Trump renews attacks on Democratic congresswomen

Donald Trump has again attacked the four Democratic congresswomen he had already insulted in several tweets. His supporters responded with a chorus of "send her back" directed at the one of the four congresswomen who wasn't born in the US. The House of Representatives has formally condemned the attacks, but only four Republicans joined in. They have no reason to, commentators point out.

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HuffPost Italia (IT) /

The election of the white man

Trump's attack on the four Democratic congresswomen portends a racist election campaign, historian Massimo Teodori suspects in Huffington Post Italia:

“In 2016 for the first time a candidate was elected who was perceived as 'the white president' by all the demographic groups for whom skin colour ranked more importantly than any other socio-economic indicator. For this reason Trump will resort to this chauvinistic, racist and ethnocentric trope to secure an election result among 'whites' that far surpasses that of 2016. The attack on the four congresswomen, which was aimed solely at their non-American origins, is a taste of things to come in the next months.”

Delo (SI) /

His supporters will believe him even more

Trump only stands to benefit from this controversy, writes Delo:

“He believes that most voters don't approve of an extreme shift to the left of the kind he sees the four congresswomen representing. He also believes that they will spread communism, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism among the entire Democratic Party. And that voters will therefore be even more inclined to believe his claims that Americans are faring better under his mandate than ever before. With this talk Trump is strengthening his position ahead of next year's presidential election - and perhaps also ahead of new battles on the political and personal level.”

De Morgen (BE) /

This must not become the norm

The "send her back" calls of Trump's supporters are wind in his sails, De Morgen notes:

“Trump and his Republican Party, which has barely or only half-heartedly condemned this, are playing a dangerous game. By inciting the masses against minorities he could provide new ammunition for hate crimes, which have already spiked under his presidency. ... The Americans are getting used to this and so are we. But we must never come to see it as normal. This must not become the norm in a democracy that chose 'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness' as the leitmotif of its Declaration of Independence.”

Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Democrats need a new narrative

The Democrats won't help their cause by simply expressing outrage at US President Trump's racist remarks, Kristeligt Dagblad fears:

“Even if the Democrats can summon spontaneous sympathy with their usual indignation over Trump, they face a deeper-rooted problem of which Trump is all-too aware. The Democrats don't know how to talk positively about the US. ... They can lay into Trump, his wall, his actions and his character as much as they like. But they are dreadful when it comes to saying what they plan to do with the US. What do they offer the US worker? What role should the US play in the world? It's no coincidence that Trump's attack against the Democratic congresswomen aims directly at their negative talk about the US.”

Upsala Nya Tidning (SE) /

Sexist intimidation

A new study by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the BBC shows that criticism on social networks is mostly sexist. Upsala Nya Tidning calls on society to react:

“On Twitter Trump tells a group of Democratic congresswomen to 'go back home' after they criticise the government. The president is reacting to a political issue - criticism of the government - with a personal attack that is both sexist and racist. In so doing he is depriving the politicians of the chance to respond objectively to criticism. ... Society must call out those who spread hatred in this and support those who are targeted by it. Only when that happens can female and male politicians work in a secure environment and according to the same rules.”

Die Presse (AT) /

The hate-monger in the White House

US President Trump has shown that he has an autocratic understanding of democracy, Die Presse comments:

“You don't have to agree with 'the squad', as the decidedly leftist group around Ocasio-Cortez calls itself, or with the naively visionary 'green deal' and certainly not with the criticism of Israel and the Israel lobby. It is also trying the patience of the Democrats gathered around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It has become second nature to Pelosi that democracy is all about dialogue and being able to express criticism and allow different opinions without resorting to clumsy counter-attacks. In contrast to the impulsive and instinct-driven politician Trump, whose understanding of democracy is that of an autocrat. He prefers to gag critics or denounce them as traitors.”

Der Standard (AT) /

The more escalation, the better

Trump's strategy shows complete disregard for the consequences, Der Standard explains:

“The president doesn't care whether most of the women Democrats he recently maligned as foreign were born in the US. And whether or not the mass deportations he announced so grandiosely actually happen - so what? Trump is not interested in finding a solution to the problems illegal immigration entails - on the contrary. The more escalation, the more fear, the better. Americans will be amazed by all the things that will be tolerated in the election campaign 2020. And we'll be amazed along with them.”

Irish Examiner (IE) /

This is true racism

To describe Trump's tirades as part of a calculated strategy is to downplay their implications, warns the Irish Examiner:

“If there was ever any doubt that the president is a racist and a bigot and is willing to pander to racists and bigots to continue holding office, the tweets he aimed at 'The Squad' on Sunday should put all of that to rest. ... Trump's tweets on Sunday, are reminders that the president has chosen to divide and exploit rather than lead. A useful lesson to draw from that is that Trump and his most dedicated supporters have ripped the band-aid off whatever reassuring notions the US might have had about the progress of civil rights and the withering of racism in the country.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Fighting his own flaws

La Vanguardia points out that the President of the US himself is the son of immigrants:

“The paradox is that Trump's own mother fled Scotland with 50 dollars in her pocket to seek a new life in New York. And his grandfather on his father's side was a German who left his home country at the age of sixteen to take advantage of the gold rush and ended up building up a chain of brothels in Alaska. Not to mention his wife Melania, who is Slovenian. Trump's world is a universe full of migrants. Perhaps he persecutes them so ruthlessly because they remind him of his own roots which detract from his self-image of being a winner. Like a stain on his biography.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

A defeat for Western democratic culture

La Repubblica says that Trump's statements indicate a turning point:

“It's astonishing to have to acknowledge that the democratically elected president of the United States of America can adopt fascist categories of thinking. And worse still that he was elected because he says fascist and racist things. ... The election of this man to the White House is a point of no return. It signifies the defeat of Western democratic culture. The defeat of a lexicon, a way of thinking, of certain ways of behaving, holding discussions and even hating one another. It is undeniable that the democratic culture with its economic policy, its decisions and its hypocrisy is partly to blame for this. But in no way does that alter the substance of the problem.”