Donald Trump Is Not America

His designs on Independence Day show his confusion about that.

Comments: 211

  1. The Fourth should be about a country being born.Not about one’s self. Everything that comes of Trumps mouth is wrong. Tariffs, climate change, Iran nuclear deal, taxes, to name a few all wrong. 2020 can’t come soon enough. Hopefully we can last that long.

  2. Trump will use his stage time at the Lincoln Memorial on the 4th as the country celebrates Independence for "an aria of self-congratulation — the only song he knows." My family will watch firework displays from other cities and avoid whatever channel Washington D.C. fireworks are covered. I feel a need to protest. I am disgusted, repulsed and concerned with Trump and his words (tweets) and actions. I don't want this media numbers counter Trump talking about having the largest audience for any speech.

  3. The Dotard's presence at these celebrations is just another opportunity to show up and protest

  4. I was thinking that if Trump goes through with his plans to politicize the 4th of July that we simply “boycott” the day: No BBQs, no picnics, no ball games, etc. on the 4th. Perhaps some people will take note that many people are celebrating July 6th...

  5. @Phobos "we simply “boycott” the day:" No, celebrate in Philadelphia, with an emphasis on freeing ourselves from a dictatorial King

  6. Trump will look out over a diminished Fourth of July crowd and claim it was the largest ever. But, tens of thousands of Americans--the real Americans who love this country and its Constitution--will take their celebrations elsewhere. And everyone except Fox News and Trump himself will notice.

  7. If this would happen - the appropriate response might well be a nationwide strike. No businesses to open, no attendance at parades or celebrations. No press coverage of the speech. A National Day of Mourning for our lost democracy

  8. @Meza my thoughts are similar - that this is the perfect day for the womens march 2.0 (i know i need a better name as we have already had 3, but that first one felt so reassuring- at elast briefly). T only goes to rallies where his supporters can cheer him. how about a rally where he doesnt disinvite the majority who disagree with him? i suspect he would just disinvite himself if the majority could pull this off - but i'm ok with that. what could be more defining of independence from tyrants and monarchy than a full fledged protest of T??

  9. @frederick norton I'm with you...time to march.

  10. @frederick norton I love this idea. Maybe we could gather enough people to do it. Of course he would 1) deny it happened and 2) say the crowd was bigger than his Inauguration crowd.

  11. 45 is a symptom. His FANS are the disease. Unfortunately for our country, they DO represent America far more closely than readers of Frank's column do. We are watching the end of the American experiment in real time. Sigh...America. It was nice while it lasted.

  12. @EK well said and I am very sorry to say, I fear incredibly accurate. Unfortunately, the end of the American experiment could very well lead to the end of humanity on this planet, given that the people currently leading this train wreck of a country are going in the opposite direction regarding climate change. I feel like we are at the point in the movie where you can hear the clock ticking, unfortunately this is real life and there is no hero desperately at work trying to save the day.

  13. The flaws of the constitution are becoming more and more apparent every day. I don’t think these United States can continue for another hundred years, I would be interesting to be around to see what form of government is in place by then. This country was just another form of government that’s been tried and failed along with many other forms over the millennia. Somehow we thought it was really special, turns out it’s really not, it’s only human.

  14. @Dan Casey christian theological autocracy...

  15. My dear Frank, He IS America. The part that isn’t discussed much in polite society. The part that is understated in scholarly papers, and well considered, thoughtful Journalism. The part that connects us all to our animal natures, and tribalism. Beneath all the bluster and megalomaniac blunders, HE is a great Salesman. He sells Fear and Hate. Born and exquisitely trained for the Job, with a lifetime of experience, and no consequences for his actions and failures. The perfect “ face “ for the GOP, after decades of FOX, Radio and talking heads. His Collaborators knew exactly what WE were getting, and yet they continue to ride the crazy train. They deserve extinction, as a political party. HE deserves Prison. Period.

