Friday, January 12, 2018
Chicago honors immigrant from nation Trump scorns
Lying has become so routine to the Trump administration that nobody even bothers to press the issue. When Trump tweeted that he isn't visiting London because "he is no big fan of the Obama administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for 'peanuts,'" the media dutifully pointed out that in the actual factual world the deal was struck under George W. Bush.
But there was no need to confront the president, no need to quiz him whether that lie, or delusion, or whatever it was, is even the true reason for avoiding the city, or could it possibly be how deeply unpopular he is in Britain? One lie begets another. When you're Donald Trump, avoiding the truth isn't a hobby, it's a full-time job. Two thousand documented lies in the past year. He's never going to say: "I can't visit England because I might have to confront the odium that Europeans reserve for me."
He can't come to Chicago for the same reason. The last time he tried, for a campaign rally a year ago March, the rally had to be scrubbed because the protest was so intense. Trump didn't dare show his face.
I doubt he'll ever visit here. I almost added, "Not if he's smart." Since smart left the Trump building long ago, let's just say he's too cowardly. And credit him for knowing where he's not wanted.
If the president needs a facile excuse for never visiting the largest American city between the coasts, he can at least fall back on something true. Chicago has a bust of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, our first permanent non-native resident, right in the heart of downtown, at Pioneer Court, on Michigan Avenue just north of the DuSable Bridge. Du Sable, you probably know, was an immigrant from Haiti, one of those "shithole countries" that Donald Trump doesn't want sending any more immigrants to this country. Du Sable was living here a century before Donald Trump's grandfather left Germany.
Oh, and Trump also denies using the phrase "shithole countries." Even though a bunch of congressmen and senators were there and vouch that he said it. Dick Durbin, looking ashen and horrified, as are we all, confirmed it. These are ashen and horrifying times.