More “Anti-Trump Sunday”… A New Ethics Alarms Feature: “Unethical Donald Trump Quote Of The Day”

Trump can't say if anything's "wrong" with these people because he's never met them....

Trump can’t say if anything’s “wrong” with these people because he’s never met them….

Trump is averaging at least one outrageous, unethical statement a day. Either they show incompetence, or they are irresponsible, or they are uncivil, or they are lies, or they show disrespect for the office he is seeking, U.S. citizens and the nation, or all of these.

It’s rather hard to quote The Donald, since he rambles, free associates, and generally talks like someone who is tripping. In this case, one must look at the entire exchange holistically.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Trump this morning if he would disavow the endorsement of white supremacist and former KKK leader David Duke,or that of “other white supremacists.”

Trump claimed that he has been living in a cave (Everyone has heard of Duke): “I don’t know anything about David Duke. I don’t know anything about what you are even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know. I mean, did he endorse me or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke, I know nothing about white supremacists. And so, you are asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”

Tapper obviously didn’t believe that Trump knows nothing about white supremacists, nor do I.  He asked again: “Would you just say, unequivocally, you condemn them and you don’t want their support?”

More Trump blather: “Well, I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about. You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I’d have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them, and certainly I would disavow if I thought that there was something wrong…”

After all, Donald doesn’t want to unfairly impugn those GOOD white supremacy organizations.

“The Ku Klux Klan,” Tapper interrupted.

“You may have some groups in there that are totally fine, and it would be very unfair. So, give me a list of groups and I’ll let you know,” Trump continued, making it clear that he really doesn’t want to risk losing the unfairly maligned Klansman vote.

“Okay, I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here but…” Tapper said, as Trump kept talking:

“Honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I’ve ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him, and I just don’t know anything about him.”

File this one under..

  • Dishonest
  • Irresponsible
  • Ignorant
  • Incompetent (Foolish)

All in a day’s work for Donald Trump.


Pointer: THE Bill


41 thoughts on “More “Anti-Trump Sunday”… A New Ethics Alarms Feature: “Unethical Donald Trump Quote Of The Day”

  1. Unfortunately, also easy to explain away as an attempt by the liberal media to entrap him into saying something that either isn’t true or that he knows would not be politically advantageous. Since my last post I have received comments on Facebook comparing Trump to someone like a Patrick Henry or Cincinnatus, a necessary extremist for extreme times. Yikes!

    • 1. Trap him into saying that the KKK and David Duke are reprehensible and there’s no place for them or their followers in civilized society? Where’s the trap?

      2. “Since my last post I have received comments on Facebook comparing Trump to someone like a Patrick Henry or Cincinnatus, a necessary extremist for extreme times.” You need smarter friends. And Patrick Henry just flipped in his grave.

        • Trump had a bad day. I’ve been reading the “Best of the Web” fans Facebook page, and the Trump supporters there are beyond belief. And not one has come up with a single genuine argument for Trump. Someone should offer the equivalent of the Scientific American prize for proving genuine supernatural phenomenon: A million dollars if you can justify voting for Trump with a substantive reason that a panel of independent experts agrees is non BS. All I see is “He’s better than Hillary” (though he’s worse); “He speaks his mind” (like most 5 year-olds); “He’s stood up to political correctness” (acting like a dick isn’t politically incorrect, it’s just unacceptable for a public figure), “He’s against illegal immigration” (but his solutions for it are ugly and deluded, and his verbiage allows the issue to be racialized), “He’s run a successful business” (except countries don’t have the option of declaring bankruptcy, and running a business is nothing like leading a nation) and “He’s strong” (like most crypto-fascists). They have nothing.

          It’s amazing.

            • [reply to bonnibrai’s Feb 28, 5:41 pm]
              “Jeff Sessions just endorsed him.SMH”
              I see that I posted the same thing over 12 hours later, in another thread.
              I just love not being first all the time. I’ll let the Democrat Party continue that monopoly (of being first with everything, all the time). Like the Bible verse says, “The last shall be first…” Ha-ha. Go ahead, win, Democrats. You’ve got both of the two biggest parties fully covered, this time.

          • All I see is “He’s better than Hillary

            Arguable. I agree with you Jack that he’s worse, but at least it’s debateable.

            He speaks his mind” (like most 5 year-olds); “He’s stood up to political correctness” (acting like a dick isn’t politically incorrect, it’s just unacceptable for a public figure), “He’s against illegal immigration” (but his solutions for it are ugly and deluded, and his verbiage allows the issue to be racialized), “He’s run a successful business” (except countries don’t have the option of declaring bankruptcy, and running a business is nothing like leading a nation) and “He’s strong” (like most crypto-fascists).

