Opinion Opinions | We could be a much better country. Trump makes it impossible.

22:00  15 january  2018
22:00  15 january  2018 Source:   msn.com

Members of Haitian community react to Trump's comments

  Members of Haitian community react to Trump's comments President Donald Trump on Thursday questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from "shithole countries" after senators discussed revamping rules affecting those from Africa and Haiti, according to people briefed on the conversation. Members of the Haitian community react to Trump's comments:___'UNFIT, UNKNOWLEDGEABLE'The comments angered Illinois state Sen. Kwame Raoul, whose Haitian parents immigrated to the U.S. in the 1950s."I don't think there's any apologizing out of this," the Chicago Democrat___

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas © Yuri Gripas/Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Political leaders in democracies have a few core obligations. They are charged with solving today's problems and preparing their nations for the future. They are responsible for creating some sense of shared purpose and mutual respect among their citizens — above all a common commitment to preserving the very freedoms on which democracy depends.

John Lewis: I think Trump is a racist

  John Lewis: I think Trump is a racist Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said Sunday he thinks President Trump is racist after Trump reportedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as "shithole countries." "We have to stand up. We have to speak up and not try to sweep it under the rug," Lewis said on "This Week" when asked what can be done about it.

Within this context, citizens exercise their right to argue about how to define the public interest, how to identify the central problems and how to choose among competing values.

Given my social democratic leanings I would assert, for example, that equal opportunity — including the opportunity to participate fully in self-government — demands a far greater degree of economic security and equality than we currently enjoy. This is particularly true when it comes to access to health care, education, family time away from paid labor, and the chance to accumulate wealth.

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You might push back and say that my proposals toward these ends impinge more than they should on individual freedom and require higher levels of taxation than you are willing to put up with. Or you might insist that I am focusing too much on economics and that promoting better personal values society-wide is more conducive to the nation's well-being than any of my programs for greater equity.

Opinions | What Trump did was bad. What Democrats did is worse.

  Opinions | What Trump did was bad. What Democrats did is worse. Outing the president to score cheap political points hurts the ‘dreamers.’Washington is aghast over the news that, during a closed-door meeting with congressional leaders, President Trump asked if we could exclude immigrants from "shithole" countries such as Haiti and the nations of Africa. If true, what Trump said is terrible. But what the Democrats did is worse.

And, yes, we might quarrel about who has a right to join our political community and become part of our nation. We should not pretend that our current battles about immigration are unique to our time. In the United States, we have been wrangling over immigration since at least the 1840s. I suspect (and may God preserve our republic) we will be having at least some contention around this subject in the 2140s as well.

Such debates can be bitter, but democracy's health depends on our ability to hold our passions against each other in check and to offer each other at least some benefit of the doubt.

As the political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt emphasize in their timely new book, "How Democracies Die," democracy requires "mutual toleration," which is "the understanding that competing parties accept one another as legitimate rivals," and "forbearance," which means that politicians "exercise restraint in deploying their institutional prerogatives."

Tom Cruise may have injured himself again in stunt gone wrong

  Tom Cruise may have injured himself again in stunt gone wrong Tom Cruise is said to be on crutches.Video of the stunt was posted to TMZ on January 17. In the video, the action star can be seen jumping out of a window, but he appears to slip on something. TMZ reported that a cameraman on the scene says the actor was later seen using crutches, but nothing has been confirmed.

Which, alas, brings us yet again to President Trump, who (no matter how much we want to) cannot be avoided at this moment because he threatens the conditions under which democracy can flourish.

Our current debate is frustrating, and not only because Trump doesn't understand what "mutual toleration" and "forbearance" even mean. By persistently making himself, his personality, his needs, his prejudices and his stability the central topics of our political conversation, Trump is blocking the public conversation we ought to be having about how to move forward.

And while Trump's enablers in the Republican Party will do all they can to avoid the issue, there should now be no doubt (even if this was clear long ago) that we have a blatant racist as our president. His reference to immigrants from "sh--hole countries" and his expressed preference for Norwegians over Haitians, Salvadorans and new arrivals from Africa make this abundantly clear. Racist leaders do not help us reach mutual toleration. His semi-denial 15 hours after his comment was first reported lacked credibility, especially because he called around first to see how his original words would play with his base.

Schumer tweaks Trump ego in shutdown blame game

  Schumer tweaks Trump ego in shutdown blame game Sen. Chuck Schumer jabbed President Donald Trump on Saturday in his most sensitive spot — effectively telling the President, you just don't get the art of the deal. Thirteen hours into the government shutdown, the Democratic Senate leader made a flagrant attempt to peel Trump away from his Republican colleagues and White House aides, casting rhetorical flies to try to hook the President into a deal his party may not support.

But notice also what Trump's outburst did to our capacity to govern ourselves and make progress. Democrats and Republicans sympathetic to the plight of the "dreamers" worked out an immigration compromise designed carefully to give Trump what he had said he needed.

There were many concessions by Democrats on border security, "chain migration" based on family reunification, and the diversity visa lottery that Trump had criticized. GOP senators such as Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) bargained in good faith and were given ample reason by Trump to think they had hit his sweet spot.

Trump blew them away with a torrent of bigotry. In the process, he shifted the onus for avoiding a government shutdown squarely on his own shoulders and those of Republican leaders who were shamefully slow in condemning the president's racism.

There are so many issues both more important and more interesting than the psyche of a deeply damaged man. We are capable of being a far better nation. But we need leaders who call us to our obligations to each other as free citizens. Instead, we have a president who knows only how to foster division and hatred.

Read more from E.J. Dionne's archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

How Andrew McCabe voted was none of Trump's business .
It was a stomach-churning question, given the need for the FBI to remain independent and unpoliticized. Trump being Trump, it didn’t end there. According to The Post, the president “also vented his anger at McCabe over the several hundred thousand dollars in donations that his wife, a Democrat, received for her failed 2015 Virginia state Senate bid from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of Hillary Clinton.” No surprise that this enraged Trump, who makes no distinction between family and business. Both exist to serve his interests.

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