherwise. By Donald Trump’s logic, since he is of German descent, then he would be unable to fairly represent Jewish Americans (those with Jewish ancestry and/or practice Judaism) and African-Americans, if he were elected President. Again…this is by HIS logic. Still, his surrogates all continue to repeat the same mantra that often has nothing to do with the questions being posed to them. Seriously!! Have you watched a Trump surrogate answer a question? It typically goes like this: Disclaimer: This is a fictitious dialogue not a real one (but is based on a real one).

Talk show host: “Welcome to the show [Trump surrogate]! Let me begin by asking you, do you think that Donald Trump’s comments that Judge Curiel is unable to do his job due to his Mexican heritage, is racist?”

Trump Surrogate: “Well first of all, I’m glad to be here! Mr. Trump is going to make America great again and the judge should have thrown out the Trump University case, but he didn’t because he is of Mexican heritage and Donald Trump is going to build a wall. Mr. Trump doesn’t have a racist bone in his body!”

Talk show host: “What does that have to do with his ability to do his job and do you agree with Trump’s comments?”

Trump Surrogate: “I might have said things differently, but listen..Mr. Trump is going to make America great again and it is the media who has turned this into a race issue because Mr. Trump doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. This judge is of Mexican heritage and Mr. Trump plans to build a wall.”

[The vicious cycle continues]

No kidding! That is typically how it goes and you can let me know if you think that is an inaccurate portrayal.

Trump’s surrogates also repeatedly claim that he does not see race/ethnicity and do not realize that THAT in and of itself is very disturbing! Why can’t Donald Trump “see” race or ethnicity?  What is wrong with seeing race/ethnicity?  Is it dirty or bad? To pretend to be “colorblind” is actually racist. As Americans, we should be able to see, acknowledge, respect and embrace different races, ethnicities, and cultures without negative judgment.

As Americans, we are all descendants of immigrants who most likely did not have a smooth and easy start in the United States, especially during the early years of industrialization (i.e. tenement slums). It is difficult to understand how Donald Trump plans to make America great again when he preaches divisiveness. Was it not President Abraham Lincoln who said that “A house divided against itself cannot stand”? So how, then can Donald Trump adequately represent the party of Lincoln?

The Political Great Whine would like to suggest that Donald Trump focus on showing voters how he plans to make America great again and quit using his political platform and surrogates to settle personal vendettas. It is one thing for Donald Trump to make harsh comments and incite his supporters against his political opponent Hillary Clinton but to use his supporters to go after anyone whom he dislikes is an abuse of power. If elected President, rather than serve the American people, will he use us as pawns as it suits his personal business interests? For this American, THAT is what makes Trump so dangerous.

Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!

 

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