            Yup. I agree with your editorialising. But I don’t think you realise that that’s what the largest segment of GOP voters, and not a few DNC ones, want at this time.

            Science, Facts, and Rationality have been denigrated for so long by both GOP and (mostly historically) the DNC that the time is right for a Demagogue.

            But Nielsen, who is NOT a doctor, said “That’s information that I’ve had through the years,” and then admitted, “Whether it’s totally accurate or not, I don’t know.”.
            (That Incestual rapes can’t cause pregnancy)
            – Peter Nielsen(R)

            All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.
            – Poul Brown(R)

            You know what, citizens? If you don’t have a gun — I’m telling you as a Christian chaplain – sell your clothes, and buy a gun. It’s time! The government persecution will be coming against you, and you needs to arm yourselves??”
            – Gordon Klingenschmitt(R)

            “My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise. We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”
            Ted Cruz (R) on whether Obama is invading Texas.

            It’s not just individual. It’s the party line.

            “WHEREAS, A person’s sex is defined as the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined at conception, identified at birth by a person’s anatomy, recorded on their official birth certificate, and can be confirmed by DNA testing;…”
            – Republican National Commitee.

            The biological equivalent of stating “WHEREAS, the Earth is flat, fixed and immovable….”

            • “WHEREAS, A person’s sex is defined as the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined at conception, identified at birth by a person’s anatomy, recorded on their official birth certificate, and can be confirmed by DNA testing;…”
              – Republican National Commitee.

              The biological equivalent of stating “WHEREAS, the Earth is flat, fixed and immovable….”

              That was what I was taught when I attended high school in the 1990’s.

          • A better rebuttal to “He’s run a successful business” would be to point out that he’s also run a half-dozen unsuccessful business and sunk more cash than most voters can even comprehend into objectively terrible ideas, like selling frozen steaks on the Sharper Image. At this point, Trump seems like the proverbial blind squirrel finding a nut.

  2. “Honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I’ve ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him, and I just don’t know anything about him.”

    This is classic country club, white guy in charge baloney. Trump would say the same thing if he were asked about Vladimir Putin. Until he’s had a drink with a guy at either of their clubs’ bar, played a round of golf with him or done a deal with him, he can’t render an opinion on the guy.

    • And since Jake’s not a country club guy, he didn’t pick up on Trump’s meaning.

      Think of the two old clubby guys in the balcony during The Muppets. They’d say the same thing as Trump said. Bully bully. Pass the scotch.

  3. He certainly knew who Duke was in 2000 when he said he didn’t want to be involved with the reform party because Duke was part of it.

    The possibility of a Trump presidency has made me wonder, what will the Presidential Procession to the White House look like? Can you imagine the sea of protesters who will line that route? I know for one I would be there booing him.

  4. Jack wrote: “What’s infuriating is that its so obvious and so many Americans are too poorly educated, or gullible, or dumb, to see through it.”

    When I first began my political education I began way on the Left: Chomsky mostly, Zinn, and from that side of political analysis. I think I have read 8 or so of Chomsky’s books. I still don’t think Chomsky is dismissible, and I see him as the ultimate student of Machiavelli: Chomsky sees and describes ‘how power functions’ and power, by definition it would seem, I mean at the meta-political level, cannot be said to be ‘ethical’. A person or a smallish group can be ethical and can formulate rational and ethical postures. But a power-concentration – a state – cannot.

    As it happened, I made a decision to investigate the very opposite side of the political spectrum. My idea is that on each extreme of the political spectrum there is an extreme that seems to provide the intellectual foundation for the polarities that function within the political spectrum. So, the Left has as its backdrop Communist ideology and Leninism, and the Right the intellectual history and ideology of fascism and reaction. My theory, right now, is that it is not possible to understand the polarities within the (functioning) political center where left and right battle each other unless one understands the (so-called) extremes. It is the extremes that *explain* as it were the center.

    I admit to a profound confusion. In fact, I think this is a factual datum of the present: that each extreme has an operates a narrative, a perspective, but which perspective confronts and nullifies the other. Yet each one is founded in a group of ideas – an ideological platform – which is seen and understood as being ethical. Morally defensible. Explainable.

