trump does not just lack ethics. He defies ethical norms by using language that was employed in Rwanda by the perpetrators of the genocide there. Even more shockingly, the crowd of supporters who heard him in Harrisburg applauded him with enthusiasm. This is dictatorial behavior. That it has even one percentage point of popularity shames all who cotton to this miserable man's utterances.


The Harrisburg event offered a clue to Trump's MO, supported by Steve Bannon who has remained front and center at the White House when everyone said he was on the way out.

Harrisburg was designed as a binary, us against them event. It was presented, significantly, on a split screen showing Trump and his adoring fans in the Rust Belt while the other panel showed the White House Correspondent's dinner which the president pointedly avoided.

Saturday night hateful

Trump began his Saturday night speech with an unprecedented 11-minute rant against the media in which he used the language that evoked horrific memories of the tribal violence in Rwanda that took in 100 days in the spring of 1994 an estimated 800,000 at well over a million lives of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. President Clinton later apologized for the US failure to intervene.

The dastardly language

The language derives its significance from context.

It would be nice to hope that Trump did not use the hateful language consciously but because the context of his speech was hateful and dictatorial optimism is unjustified. Writing in today's New York Times Yale Professor Jason Stanley notes that Trump on Saturday "compared immigrants — as he did last year — to poisonous snakes, to great applause." He adds that this " tactic of dehumanization" has historically been used ramp up hate and violence against chosen groups.

Trump's popularity

When Trump started impacting the American people with hate speech, it was often seen as meaningless or not serious. Now Trump is speaking admiringly of Roderigo Duterte who has wantonly decreed the execution of innocents in his so-called war on drugs in the Philippines.

We are being kind when we say that Trump favors strong men, this man who is petrified of mosquitos and scared of stairs. He favors kindred spirits in the use of hate for political advancement.Duterte. Le Pen. Scourges of democracy. Fortunately, his popularity hovers in the low 40s. It should grow lower with his current Duterte fling. The unspeakable is abroad. Our words in the face of it should be spoken loud and clear. We did not elect this man. We did not elect a dictatorial purveyor pf genocidal hate. We want him gone.