After Georgia congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis said he feels Donald Trump is not a “legitimate president” and announced that he will skip the inauguration, the president-elect responded by attacking the heroic leader in one of his Twitter rants.
Trump posted a two-part message saying, “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”
The personal attack drew sharp responses from a number of sources, particularly because its timing suggests it may be intended to appeal to racist supporters who have expressed disappointment that Trump backed off from some of his more divisive campaign rhetoric.
As Rosie Stone put it: “They’re howling because Trump isn’t being racist enough? I guess that’s what happens when your candidate dog whistles for a year and a half.”
Since the election, Trump has gone back on his promise to repeal Obamacare, reneged on his promise to jail Hillary Clinton and the 30-foot high border wall that was the center point of his campaign is looking more like a fence. Trump also promised to drain the swamp in Washington D.C. but his appointments are composed of bankers, lobbyists and political goons from failed administrations past.
For example, Republicans who expressed outrage over Clinton’s connections to Wall Street are feeling gypped now that Trump has appointed predatory banker Steven Mnuchin as Secretary of Treasury, along with other former Goldman Sachs executives in high ranking jobs.
Ryan Lizza, said “The president elect has started the Martin Luther King holiday weekend by attacking John Lewis, one of the great heros of civil rights era.” Lizza is the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker and a contributor for CNN.
“Anyone who calls John Lewis, of all people, ‘talk – no action,’ knows nothing of American history. His action helped set his country free,” said Michael Gerson, a Washington Post columnist.
The comments to which Trump responded were made during an interview with NBC News’ Meet the Press. Lewis said he does not believe Trump is a “legitimate president,” citing Russian interference in last year’s election.
Asked whether he would try to forge a relationship with the president-elect, Lewis said that he believes in forgiveness, but added, “it’s going to be very difficult. I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”
“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis said.
David Cole, a Holocaust revisionist and columnist for Taki magazine imagines the neo-Nazi movement that was refueled by Trump will fall into “rabbit warrens” of online trolling and intimidation rather than being involved in actual policy-shaping.
“In January Trump will start governing and will have to make compromises,” said Cole. “Even small ones will trigger squabbles between the ‘alt-right’. ‘Trump betrayed us.’ ‘No, you’re betraying us for saying Trump betrayed us.’ And so on. The alt-right’s appearance of influence will diminish more and more as they start to fight amongst themselves.”
Another member of the white power movement, Peter Brimelow, founder of an online site that pedals conspiracies about a Mexican takeover of the U.S., said that if Trump doesn’t deliver “certain bones” to the alt-right there would be hell to pay: “I think the right of the right is absolutely prepared to revolt. It’s what they do.”
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