Never in a million years did I think the president of the United States would debase the Oval Office with such a flagrantly racist display as President Donald Trump did on Monday. It was bad enough that he invoked his deliberately demeaning and intentionally pejorative put-down of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as “Pocahontas” during a ceremony to honor World War II Navajo code talkers. That he did it all under the glare of President Andrew Jackson takes gall to a whole new ugly level. Quite a feat for a man who extolled the virtues of the “very fine people” who marched on Charlottesville in a shocking display of white supremacy.
Quick refresher: Jackson was the slave-owning seventh president of the United States whose Indian Removal Act led to the “trail of tears and death.” And Trump has praised him on several occasions. So, Trump having Native Americans pictured with Jackson is more than a humiliating slap in the face. It is rubbing that face in their ancestral horror.
Each day, Trump and his spokespeople insult our intelligence and our history. Each day, he finds a way to strip the presidency and the American people of their dignity. Each day, the president of the United States makes us smaller through petty, bullying tweets and offensive theatrics. All so an aggrieved, thin-skinned Queens-born builder can stick it to those who he believes think they are better than he is.
The proud party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan is dead.
Jonathan Capehart is a member of The Washington Post’s editorial board. Follow him on Twitter: @capehartj