    So, I have been reading material from the Right and from the AltRight which is the sort of opinion and idea that cannot even be mentioned. Not on this blog, not in any media that is considered ‘respectable’. Take for example Jared Taylor ‘Face to Face with Race’ or ‘White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the Twenty-first Century’. To mention that name, to mention having read such a title, in the present dispensation, is to volunteer as a pariah. There is no context in which – and let me be a frank as possible – a white person can speak about their own ‘white identity’ and to explain a position or defend a position which is seen and understood – and labeled – as being ‘racist’. Once the word ‘racist’ is mentioned the opponent is discredited and vilified. One can only wilt in front of the accusation. There is no defensive posture allowed. However, when one examines (this is my own perspective of course and when I say ‘one’ I do mean ‘me’) the perspective upon which a ‘white identity’ position is constructed one notices that a) it is not irrational, b) it is not necessarily one founded on ‘hatred’, c) and it is not unethical insofar as it is supported by a chain of reasoning which, though it may be unpopular and also suppressed, is not immoral.

    But, these perspectives – and I’d draw a comparison to the perspectives of, say, a Chomsky vis-a-vis the ‘mainstream’ – are not considerable. Chomsky uses the term ‘thinkable thought’. The reference is Orwellian. There are established parameters of ‘thinkable thought’ and to transgress those borders is to enter into the area of ‘thought criminality’.

    If the ‘mainstream’ concocts a view, constructs a view, and defines it as ‘normal’ and also moral and ethical, and were you to think outside of those parameters of thinkable thought, you establish yourself as a thought-criminal. This is how social coercion functions it seems to me. If one notices an environment in which one cannot ‘think freely’, one is in one that controls and constrains thought. The only way out of such a system is to do the thinking which will allow one to say ‘I think freely’ (and am not coerced by social, media, political and other pressures). Structured thought and politically correct thinking is the bane of the present.

    The NYTs, as a regular element of its ‘criticism’, has pointed out that those who support Trump (and by definition those who do not support the Party-Line which the NYTs explains and upholds: the very definition of righteousness; that of the ‘politically good’), and those who might even share the thinking or some of the ideological positions of the Demonic Republicans, have not had a college education. These may include poor white trash and ‘trailer trash’ and yet the implication is that it is a large percentage of the population which is, evidently, not thinking correctly. Not toeing the party line. Not sufficiently indoctrinated essentially by the molding forced of the present to see in unison.

    My theory is that ‘Trump’ is less the man Trump and more a psychological phenomenon. I mean it literally: an issue of the soul. It is likely true, if one were to really look into the matter, that 80% of America cannot be said to think straight, or perform independent thinking. If they think, they think along lines that have been established for them. Then they chime in from time to time with an assembly of thought, a cobbled-together version of thinking, which ‘sounds right’ within a given context and perspective. A university education allows them to carry this out with a sense of ‘authority’. They convince themselves. But there is also a certain percentage which, aware of the dictates of politically correct thinking, and outwardly conformist to that perspective, yet exist in a divided mental and also emotional realm: what they UNDERSTAND to be TRUE is distinct and different from what they are told is true and RIGHT. This leads to classical cognitive dissonance which, expressed culturally, emerges in a person like Trump.

    My theory is that it will only increase BECAUSE the present (what we know as ‘America’) is upheld and maintained not through rational and clear thinking, but through coerced forms of politically correct thought. But this thought is actually more properly a form of sentiment. I do not think that people are really all that intellectual. They are not that mental. They structure themselves more basically through sentiments toward the present, and toward reality.

    I know that some here despise my essays, and I do apologize if this not only seems but is a rambling account of some of my thoughts. I do not know about you, but in my case I cannot get to the bottom of ethics until I have begun to understand on what ethics is supposed to be constructed. It is NOT clear.

    • I agree with you Alizia, that people are not all that intellectual. (Einstein’s treatment of his wife comes to mind.) Any ethics, or absence of ethics, that we are seeing in today’s American social cauldron stem, I believe, from evolving (and ever more volatile) sentiments toward whom, and what, to trust or rely upon – and why (as “reasoned” by the sentiment-holders). Even thinkers who think along lines they have established entirely for themselves eventually must conform in some manner to survive amidst prevailing sentiments. They must decide, and choose, and from the point of choosing must simply cover their ears and chant “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!” to rebuke any and all challenges, in order to avoid cognitive dissonance, and “unthinkable thoughts” including lack of one’s trust in oneself.

      • You lost me with mention of Chomsky, a linguist with no qualifications regarding politics, who long ago hit intellectual menopause and can’t be taken seriously. That said, he also knew how to touch all the buttons for his constituency, which, I believe, is why he is still, in some circles, a revered figure.

