‘What have you got to lose?’

Toward the end of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign he made a plea to African American voters. He asked them: “What have you got to lose?”

If any one of those voters couldn’t answer that question then, and weren’t certain of their answer a week ago, they now know the answer: Everything.

Some in the media and talking heads are asking why some in the media are calling Trump’s racist tweets targeting four brown-skinned women in the Congress were racist. That is the press’ job, to report honestly and objectively. It isn’t a judgement. It’s a fact. Telling Americans to “go back to their country” is a phrase that goes back decades. It is established as a racist comment. (Those of us of a certain age will recall during the 1960s being told “My Country Right or Wrong.” Not a racist comment but a just as ridiculous one.)

The President has shown his prejudices many times during his life, let alone his campaign for and during his presidency. I won’t go through the litany. Others are doing a good job of reminding us of his Mexicans are rapists comments, his “that judge is prejudiced against me because he’s Mexican” comment, and on and on.

As bad as his making these comments, he is doing it not because of the fact that he is a racist but for political gain. Clearly, he thinks that by making the four brown-skinned congresswomen the face(s) of the Democratic Party that he gains an edge in his reelection campaign. News Flash, Mr. President: You’ve already locked up the White Supremacist/racist vote.

The four Congresswomen have some way out there positions on issues and I agree their policies are too far a step. But argue their policies. Trump wants to make Democrats the party of brown-skinned people and Socialists.

I can’t imagine anyone who has brown skin voting for Trump — though I’m sure some will for whatever their reasons. I can’t imagine anyone who is an immigrant or comes from immigrant families (all of us) voting for him. But some will, whatever their reason. Some of those reasons are the economy. Some are conservative judges being appointed. Some are that he gives the appearance that he speaks truth to power.

The weak-kneed Republicans in Congress who have yet to condemn his comments are another story. Why do they hold back their criticism (which most of them have)? For partisan political gain.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell is running for reelection in a state (Kentucky) that gives Trump higher positive ratings than they give McConnell. He’s afraid to alienate those voters. As are the other cowards in his caucus. For partisan political gain.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — like her or not, she is one smart leader — quickly came up with the idea of forcing Republicans in the House to vote on whether they should condemn the President or not for his comments by recommending a resolution condemning Trump’s tweets and comments.

My guess: Most will stay with the President on this.

For short-term, political gain and long-term destruction to this country.

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: bjaycooper.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store