Trump’s Own Words

To the Editor:

On 6/28/19 in Osaka, Japan, Trump met face-to-face with Vladimir Putin and took questions from the press. A reporter asked Trump if he would warn Putin not to meddle in the 2020 elections. Trump looked at Putin and playfully said: “Don’t meddle in the election, President.” Then wagging a finger at the Russian president, Trump repeated: “Don’t meddle in the election.” Then both Trump and Putin laughed. Apparently foreign countries meddling in our elections is a big joke to Trump.

During a press conference the next day, Trump was asked about Vladimir Putin’s recent comments in which he said Western-style liberalism was “obsolete.” Based on his response, Trump apparently thought the term, “Western-style liberalism,” which broadly refers to governments comprised of officials who are democratically elected, was a reference to American liberals residing on the west coast of the US.

Trump responded: “Well, I mean he may feel that way. He’s sees what’s going on, I guess, if you look at what’s happening in Los Angeles, where it’s so sad to look, and what’s happening in San Francisco and a couple of other cities, which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people. I don’t know what they’re thinking, but he does see things that are happening in the United States that would probably preclude him from saying how wonderful it is. I’m very embarrassed by what I see in some of our cities, where the politicians are either afraid to do something about it, or they think it’s votes or I don’t know what. I don’t know what they’re thinking. But when you look at Los Angeles, when you look at San Francisco, when you look at some of the other cities — and not a lot, not a lot — but you don’t want it to spread. And at a certain point, I think the federal government maybe has to get involved. We can’t let that continue to happen to our cities.”

Trump also was asked where he stood on the issue of federally mandated busing, a topic discussed during the second Democratic debate. The phrase “federally mandated busing,” or just “busing,” refers to the practice of desegregating U.S. schools by transporting students previously relegated to segregated classrooms outside their geographical area to racially integrated schools.

Trump again had no idea what he was asked about thinking that the question was referring to the current method by which children are transported to school. Trump replied: “And as far as [busing], I will tell you in about four weeks, because we’re coming out with a certain policy that’s going to be very interesting and very surprising, I think, to a lot of people.”

Trump’s curious response led another reporter to follow up, asking if Trump saw busing as a “viable way of integrating schools,” and if that related to the policy he had just alluded to. “Well, that’s something that they’ve done for a long period of time. You know, there aren’t that many ways you’re going to get people to schools. So, this is something that’s been done,” Trump responded. He continued without ever mentioning race or racially integrating schools. “In some cases, it’s been done with a hammer instead of a velvet glove. And, you know, that’s part of it. But this has been certainly a thing that’s been used over the — I think if Vice President Biden had answered the question somewhat differently, it would have been a different result. Because they really did hit him hard on that one. But it is certainly a primary method of getting people to schools.”

If a middle-school student gave those answers on a Social Studies test, he/she would deserve an F along with a comment, “Did you even bother to read the material?” And yet millions of Americans will vote for this man in 2020…a man who clearly has not “bothered to read the material.”

Nothing contemptuous here Fred Gorham and Steve Fortin. Just quoting Trump.

Marion Mohri

Wheelock, Vermont

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