While thousands of Americans are still missing in the wake of Hurricane Michael and floods were spreading across four states, Donald Trump rushed to … Ohio to hold another rally. Improbably, in a northern state that lost tens of thousands fighting in the Civil War, Donald Trump devoted part of his speech to praising Robert E. Lee. And immediately after his praise for the slave-owning Confederate general, Trump called on black Americans to “honor” Republicans with their vote in November.
As the Washington Post reports, Trump gave a prolonged — and highly inaccurate — version of Abraham Lincoln’s statements about Lee, and about Union general and future president Ulysses Grant. Grant, an actual Ohio native, was described by Trump as “an alcoholic” while Lee was praised as “a great general.”
Then, incredibly, while describing Neil Armstrong, Trump went where no racist had gone before.
Trump: He’s the man that planted the flag on the face of the moon. . . . There was no kneeling, there was no nothing, there was no games, boom.
But Trump’s extraterrestrial racism in using the Apollo program to make a dig at athletes protesting police violence against blacks didn’t stop him from them returning to insisting that “I think we’re going to get the African American vote, and it’s true.” Because there’s nothing like talking up the traitor who headed the largest army defending slavery and using one of America’s proudest moments to disparage African American leadership to bring in black votes.
As with most speeches, much of Trump’s rhetoric was dark and threatening, with claims that electing Democrats would lead to “massive crime,” gang violence and invading hordes of undocumented immigrants. In discussing the local congressional race, Trump accused Democratic candidate Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, by saying “He was hurting people and I think he enjoyed it. No really, I think he enjoyed it.”
It’s not clear that Trump mentioned anything about Hurricane Michael, the Americans who lost their lives to the storm, the damage spreading across the Southeast, or the ongoing efforts to locate those still missing.
Trump also made time in his speech to praise the White House visit from Kanye West … which makes this old tweet seem particularly worth revisiting. That tweet came more than a week after Sandy hit the Northeast. According to his schedule, Trump will have managed half a dozen rallies over that period.