        • I would suggest that with this statement – simply an opinion with no structure behind it – you give evidence of an aspect of a problem and not a solution to any problem.

          Your dismissal avoids the necessity of dealing in ideas and instead proceeds immediately to an emotionalized position. I ‘lost’ you simply by referring to Chomsky? Since I mentioned him right at the start I assume you mean that you blocked out everything that followed? I’d suggest this is a non-ethical intellectual approach. I doubt it is solid as an ethical posture, too. It is called ‘shutting down one’s mind’. It is a typical manoeuvre of our present.

          If we cannot even consider ideas – if we are too frightened to do so – we can certainly never counter them. Now, I did not say that I am a disciple of Chomsky – in fact I am attempting to construct an ideology that runs counter to his ideology – but I can certainly CONSIDER Chomsky. And in my view the most lucid ideological statement of his is contained in ‘On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures’.

          Five essays (if I remember the count) which cannot be discussed and which constitute ‘unthinkable thought’. I do not say that this thought cannot be refuted but I doubt that, based on your posture, you’d be able to undertake that project. The problem, then, is self-imposed parameters and using a hack-job approach to disqualify ideas which, I assume, you are not familiar with.

          Chomsky is, in the sense I mentioned before, a disciple of a Machiavellian perspective, I mean a critique of the Machiavellian approach to politics. If one cannot understand Machiavellianism – ‘how power functions’ – one cannot understand 1) our present and 2) even our own selves. If one cannot understand Machiavellianism in this sense, one could not really understand a vast and huge State and nation as the US. Vastly powerful constellations of interests attempting to force their way with people. If you could not understand Machiavellianism in this sense you would not be able to understand any perversion of power such as Fascism and the Third Reich, and without this capacity you could not, not really, be able to say anything about our present. What you’d likely be left with is a perverted ‘patriotism’ and a conformist ideological platform.

          Thus: to counter these trends (and what has brought a figure like Trump to the psychological surface) requires an antidote: the capacity to think freely.

          The notion of ‘qualifications’ is peculiar. One must be a professional political operative, trained in political science, to be able to participate politically? To have a valid idea or perspective? If you follow this bizarre idea forward it disqualifies … everyone. Thus no one can really opine. No one can have a ‘valid’ opinion or sense of what is right and wrong.

          You have performed a hack-job. Bravo! How easy it is, and yet how intellectually destructive. I would be inclined to say ‘unethical’.

          • Are you current with your meds? Seriously, Alizia, you sound like you are on barbiturates. Chomsky’s a polemicist, a la his now thankfully dead buddy Zinn, who regularly twisted facts to back into his conclusions. Anyone who considers what they have to say to have any weight as serious scholarship is a complete idiot. If you want to put yourself in that category, be my guest.

            • OK. But I would examine the structure of your argumentation. If you disqualify people by insinuating they are on ‘meds’, you mean that their ideas are mentally ill ideas. By disqualifying someone’s ideas as ‘mentally ill’ you are engaging in a form of demonizing. It is really a very dangerous and underhanded approach. I do not accept this approach, and this is why I can (and do) consider all manner of different perspectives. To understand a platform one has to be able to look at it. If one cannot even look at it, one cannot counter it.

              Your approach is underhanded and unethical, in my view. Yet it is common. It is in many senses the way people are thinking these days. It is not real thinking though. It is emotion-slinging. It is an excuse for thinking and for describing, rationally, what one thinks. It is very destructive. Again, the way you conducts your argumentation is, in my view, exactly illustrative of a large aspect of a social/media/intellectual problem of our present. How to solve it, I do not know.

              I think the idea of ‘twisting facts to back conclusions’ is very interesting though. I think this defines our present more than the opposite (employing truth and sound thinking to defend a position and to convince and persuade through up-front means). Our world is constructed through a system of lies, distortions, misrepresentations, and it has become so convoluted and mixed up that to separate out the ‘truth’ from the ‘lie’ is enormously difficult.

              It does not surprise me that you fundamentally misunderstand me. It is what has occurred each time I have written on this blog. But what I find is that the opposition I receive is not rational, not studied, not thought-through. I suggest that it is THIS that is the problem, or a part of a big problem. How to talk about that problem – that I am not sure about.

              (Note: I have not defended Chomsky’s socialist view of the world, I simply mentioned his name and made a reference to what I understand of his analytical approach).

            • Chomsky’s an industrial grade anti-American zealot who verges most of the time on lunacy. By the way, I believe he and Bernie both spent time in the same Stalinist commune in Israel as young Turks. Given his druthers, I bet Bernie would pick Noam as his VP running mate.

