By Tom Quiner
American politics has always been a rugged sport.
A particularly ugly strain of the sport has taken root at great cost to public discourse. I call it the politics of contempt.
It is foundational with three particular politicians on both sides of the aisle: Barack Obama; Hillary Clinton; and Donald Trump.
Barack Obama made his contempt known for a significant swath of Americans when he sneered at those “clinging to their guns and Bibles.”
He didn’t know he was being recorded, but it was instructive. He knew the First and Second Amendments were obstacles to his ideological rewiring of the American Republican. His contempt for those of us who embrace the Bill of Rights, and the entire Constitution for that matter, has been on full display for seven years.
He showed his contempt for Republicans right out of the starting gate when he taunted them with a ‘I won, you lost’ approach to governance.
He showed his contempt for the American people on another occasion when he again thought no one was listening. He was talking to then-Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev when he whispered to him:
“This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
True to form, the president has flexed his leadership-from-behind strategy and allowed Putin to walk in and take Crimea and threaten Eastern Europe.
Mr. Obama’s contempt is particularly obvious towards Republicans and the Constitution’s separation of powers.
Under his administration, the IRS has targeted conservative groups. When caught, his henchman were called before Congress, where they did nothing to hide their contempt for Congress, conservatives, or the American people.
Hillary Clinton’s contempt for the American people is legendary.
Seldom has a public figure been more comfortable lying about her actions than the wife of Bill Clinton, another human being comfortable with speaking untruths.
Ms. Clinton’s e-mail deceit represents a breach in ethics that is breathtaking. They are one part of a legacy that boldly lies even when facts, video records, and logic prove her wrong.
She claims she came under fire when video records prove she lies.
Missing records mysteriously show up on her dining room table after years of searching for them.
Her foundation rakes in millions of dollars from powerful organizations who desire her favors.
She does what she wants without consequence, but with total contempt for the ‘little people’ she claims to represent.
With a straight face, she says we need to believe women who claim they were sexually harassed at the same time she attempted to destroy the women who proclaimed that her husband sexually harassed them.
The politics of contempt.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump reminds me of a school yard bully who feels a need to display public contempt for any perceived slight.
He is defined by his contempt. A sampling …
On Lindsay Graham: “I see your senator, what a stiff. What a stiff: Lindsey Graham.”
On George W. Bush: “Bush didn’t have the IQ [to be president].”
On Jeb Bush: “JebBush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.”
On Hillary Clinton: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”
On Charles Krauthammer: “One of the worst and most boring political pundits on television is @krauthammer. A totally overrated clown who speaks without knowing facts,”
On John McCain: “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said at a rally on July 18. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Seldom has American politics witnessed a candidate so comfortable displaying his contempt not just for the opposing team, but for members of his team as well. Seldom has any candidate been so comfortable giving us a glimpse into his ugly soul.
There is a single reason he gets away with it: Americans have had a bellyful of Big Government’s contempt for us. Some view Mr. Trump’s willingness to fight fire with fire as appropriate.
He feeds the pathological cynicism infecting the body politic. A Trump/Clinton election ensures the spread of the poison.