  16. @Phyliss Dalmatian Legitimate critics of Trump like you need to be more careful on how wide a brush they use to paint this country. A minority of voters put him in power thanks to our outmoded electoral college system. The majority rejected him, and polls consistently show the majority still does.

  17. @Alan Mass Point taken. But, I’m tired of being careful, and compassionate. His insane clown posse is destroying OUR Country, day by day. They deserve scorn, not “ understanding “. I’m done.

  18. @Phyliss Dalmatian Beyond your first sentence you did not say that he is America. What you said is that he is the GOP.

  19. Most of the people at a DC Independence day celebration will be DC residents. I wouldn't be surprised if Trump was thoroughly booed by the crowd. It could be quite entertaining, and a marvelous display of participatory democracy.

  20. @Tom Meadowcroft Have you seen his rallies? Do you really think they will allow a large number of anti-Trump Americans to be present?

  21. In fact, it would be a lot of fun to attend for the sole purpose of booing him.

  22. @Mike Have you seen his rallies? -- Do you honestly think THEY represent ALL of America??? Think again.

  23. Trump is not America and neither is the GOP. But most people who remained Republicans in the Trump era do not seem to care that their party's positions are not supported by most Americans. They maybe a minority but they think of themselves as the true Americans, the rest are interlopers who just came off the boats (or rather airplanes these days). The GOP has become the anti-diversity party, and the more they are in the minority the more tenaciously they hang to power by means foul and fair.

  24. @serban Many are disgusted. Give them a viable alternative and Trump is toast.

  25. Of course Trump will be the Grand Marshall of this Parade. Hopefully no one shows up to watch it.

  26. Mr. Bruni says we've had plenty of presidents who were vain, but I think we'll agree we've never had one who's UTTERLY RIDICULOUS (Trump-style all caps).

  27. I'm glad my Battle Of The Bulge, World War II hero Dad did not live to see this presidency. It would have mitigated everything he believed in and fought for.

  28. Yes. I hear DJT praise himself but I am not sure he knows what America is, and thus, he wouldn’t know how to celebrate it.

  29. My Lithuanian Jewish grandmother, arriving in the US about 1908, who never learned to speak English well and was essentially illiterate; and who had many grandchildren and great grandchildren with advanced degrees, represented more positive American values than Donald Trump on his best day.

  30. This is the latest bit of exaggerated faux patriotism from one of the most amoral presidents this nation has endured. His incivility knows no bounds; his insertion with this latest example of his blundering into the national scene by turning the Revolution of Concord and Lexington into a play featuring the Emperor must be squelched. Keep up the reports, notwithstanding your reasons for not doing so, this latest example of Trump's calumny deserves notice.

  31. Trump is looking to make the 4th another campaign rally, with fireworks and pomp supplied by our tax dollars. This should not stand. Trump's attempt at branding the 4th for his political benefit should be roundly ridiculed, called out by Congress. This holiday is sacred, and should not be a Trumpian circus.

  32. As far as Independence Day is concerned Donald Trump may not be America but he certainly is a hot dog.

  33. Trump is America. America is not as great as we like to think. We have more money and bigger bombs but that is about it. That was laid bare in the racist backlash (and backlash against non white-male domination) against President Obama. All you need to do is take a look at his approval rating among republicans. Consider who has been appointed to judgeships. Consider who has been appointed to important positions within our government. Consider who makes the important decision that will impact the country. White men are back and everyone should get back in the corner. They will be called when its time to clean the table.

  34. I agree with you. This is what we have when a dictator is in charge. We certainly have one now! What little power congress has is not being used to save the country. The spineless republicans love what is happening to a once great country. This all proves again and again this administration and all in it are incapable of running a country. How many children are still locked up in dog cages?

