For most of the last year, we have seen endless hand-wringing in the news media about how crude Donald Trump is. He has no manners; he is bringing down the level of public discourse; his attacks on others are outrageous. And, to be sure, there have been times when I, along with countless others, have criticized Trump’s excesses.
But it seems obvious to me that it is Trump’s enemies, far more than Trump, who have gone into the gutter and, to a degree that may be unprecedented, coarsened our political life. Countless instances could be brought forward, but let’s just note this news story from earlier today:
Life-size naked statues of the Republican presidential nominee greeted passers-by in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Cleveland on Thursday. They are the brainchild of an activist collective called INDECLINE, which has spoken out against Trump before.
In a statement, the collective said the hope is that Trump, the former host of “The Apprentice” reality TV series, “is never installed in the most powerful political and military position in the world.”
The statues were created by an artist in Cleveland. They are of a stern-faced Trump with his hands folded over a bulging belly. Some parts of male genitalia are visible while others seemingly are missing.
If any Democrats were appalled by these displays, they kept it to themselves.
A naked statue of Donald Trump, complete with bulging belly and elaborate yellow hair, caused laughter and merriment in New York Thursday until it was ripped up by park wardens.
Hands clasped across ample belly, the sculpture was unveiled in Union Square, gazing out across the busy street with an engraved plaque saying “The Emperor Has No Balls,” witnesses said.
I guess those are the “seemingly missing” parts.
Throughout the morning, passers-by stopped to take photographs, pose for selfies or laugh at the depiction of the New York billionaire.
“It was funny. Everybody was just over here laughing and taking pictures,” said Rahshawn Gilmore, 22, who works in a nearby store. “It was amazing.”
When it comes to crude, beyond the pale attacks, Donald Trump is far more often the victim than the aggressor.