Dan Rather, “President Trump is back sowing the seeds of division”

Full statement from Dan Rather:

On cue, in the wake of the stunning defeat of his health care initiative, President Trump is back sowing the seeds of division to appeal to his rabid base.

In a speech in front of law enforcement, he condoned police brutality. This is outrageous of course. But expect much more like it. The more isolated Mr. Trump gets, the more he is going to try to hold on to his political power by stirring up the seeds of intolerance. He will blame the “other” – no matter if that is transgender soldiers or past presidents at a Boy Scout rally. Both of those recent events backfired against Mr. Trump. The vast majority of the American public is not as hateful or spiteful as the president. The fissures in the GOP are cracking. They bought into Mr. Trump with the hopes of legislative victories. Now they see a self-described dealmaker dealing only in mounting losses and toxic rhetoric that riles up a few but turns off many more.

Playing up law and order as a culture war is a longtime tactic. But I don’t think it will play this time. Most people understand that we need police. Most police are good, decent, brave public servants. And the best police officers will tell you that the kind of policing that Mr. Trump is advocating is not only unconstitutional it is downright counterproductive. Most people are also horrified by police brutality. We need a lot of work on this issue. There is a lot of understandable tension between the police in many places and the people they are supposed to serve. There are longstanding racial histories at play. But I think we can overcome this. If we work together.

The role of a president should be about building unity. Those who are most powerful and most successful are the ones who do this. Only six months into office, Mr. Trump’s trajectory seems to be rapidly heading in the opposite direction.

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