  35. As a proud Washingtonian I not only agree but express my deep anger and sorrow at Mussolini’s latest stunt. By Washington, I don’t mean the “corridors of power” plywood set of tv and movies: I mean the DC of Dupont Circle and Shaw, of the Warner and Howard theaters, of Ben’s Chili Bowl and The Tune Inn. That is my town, our town, blacks and whites, Asians and Hispanics. Independence Day here has always been a refresher course in our long attempt here, with many starts and stops but also many triumphs, of building mutual respect, community and love. Every year my wife and I host a 4th of July bbq, with Howard law students, UDC students, high school kids and retirees, of every race and origin. We have always been so proud to see those fireworks painting the summer sky over our town, our home, our little America. Now, once again, Trump has despoiled the sacred.

  36. Just call him Benedict Donald on July 4 and every other day. At any other time in modern America, he would be impeached and convicted for high crimes and misdemeanors. It’s time for Congress and the American people to tell this guy, “Enough!” If tens of millions of us would send that message to Congress on a postcard, he would be gone.

  37. Thank you Frank Bruni, but you do not go far enough. By taking what for decades has been a nonpartisan and unifying celebration and placing himself at its center, Trump is committing outright THIEVERY. It is yet another grotesque example of his narcissism, lack of emotional intelligence, and blatant partisanship. And yet Republican leaders who false accused President Obama of being a self-centered leader will once again remain silent. Simply disgusting.

  38. Trump's bizarre-spangled Fourth would lose its luster if only the cable TV networks will set aside their greed for one magical night and patriotically refuse to broadcast this grotesque event. Will they, though? His Nuremberg-style rallies are always reliably lucrative for the the networks and their corporate sponsors. Think of the audience share and the ratings, the blow-by-blow coverage starting at the crack of dawn's early light, the talking heads acting out all the shock, awe and outrage they can muster. Who in their right consumer mind has ever stayed home on the Fourth to watch military brass bands playing on PBS, or a rerun of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" with James Cagney as George M. Cohan? Trump could literally change the whole tradition and meaning of this day for at least some people. Not that he'd use the occasion for the public good, of course, such as lecturing young people not to blow their fingers or their MAGA-hat wearing heads off with illegal fireworks. In fact, he might do the exact opposite, and load up his cheesy online store with Trump-branded sparklers or rocket grenade launchers for the kiddies. It would certainly help get people all hyped up for all the new global wars he seems so anxious to start with his pals Bolton and Pompeo. Boycott Trump this Fourth of July. As George M. Cohan might say as he rolls in his grave: "My mother will thank you, my father will thank you, my sister will thank you, and I will thank you!"

  39. It has been observed many times that trump is merely the manifestation of much that is truly ugly in America - he bubbled up out of the miasma and now is the proud pustule atop the festering carbuncle. I hope I didn't ruin anyone's dinner with that one.

  40. The 4th of July, is little more than the richest nation in history creating a spectacle over itself; sounds like the Trump in Chief fits perfectly with that sort of pomp and indulgence. Come on. Shooting off fireworks is just an juvenile way to "CELEBRATE". Take the money wasted, the air contaminated and the animals frightened and please "shove it up the gaping hole of culture", and come up with a better way to celebrate our once-upon-a-time independence. I served honorably in USMC in the 1970's, love the "idea" of America; but despise the narcissistic impulses that we exhibit and gaze upon so lovingly. To me, Donald Trump epitomizes that and is a just a manifestation of the same.

  41. As a practical matter, can't he be prevented from taking over the festivities? I assume the White House is not the sponsor, organizer or financier of the event, is it? I don't know who is - maybe Congress? Or, the District of Columbia? Whoever, please tell him to "buzz" off - or a word to that effect.

  42. Frank you say that "Trumpian logic, more narcissistic than syllogistic, holds that if it’s the president’s job to lift up the country, then it’s the country’s job to lift up the president" I agree with Trumpian logic, so on Independence day I think it is only appropriate that we lift Trump way up by attaching him to a large firecracker and lighting the fuse.

  43. @Jay Orchard Maybe some brave adviser could say, "Mr. Trump, Obama never had the guts to go into space and be the first president to walk on the sun. Think of the parade we'd have when you get back!" If he didn't think it was a good idea, you could just tell him he could go at night.