              • The Jewish Left is now and has been pretty vocal – and pretty influential – in ‘progressive’ circles, no? Chomsky, Horkheimer, ‘the Frankfurt School’. It is zealotry of the left-leaning variety, isn’t it?

                The important thing is to understand how deeply this vision has penetrated. And then the question arises: How to counter it?

                I do not see Chomsky as a ‘lunatic’. I see him having and operating a very defined ethics.

                Many who attempt to oppose his ethics stumble because, it seems, they have not worked to define well their own. He does not argue from an excluded middle, that’s for sure.

                That seems an advantage of the zealot’s position. It is nearly religious in structure.

              • A further thought: You wrote that ‘Chomsky’s an industrial grade anti-American zealot who verges most of the time on lunacy’.

                I might make the suggestion that you examine and consider the various ‘anti-Americanisms’ that are being brought into focus. It is an interesting and worthwhile endeavor to see how others perceive us.

                The recent American-sponsored wars in the near East – which viewed in certain senses are quite fascistic, wickedly cruel and disproportionate, as well as outrightly wicked and criminal – hardly borne of a defensible ‘conservative’ sort of policy or political philosophy – have set things in motion which will play out for years in that region. It has set in motion all sorts of different effects in Europe.

                There are factions in Europe developing certain ideas – I will mention just one: Pierre Krebs (a German philosopher) whose ‘Fighting for the Essence: Western Ethnosuicide or European Renaissance?’ defines a solid, considerable, and deeply philosophically founded and socially conservative platform to counter American influence and the American pattern. I read it. It is speculative and exploratory in many senses and at times somewhat romantic, yet sound and very considerable.

                Is that allowed in your ideological book? Is one allowed to think such thoughts or is such though, ipso facto, ‘lunacy’?

                The people who are formulating these ideas are right-wingers and socially conservative sorts, not left wing lunatics (as you might describe them), and they do not see America as a progressive power to be welcomed but as a destructive entity to be avoided and countered.

                Strange isn’t it how easy people deviate into thought criminality. 😉

                I mention these things because the focus here is ethics. But one has to be able to define and speak about the ethical base one is operating from, and to be able to recognize and understand the ethical platforms other people work from, in order to be able to have the conversation. Only people can have ethics and people have to communicate in order to be able to define their ethical selves.

                I suggest that the present policies of the conglomeration of powers that is the US is not functioning IN ANY SENSE as a philosophically conservative power or influence in the world. Very much the opposite. To be able to see and define the US in this sense is a philosophical work. It requires rigorous and demanding thought and capacity for self-examination. It is exactly this which many people seem incapable of carrying out.

                Now, am I mentally ill to entertain these thoughts? Should I check in to some reeducation clinic for a proper idea-fitting? Some chemical therapy to get my thinking-tissues organized properly?

    • I find it tough to follow your essays. I can, with more effort than most comments, usually figure it out. I want to direct you to a link that might help because I thought of you when I first read it, although not all sections are relevant. My difficulties lie mostly in word choice (considerable is not usually defined as that which can be considered, but from context that’s how you used it) and the general flow of ideas, which seem like a stream of consciousness.

      I would dispute that fascism is a foundation of the right wing. If you examine the policies followed, they were closer to the the socialists and communists on most issues. However, the sources you started with consistently claim otherwise, which I think has restricted your ability to engage with the actual right, although I applaud your attempt to do so.

      • I understand what you are saying. The Right is not necessarily fascist and fascism is a confused melding of doctrines and ideas. It is fair to say that, in confrontation with Socialism and Communism, the ‘right’ worked to form an alternative, and that alternative is fascistic. It is also notable that now, in Europe, a neo-fascistic right is showing itself.

        What interests me most right now is ‘reactionary conservatism’.

        I don’t think you or anyone else has much problem at all understanding what I write. It is puzzling how some of you put more energy into a critique and to offering ‘helpful writing tips’ than to the ideas themselves.

    • Not before Trump was born. And he had already been quoted on Duke more than once. (Now, if you were confused and got him mixed up with David DUKES, the late actor known for “Upstairs, Downstairs,’ I would have been impressed.

    • I’ll admit that when I was about 16 and first heard of David Duke, I first thought he was one of “them Duke boys”, but the KKK is still a powerful symbol of racism, even though they’ve faded into irrelevance. It’s the same way with the neo-Nazis, in my opinion- are they relevant? No. But they remain a potent symbol of hate.

      Even as the KKK’s growing irrelevance speaks to how far we’ve come as a society, their continued existence reminds us how far we still have to go.

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