TRUMP GOES FROM ZERO TO NERO; EMBATTLED PRESIDENT FIRES UP HIS BASE BY ACTING LIKE A ROMAN EMPEROR, GIVING MERCY THE THUMBS DOWN IN FAVOUR OF THE DEATH PENALTY.
F THE last few years have proven anything beyond doubt, it is that Donald Trump is a vile racist.
IWhether it's calling white supremacists "very fine people", labelling African countries "s***holes" or, more recently, telling people of colour to "go back" home, he regularly uses dehumanising language towards non-whites.
This week the target of his prejudices was respected black Congressman Elijah Cummings.
Trump launched a vicious attack on the veteran politician calling Baltimore, which Cummings represents, "a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess", adding "no human being would want to live there".
The assault came as revenge after Cummings instigated a series of investigations into the Trump administration's policies, including its handling of migrants at detention centres.
It was the latest in a long line of attacks which some argue are a cynical policy devised to appeal to Trump's base.
But do not be fooled, this is not just some cynincal electoral tactic. Long before he reached the White House, Trump was no stranger to bigotry. Only now his team are making political capital from it.
On the campaign trail he stirred up racism in the name of votes, now for 2020, he will turn to one of the most divisive issues in America today.
Congressman Elijah For, following a 16-year moratorium, Trump is set to resume the central government's use of capital punishment, scheduling five lethal injections starting in December.
"Hurrah," one bloodthirsty Brit emailed me on learning the news.
She will not be alone.
It is a view that, as a much younger man I once understood. But after living here, it is something I and a growing number of Americans vehemently oppose.
The move to reinstate the death penalty bucks the trend across the rest of the country, as States have increasingly moved away from capital punishment in favour of life sentences.
Support for the abolition of the death penalty among Americans is rising.
Cimmings Figures out last week reveal that the 23 executions in 2017 were half the number that took place in 2010.
Since 1973, 166 people on death rows have been exonerated and freed - that is 166 men and women who, not only did not commit the crime, but were put at risk of being wrongly executed.
One wrongful death is one too many. Capital punishment in America disproportionately falls on the poor, on minorities and the mentally ill, all of whom are tried via a process too easily manipulated by prosecutors and investigators while supported by unreliable witnesses.
Anyone watching the steady rise of Trump, with all the thumbs-upthumbs-down swagger of an amoral, power-hungry Roman emperor, will have known this day was coming, but his brand of racism rests on a vision of America that is increasingly out of date.
His views now have not changed since 1989, when he famously called for the death penalty in the case of the Central Park Five - a group of black and Latino teenagers convicted of raping a white jogger in Central Park.
They were, in fact, innocent and their convictions were vacated in 2002. Trump, nevertheless, has refused to apologise or admit his mistake.
He was wrong on this issue then, just as he is now.
Anyone watching the steady rise of Trump, with all of the thumbs-up-thumbs-down swagger of an amoral, power-hungry Roman emperor, will have known this day was coming
Congressman Elijah Cimmings
Capital gains: Trump hopes the charged issue of the death penalty will help him to victory in 2020
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|Publication:||Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)|
|Date:||Aug 1, 2019|
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