  44. Well, I guess I'm one of those who's "guilty of treason" or "orchestrating a coup" because I object to virtually everything Trump is, says and does. Fine. I wear those labels proudly. The reason Trump wants a gaudy Fourth of July celebration is the same as the reason he Tweeted about the "Kentuky" Derby... he needs to insert himself into the center of everything, even (or perhaps especially) things having nothing inherently to do with him. Take away his microphone and his audience and Trump, as we know him, ceases to exist. So back to Independence Day. I like MEZA's comment suggesting that if Trump has his way, we make it a National Day of Mourning. But if that doesn't catch on, maybe I'll do what I did last year -- go to Canada, where I can ignore him.

  45. Mr. Bruni, tell 35% of American citizens that this president does not represent them. Even as he literally takes the bread out of their mouths, midwestern farmers blame their plight on China. He's given voice to their prejudices and they love him for it. Case closed.

  46. @silver vibes: Trump supporters don't read the NY Times. stump has made it sound like a failing media. Besides, I think anything printed in the NY Times might be a little too "deep" for that bunch!

  47. Every day we see more and more examples of madness, this is just one of them; the scale up of rancor with Iran is incredibly scary. I simply do not understand why people are not protesting in the streets - are we really that fat and happy gorging on economic growth that we do not see the damage being done by powerful corporations with political clout, corruption at the highest level of government, the rich getting richer, shameful treatment of innocent and poor people, health care costs run amok, the list goes on and on? I fear that due to the Democrats not embracing a winnable candidate and just adding confusion to the discussion every day that we hand another four years to ths madman. What will become of us then? Without the Senate and with 45 still in office - we are toast.

  48. Remember how we used to look at other countries that fell into the hands of authoritarian regimes led by toxic, incompetent despots and thought, "What's wrong with those people? How did they let that happen?" We are in real danger of becoming "those people."

  49. @Randy That possibility will be addressed in 2020. Let us hope that most people will have 20/20 vision when they vote.

  50. @Mensabutt The war will be in full gear by then. I doubt that if were Trump to lose (which is unlikely) that he would step down from office.

  51. @Dad All this worry about whether a defeated Trump would step down from office is click-bait. He would be removed by law enforcement. He can leave in dignity in a limo, or be left standing in the street with the tourists.

  52. The scenario of 'Individual-1/No Collusion' 45* using the occasion of July 4th and assembled holiday crowds to hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, giving a speech and bragging yuge crowds have come to see Himself, is beyond stomach-churning. Even worse, are the multiple July 4th 'fireworks briefings' Clear & Present Danger 45* has reportedly been taking each day, when it is well-known he very often has no time at all for the Presidential Daily Briefing that has been prepared by our intel agencies.

  53. @R. Law - Plainly, this president is trying to break the Constitution, the same way he has broken GOP'ers. He must be stopped. While Ms. Pelosi is correct that public opinion must be dragged along so there is buy-in from voters who are not the GOP'er base, it is likely the impeachment process will have to be invoked to strengthen Congress's power in its court confrontations with a branch of government that is amok. Whether impeachment articles actually result is a separate decision from starting the process; so be it - Democrats swore an Oath, AND 40 of them were elected in November to replace GOP'ers to provide a check on Complicit GOP'er Senators. This presidency has been unconstitutional from its inauguration, due to violations of the Emoluments Clause; Clear & Present Danger 45* wants to pretend he's "special" in some way - that he is above the explicit terms of the Constitution, and inside a bubble of protection as POTUS. Whilst Dems are investigating and public testimony is given in Congress in the near term, Dems should be sure they have strong candidates running against supposedly 'safe' GOP Senators in red states - as the rot and stench of 'Indvidual-1/No Collusion' 45* becomes all pervasive, red state GOP'ers will be amazingly vulnerable. Dem Senate candidates should hammer the message that the Constitution gives Congress authority over trade and tariffs, not a president.

