Trump’s Caustic and Incendiary Rhetoric Divides Americans

ABOVE: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas

Jackson Lee: “Trump’s reckless rampage in Phoenix was beneath the dignity of his office and deepens divisions along racial and cultural lines. While the nation mourns the missing sailors of the United States Navy and the loss of Heather Heyer and those who were injured in Charlottesville, the President presents a cruel message to America.”

At his Phoenix rally this week, the President had an opportunity to lead and serve as the high-minded and principled guidepost this nation desperately needs from its Commander in Chief. Instead, once again, Trump chose to pursue the caustic path of demagoguery, inflaming divisions as he attempted to rewrite the history of his deplorable Charlottesville response.

The nation needed a call for unity. Instead, the President’s words were dangerous, untimely, ill-considered and ill-tempered. We need a different President.

During his onstage rampage, the President failed to mention that he initially laid blame on “both sides” for the deadly violence that claimed the life of Heather Heyer who stood up for the values of our nation; that of equality, freedom of speech, and against racist and vulgar words and actions. Trump also continued his familiar pattern of lashing out at the media and mocked our friend and an American patriot Senator John McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam and an unselfish American Hero who is courageously battling a devastating life-threatening disease. Senator McCain deserves our honor and respect. We need a different President.

Again, I call for unity and for a prayerful message that we can come together. The tirade last night has caused many of us to support the 25th amendment for the President’s removal, and/or censure; then, if proven that he engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors – then impeachment.

My stance is a sad response to what I have heard from constituents who have shared with me their fear and confusion, and it is as well based on the President’s reckless words that were beneath the dignity of his office. We need a different President.

Rather than bringing Americans together, he sought to deepen divisions along racial and cultural lines. Trump’s inflammatory words are dog-whistle politics designed to reawaken and exploit a dark chapter in America’s history.

Never before in history has a President of the United States, the nation that led the alliance that defeated Nazism and fascism in the greatest conflict in world history, ever publicly defended or tried to normalize neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, or White Supremacists.

This speech was not the performance of a leader worthy of America’s trust, but of a reckless agitator incapable of responsibly guiding a nation seeking its moral compass, and crying out for a Chief Comforter who loves his nation. It is time now for a different President.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and is a Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.