Planet Trump - Hollow lectures on civility

Scarcely a day passes without ever more extraordinary news from Planet Trump, where the president has been studying the standard of political discourse in the republic and has found it wanting.

He deplores the language of “moral condemnation”. Politicians “must stop treating opponents as being morally defective”.

After the discovery of pipe bombs posted to, among others, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, ex CIA director John Brennan, and CNN, he calls on all sides “to come together in peace and harmony”.

Who has encouraged and connived in this coarsening of political conversation? No prizes for this one:

The media has a responsibility to set a civil tone.

Mr Trump has much to teach us about civil tones. He enlivened his election rallies with his judicious and forensic assessment of Mrs Clinton’s record as Secretary of State: “Lock her up.”

Those who attempted to prevent the confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee were “people that are evil”, and he mocked publicly a woman who had provided distressing evidence at the Senate hearings. He has pointed to a moral equivalence between neo-Nazis and those who oppose extreme right-wing factions.

News media are “enemies of the people”, and he had words of praise for a congressman who had pleaded guilty to body-slamming a reporter.

We cannot know how the wheels turn in Mr Trump’s mind.

It could be suggested that he is a shallow, intellectually-challenged ego-centric bully who’s simply making stuff up tweet by tweet. But that would be uncivil.

What, however, is becoming clear is that the verdict of former FBI chief James Comey was right: He is “morally” unfit to be president of the United States.

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