February 25, 2018

Trump says it's "un-American" not to applaud him

08 February 2018, 09:33 | Darnell Patrick

Donald Trump delivers his divisive comments at a manufacturing plant in Blue Ash Ohio Credit Reuters Jonathan Ernst

Donald Trump delivers his divisive comments at a manufacturing plant in Blue Ash Ohio

Even on positive news, there was a "dead silence, not a smile", he said.

"President Trump's State of the Union address was so profound that even the mainstream media called it "strong" and 'inspirational, '" said Michael Glassner, executive director of the Trump campaign, in a statement on Tuesday. While addressing a crowd in Cincinnati on Monday, Trump ripped into Democrats, referring to them as "Un-American", before saying, "Treasonous, I mean, yeah, I guess, why not".

So, here we are. "Shall we can that treason?".

Trump loyalists will dismiss all of this as much ado over nothing.

"It's very easy for people to confuse disagreement with the government with outright treason and disloyalty", says Larson. Trump said. "There are a lot of people that want to run her out".

Fine. Also, wrong. And missing the point in a major way.

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Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat who lost her legs while serving in the military in Iraq, suggested Trump's remark was un-American and referenced the president's draft deferments, which he apparently received following a diagnosis of mild bone spurs. And so on and so forth for every president before him (and after).

Once the markets closed, the White House issued a statement saying Trump's focus is "on our long-term economic fundamentals, which remain exceptionally strong, with strengthening USA economic growth, historically low unemployment, and increasing wages for American workers". The members of the Congressional Black Caucus notably did not applaud when Trump heralded his often-repeated point that "African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded".

"Treason is not a punchline, Mr. President", Flake admonished from the Senate floor.

The comment began as something Trump was egged on to say. To do that, however, is to miss something very important - and concerning - at work here. Whether you think the GOP is salvageable or not, to re-elect this crew in the midterms is to complete the capitulation to Trump's anti-democratic brand of politics. Others have reminded us that in Stalin's Soviet Union, refraining from applauding was in fact treasonous. Would that be a reasonable charge?

You don't have to imagine it.

Even the official Twitter feed for and Merriam-Webster got in on the action and tweeted the definition of the word "treason".

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