I am getting a little tired of hearing Trump apologists admonish liberals and leftists for the perpetual charges of racism against the President Elect, his closest advisors, and especially his supporters among the electorate. “Just because he is a racist doesn’t mean everyone who voted for him is a racist!” they cry. “Your constant accusations of racism are why he was elected in the first place!” I will address the ludicrous latter half of that claim at another time, but for now, let’s perform a little thought experiment: Let’s assume that Trump is not racist at all, that he has not appointed known white nationalists to his cabinet, and that exploiting racial tensions was never a part of his campaign in any way. I’ll grant you that concession. In return, I would like answers the following questions, with only two conditions: You cannot refer to Hillary Clinton at all; and you cannot deny that the questions are based on proven, verified, undisputed facts.
- Are you troubled by the fact that Russia orchestrated the DNC email hacking to influence the election and that the Trump team was in contact with the Russian government throughout the campaign? If not, why not?
- Are you concerned about the historically unprecedented conflict of interest caused by Trump’s refusal to divest himself of his assets, or that he and his family have already used the office of the Presidency to promote their various business interests (such as here, here, here, here, and here)? If not, why not?
- Do you think that Mike Flynn, who is at this very moment being paid to lobby Congress on behalf of the Turkish government, might have a resulting conflict of interest with respect to policy and national security matters relating to Turkey? If so, does that bother you? If not, why not?
- What benefit do you see for our national security and our global moral authority in violating international law to torture terror suspects and execute their families?
- Do you think it is appropriate and safe for Trump to be speaking to foreign leaders on an unsecured personal cell phone?
- Does Trump’s use of Twitter to lament being lampooned on Saturday Night Live and demanding apologies from Hamilton theater-goers for booing Mike Pence fit your definition of presidential behavior, and does it accurately reflect what you think his priorities should be?
- Is it acceptable to you that Trump lied outright by saying he had personally prevented a Ford plant from moving to Mexico when Ford has confirmed that there was never any such plan? If so, why?
- What benefit do you see for our national security in Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea acquiring nuclear weapons?
- Given that Trump’s surrogates have confirmed intentions to move forward with mass deportations and the construction of a wall along our southern border as early as day one of his administration, how do you think those projects will be paid for, and do you agree that they represent the best use of tax dollars?
- Do you support a national registry of American citizens based on religious affiliation? Does your answer change based on which religion is in question?
Now that Trump has appointed advisors like Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions, it seems almost a moot question whether Trump himself is racist, as he is surrounding himself with people who have undeniably racist histories and agendas, and these people will have at least some influence on policy. But even if they did not exist, Trump the candidate had what should have been fatal flaws – flaws which now belong to the President Elect of the United States. If people are tired of defending themselves and their candidate from charges of racism, I for one am willing to hit the pause button on those (well founded and very serious) concerns to give them the opportunity to explain why Trump was in any conceivable other way an acceptable choice to run the free world.