Column: The ugliness of Donald Trump's presidency

Donald TrumpDonald Trump
Donald Trump
Deploying the language of war only fans the flames

The image of Donald Trump standing outside a church, Bible in hand, while his country veered perilously close to martial law ought to define his presidency – and end it.

As crass a photo-op as any ever staged by a politician, he looked more puffed up than any dictator; a man who is ugly in every single sense of the word.

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“Unpleasant or repulsive, especially in appearance; involving or likely to involve violence or other unpleasantness.” says my dictionary.

Trump on TwitterTrump on Twitter
Trump on Twitter

You might as well add an image of Trump next to it to alert future generations.

A horrifyingly toxic presidency turned sinister this week as he responded to the rioting sparked by the disturbing killing of George Lloyd by police in Minneapolis.

There are moments which catch your breath. Listening to Trump declare himself “your president of law and order” as tear gas and rubber bullets were used to disperse a peaceful protest outside the White House Rose Garden is surely one of them.

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He warned any state governor not willing to deploy the National Guard that he would call in the US military and deal with it himself.

He spoke of “thousands and thousands” of heavily armed soldiers and military personnel ready to go to war on his own people.

The language of war raged through his sinister, cold and terrifying speech, and his justification was the defence of the Second Amendment - the right to bear arms.

This was no dog whistle to the white, right-wing Christian fundamentalists. Trump simply picked up his megaphone and yelled.

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We now have a man in the White House who thinks he is Robocop, and this is some sort of shoot ‘em up video game.

We can rail at his stupidity, his grossly abusive comments – his mocking of a disabled reporter on the election trail seems almost trite in comparison with what else he has done – and his utter inability to string together a coherent sentence, but in just four words, Make America Great Again, he suckered millions into voting him into power.

The people who desperately want to see that sentiment come true are, of course, the very last that he actually cares about. They are now living under a curfew announced with 11 minutes notice.

Where America goes from here I know not.Trump ended his Rose Garden broadcast saying he was paying his respects at a very special place.

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With that, the roads were forcibly cleared in order that he could walk – and demonstrate, in his warped mind, being a strong leader – to St. John’s Church on Lafyette Square where every single president has attended at least one service.

Trump paid no respects –he wouldn’t know how to.

He didn’t go in, offered no prayers, he met no religious leaders – he didn’t even ask permission to come – but instead stood outside and, when all the TV cameras were ready, raised a Bible for a stomach-churning photo-op; one with very powerful symbolism for those who devour his messages.

One leading priest described it as revolting.

I fear there is much, much worse yet to come.

The First Person columns in the Fife Free Press reflects the view of the writer. They do not necessarily represent the views of newspaper