President Trump’s recent description of Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations as “s--thole countries” has been met with fire and fury. Not just by those who condemn the remarks as insensitive and profane, but by Trump’s many defenders who believe he’s just telling it like it is.
This Star-Telegram Editorial Board denounced the President’s comments as “horribly offensive, insensitive and racially charged.” We said they could potentially strain international relationships - which seems to be happening.
We also acknowledged, however, that Trump remains popular among many Texans, despite his crude outbursts and insults. So we asked those who voted for him to help us understand how they feel about him now. Do you forgive his latest rhetoric?
We posted an online question and poll where 350 of you weighed in:
▪ 42 percent said Trump's policies outweigh his inflammatory comments
▪ 37 percent said under no circumstances should we allow this behavior
▪ 21 percent said he’s attempting another distraction and it's working
Almost 500 of you also added Facebook comments. You can take a look at all of them online.
Among those defending Trump was James L. Burgess, who said: “Sometimes the truth hurts. I didn't vote for a PC President. I have done that for 40 years.”
Robert Fry believes bad language can be overlooked if Trump’s policy decisions are sound: “He should not have said it, but I give him an A so far as POTUS.... I would vote for him again and the Country is much better off because his policies are right for America.”
Those who objected to the President’s remarks often felt like Liesl Gray Manone, who said: “It wasn't so much about his choice of word, which was rude, but more about the whole statement. A lot of places are horrible places to live. That he doesn't care is the issue.”
Chuck McCoy added: “Negative reaction to his comments are not because they were vulgar. They’re because he was disrespectful and foolish. We laughed at Archie Bunker because he was a fool. But, he was not the President of the United States.”
Erich Merkle seemed to be speaking for those who believe Trump’s comments were an intended distraction. He wrote: “Aren’t we supposed to be working on immigration reform?”
This poll and conversation with North Texans isn’t just about the behavior and performance of Donald J. Trump. It’s about understanding the division in our communities and nation, and finding ways to come together even though we disagree.
A bipartisan group in Washington is trying to do that as it attempts to shape an immigration policy that will allow the so-called Dreamers - immigrants brought here as children - to stay. We hope the President will help find the solution.
What can we do in our own neighborhoods and cities to ratchet-down the anger and constructively disagree and compromise?
In her comment on our Facebook page Sharon Perkins put it this way: “America, let's not fight amongst ourselves. United we stand. Divided we (let's not go there)!”