Unspoken Truth-What Trump Doesn't Say Should Disturb Us More

What he doesn’t say that is even more alarming.

The election is over. Whether you cried, screamed, cheered or were seething with rage, many of us, including many Republican strategists, were surprised if not downright shocked, with the outcome.

There are 50 days before Trump is sworn in and as the reality that he is now our President Elect sinks in many are questioning his ability to become presidential, to try to unite the country, as he claimed in his acceptance speech that he wanted to do.

Throughout the past year we have heard all of his inflammatory statements and racially coded rhetoric, we saw him fan the flames with “build the wall” and “ban Muslims” and the comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who presides over the Trump University fraud case, where Trump complained that he is being treated unfairly by Mr. Curiel because of his “Mexican Heritage.”

But with all of the things Trump has said, incited or boasted about, it is what he doesn’t say that is even more alarming.

When supporters at his rally’s were seen repeatedly yelling racial and anti-semitic slurs, everything from ‘Build a wall, kill them all” to “F**k them Beaners” and yelling “Jew S-A” at the media, Trump stayed silent. When the numerous videos surfaced showing peaceful protestors being assaulted at different Trump campaign events, Trump stayed silent, preferring to incite the hostility even more by hinting at paying the legal bills of a man who assaulted a protester. Trump then backtracked on this idea only to turn around and say it again a few days later.

After a rally in Iowa City where someone threw a tomato (which I do not condone) Trump went on to use that tomato incident at his next Iowa rally in Cedar Rapids to encourage more aggression by telling the crowd “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of ‘em, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.” He also stated that he wished he personally could partake in the violence when a protester was being led out and Trump shouted that it was a shame he wasn’t closer because “I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya.”

A modern day American presidential candidate inciting violence at a rally.

But with all of the things Trump has said, incited or boasted about, it is what he doesn’t say that is even more alarming.

After a particularly violent encounter at a rally in Alabama where another protester was attacked, Trump mused “Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up.” Then last August two men in Boston beat up a homeless man and urinated on him. According to the police, these men were yelling “Donald Trump was right” and “All these illegals need to be deported.” While Trump initially called the incident “terrible” he then went on to state “I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate, they love this country, they want this country to be great again.”

Trump spent more time rationalizing their aggressive behavior then he did expressing an ounce of support for a man who was viciously attacked. By emphasizing that his supporters were just “passionate” he chose to stay largely silent on this heinous crime and normalize the behavior of people committing violent acts in his name.

As the tension and violence rose he gleefully rode the wave of it, not wanting to turn away his hard core voting base, wanting to appear as the brash, “say it like it is” candidate so he could continue getting those raucous applause and screaming crowds. When questioned on this issue he often played the “surprised” candidate who apparently had no idea this was happening which subsequently encouraged his more aggressive supporters to feel even more emboldened.

When Davide Duke offered his support for Trump he initially denied even knowing who David Duke was, stating in February 2016 to Jake Tapper “Honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I just don’t know anything about him.” Despite the fact that he told Matt Lauer in 2000 during a discussion on Trump running under the Reform Party ticket that the biggest problem with the Reform Party was “Well, you’ve got David Duke just joined — a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party.”

No, Trump it is not, so why are you staying silent on these hateful people?

When asked in another interview during the campaign if Trump would disavow David Duke he told John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics, “Sure, I would do that, if it made you feel better.”

If it made you feel better?

When the KKK announced their plans to hold a victory rally to celebrate Trump’s win and David Duke referred to Trump capturing the oval office as a “great win for our people” Trump was still silent. The North Carolina GOP office swiftly denounced this rally and the obligatory Trump campaign staffer stated that they disavowed the KKK, but where is the actual President Elect? Where is his direct, harsh and swift condemnation?

After the election Trump stated to Leslie Stahl on his 60 Minutes interview that he was “surprised to hear that” when the issue of hate crimes and harassment being done in his name came up and he stated “I don’t hear any of it, I saw 1 or 2 instances.” He then looked in the camera and said “stop it.” A mere two words after a year of playing the puppeteer in this game. Saying “just enough” to abate potential criticism, but given the magnitude of the number of bias incidents and hate crimes in the last year, his statement fell short of a full repudiation.

Trump’s empty promises to unite the country were followed a few days later with the appointment of Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News poster boy with ties to white nationalism. Under Bannon’s tenure, Breitbart became deeply intertwined with the “alt-right” and Trump has showed us, once again, that he will tangle in this dance with the most abhorrent people if it serves him in some capacity.

Defenders of Bannon tend to have the same script, arguing that Bannon has “never said anything” racist or anti-semitic in front of them or that because Breitbart has a history of being pro Israel then that must indicate that Bannon is not anti-semitic, but when the founder, Andrew Breitbart, died in 2007 and Steve Bannon took over Breitbart News as the executive chairmen, the site shifted and became a major attraction to the alt right/white nationalist movement. If we are to judge a man by his actions then Bannon’s involvement with the alt right as he ran Breitbart tells us exactly who he really is.

In looking at the transcripts from Bannon’s divorce where his ex wife testified that “the biggest problem he had with Archer [School for Girls] is the number of Jews that attend. He said that he doesn’t like Jews and that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiney brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”

Currently, Trump has been silent on the controversy surrounding Bannon, preferring to ignore growing concerns then to publicly address them.

Naturally, people have rushed to Trump’s defense proclaiming “but Trump isn’t anti-semitic! Trump has Jewish family members!” Whether or not Trump believes or doesn’t believe Breitbart’s rhetoric is a deeper question, but as a new President allowing Bannon to be in a high ranking cabinet position and involved in the inner workings of his presidency, in a way that no alt right enabler ever has been or should be, only continues to deepen the divide in this country.

The New York Times reports that the latest FBI statistics show hate crimes and harassment towards Muslims and the Transgender community has increased 67% since 2014 and this is likely even higher given the lack of reporting on some of these crimes. Many of the recent hate crimes were done in Trump’s name, with perpetrators chanting “this is Trump’s America now” or this is “Trumpland” as they justify their violence and harassment.

The Southern Poverty Law Center stated on Tuesday that “the number of reported hate crimes has doubled between Nov. 11 and Nov. 14, jumping from more than 200 to more than 400 incidents.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center also went on to report that many of the incidents involved “direct references to President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric and proposals.”

While Trump certainly didn’t introduce racism and hatred in America and we can’t blame it’s origin on him, but as a presidential candidate and now as the President Elect when you use your audience to incite the flames of racism instead of squashing them, staying silent when you could have harshly condemned these crimes being done in your name and you only give the bare minimum answer when pushed to respond during an interview, then you undoubtedly have blood on your hands.

Trump may be our President Elect, but if he wants to be an effective leader then he will have to learn to use his voice, not to chant about building a wall, but to use his well known bravado to condemn, in the harshest words possible, the hateful acts being done in the name of “Trumpland.”

Continuing to stay silent, being complicit or greatly dismissing the issue when he is questioned on it only gives the perpetrators of these hateful crimes the approval they crave to keep acting on their hate.