First things first, the fact that I felt most-comfortable using an asterisk to quote the president of the United States speaks volumes. I didn't have to, and I've used "bad words" on the site generally quoting others. And I'm not offended that a president used a "bad word." But I typed the real word in the title, and it just looked awful.
MSNBC had the same problem, at least when the story broke. I was driving back to Los Angeles from CES this afternoon -- not all the way way, I stop at Primm on the stateline, which gives me a shorter drive tomorrow -- and was listening to the network on Sirius radio when the story broke. Host Nicolle Wallace couldn't get the word out, and when she tried reading the story a second time, as she tried to process it, she said, she burst out laughing. In part because it was funny, but mainly because she was utterly beside herself that this was coming from the president of the United States, and from her own party and went on a rant of how horrible it was -- not just the word, but more the concept and how racist it was. And yes, the "racist" word was used, and not just by Ms. Wallace but most of her guests. John Heilleman in particular was as blunt as possible calling Trump racist for pretty much his entire public life.
I don't know if they're still using the "asterisk" description on MSNBC because the hotel where I'm staying, which is otherwise reasonably nice, doesn't carry it on its cable. But it does have CNN, and their on-screen caption showing the current topic, they used the word in all its glory. And it looked just awful.
The discussion on Anderson Cooper's show was fascinating. Hey had six guests, each trying to chime in over the others, but a couple moments stuck out. One was when Cooper calmly kept asking Jason Miller, a Trump spokesman, who had just defended how we all want the best people to come to America, if he was aware of any country in the world that was predominately white which Trump has ever called "a shit hole." (Okay, for better or worse, he said it and unfortunately it fits...) Miller kept responding to Cooper's repeated question in different ways, but the translation basically kept coming back to "No."
But the most eloquent speaker was the often-eloquent Van Jones who cut to the center. For all the attempts to defend Trump that he'd heard all day, the bottomline, he said, was that it was horrible and unacceptable for the President of the United States to call any country in the world a "shit hole."
Trump wondering why we were letting people into the United States from such countries was just a racist bonus.
Which is why I am happy to let people from sh*thole states to read this website. We welcome all, no matter how ignorant or low the educational level is in those states. Or how low the standard of living. Or if they voted to make Trump president. This site is a melting pot, and it's made better with the Statue of Liberty as the cherished icon of our standard that we try to uphold. We're made better on Elisberg Industries by all viewpoints, no matter how sh*ty they may be. Even an opinion from the most sh*t hole state is important because we not only want to be inclusive here, but it also forces us to focus on what our contradicting reasoning is. And even the most sh*t hole state brings with it its own culture and hopes and dreams, and that enriches us all.
People from all countries are, of course, completely welcome, and with no pejorative adjective attached.
All this said, I must add that it's just my personal opinion but what Trump said today wasn't the sort of thing I expect from a very stable genius. Or someone who "has the very best words."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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