The “Mexican” is Gonzalo Curiel. He’s a federal judge who was actually born in Indiana, raised and educated as a Hoosier, and is presently presiding over a U.S. district court in San Diego. The German is Donald Drumpf, soon to be the Republican nominee for America’s highest office. Drumpf has had fraud cases against him by former students of his Trump U (U as in “university”). These students who paid tens of thousands of dollars say they were conned out of their hard-earned money by Trump U. The judge presiding over this case is Gonzalo Curiel, and Trump the candidate recently became unhinged over the idea that “a foreigner” would be allowed to pass judgment on an upstanding American citizen like himself.
But, wait – Curiel is a full-blooded American citizen. No he’s not, cried The Donald, he’s “a Mexican,” pointing to the jurist’s family heritage. But, wait again – Donnie himself is not pure-blood Americano (only Native Americans can claim that). In fact, The Donald’s forbearers have been in our country for only about 120 years. His grandfather, Friedrich Drumpf, immigrated to the U.S. from Kallstadt, Germany, about 120 years ago and Anglicized his name from Drumpf to Trump.
Still, the GOP’s nativist and racist 2016 flag bearer insists that even though we Americans are proud to be a nation of immigrants, an American with Mexican genes should be disqualified from overseeing the fraud trials, for he’d inherently be biased against the candidate who has promised to “build a wall” between the U.S. and Mexico. So, does his screwy, self-serving claim that one’s background trumps one’s commitment to fairness also mean that a Muslim-American judge should also be disqualified from any trial of his wrongdoings, since the GOP presidential wannabe says he intends to ban all Muslim immigrants from entering the U.S.? “Absolutely,” he said flatly.
Donald is not just plainspoken, nor is he merely trying to get media coverage. He is deranged, a manic threat to anyone he dislikes, which is everyone not named Trump ... or Drumpf. It’s a good thing that the Republican Powers That Be are standing up for the American people and doing all they can to keep this psycho from running our country, right?
The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it’s conformity. And, boy, America’s Republican leadership is conforming like a pack of lemmings, dutifully marching in lockstep behind their maniacal new leader. Even the nastiest of Trump’s unhinged outbursts don’t jar them enough to say: “Wait a minute, why are we following this wacko?” His incendiary rants insult, demean and mock women, Mexican immigrants, Muslims, refugees, disabled people, African-Americans, Latinos and many more – but his destructive bigotry hasn’t repelled the GOP hierarchy.
The final straw should have been this recent, blatantly-racist insistence that Judge Gonzalo Curiel should not be allowed to preside over the current fraud cases that Donnie has against him. However, shamefully, top Republicans have tried to protect their own political butts by distancing themselves from the bigoted remarks but continuing to hug the bigot. House Speaker Paul Ryan was typical of the GOP’s pusillanimous posturing, saying: “I regret those comments he made.” Regret? How about “I’m repulsed, appalled, nauseated”? Ryan lamely added that Trump’s scurrilous assault on the judge was “sort of like ... a racist comment.” Then he rushed to say that, of course, he still backed the bigot to be America’s president.
Likewise, the GOP’s Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell, mumbled that “I couldn’t disagree more with what he had to say,” before declaring that, nonetheless, “we’re all behind him now.”
With morally rotten, gutless politicos like these, no wonder our Home of the Brave is sliding into mediocrity.
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist and author.