  54. Perhaps PBS can just end programming when the president starts to speak. What I do know is that if the president does insert himself, then the program will miserable. Remember all the entertainers who refused to participate in the inauguration?

  55. When I heard about Trump's idea to insert himself into Independence Day, a fascist warning signal about him went off in my brain (again). I was reminded of the 1990's Vanity Fair interview where Trump's then wife Ivana said he kept a book of Hitler's speeches, "My New Order," in the bedside nightstand to read from time to time. The book was given to him by a friend who thought he'd appreciate how skillfully propaganda could be used, or something like that. Trump claimed the friend was Jewish, as if that made a book of Hitler speeches not as bad. (The friend in fact was not Jewish.) The leader equals the state? That is exactly what Mussolini also said in speeches. Beyond frightening.

  56. @Christina The author of "Mein Kampf" did not end well, nor did his followers. I am not frightened of Trump, I am disgusted. Our nation will right itself. We are waiting for 2020, in our time-honored tradition of orderly elections. 2018 elections went pretty well. If 2020 is hijacked by foreign operatives, social media, and election fixing, we'll have to rethink what to do about it, but not yet. Pennsylvania's gerrymandering got fixed, and Michigan will follow soon. Things are changing for the better, slowly but significantly. Even if Trump never faces charges relating to his presidency, he may well be jailed by the state of NY for business crimes, and the only ones having to listen to him then will be his cell mates, which might be a fate worse than death, come to think of it.

  57. I have watched this Fourth of July celebration since it began in Washington. I will not watch this year if Trump’s plan goes through. The Fourth of Trump?? Not interested!

  58. The Chinese Communist Party conflates its dictatorship, and its rulers, with China. Putin conflates Russia with himself. What is good for the rulers of China and Russia, what makes them wealthy, what protects them from opprobrium, what hides their dirty laundry-- all that is good for them they conflate with what is good for the nations they rule. In fact, as Americans, we know that Putin is not Russia and Xi is not China. Trump’s conflation of what is good for himself with what is good for America, is driven by the same motivation, as that of the dictators in Russia and China. Donald is an enemy of Democracy: and so are the rulers of China and Russia. Donald is not America. While we must of course end Donald’s attempted coup, with the votes we still have... one good thing can come of this. Russia and China are enemies of democracy. Those who would empower them through “free trade” are enemies of the people of the United States. If our democracy is to thrive, we must not only water it with votes here in America. We must create a foreign policy that dis-empowers dictatorship's everywhere; we must wrest control over foreign policy from Wall Street. Dictators know that if Americans are free, and follow the policies of a free republic, that we are natural enemies of dictatorships. They are not supporting Donald just for fun: it’s a matter of survival. It’s not just Donald we need to dis-empower: it’s anyone who supports dictatorship here in America, in any guise.

  59. ugly yes. This is a person with no perspective that history, contemplation or kindness affords to the rest of us. A person with out the heart and mind to live a good life. A worthless, pathetic, cruel, ignorant coward who doesn't know when to shut up. If I hear his voice, I turn the channel on radio or TV.....Thank you Frank for listening to him so that I don't have to.

  60. If President Trump walked on water the New York Times would write an article decrying him a terrible swimmer. He's hosting a big fourth of July parade. Get a grip.

  61. @Colin HERE'S the "Grip". Donald Trump is neither America -- or represents ALL of America. Start there.

  62. @Colin He doesn't own the place, Colin. Not a host, unless he's paying for it out of his pocket. Fat chance of that.

  63. Sorry enough deplorable Americans voted for him to let him win a technical presidency. They saw he lied often and early, they saw the hypocrisy of his religious positions vs his personal behavior, they same how he demeaned people and consorted with nasty people foreign and domestic.. No Donald, is America. The America of lazy people addled by to much white Jesus and anxious for easy answers. Our history is full of people who vote for Trumps. He is as American as a rotten apple pie. Thankfully our nations is full of decent people who stand up to demagogues and the people who worship the Trump.

  64. The media (print and broadcast) should refuse to cover any speech by the Narcissist-in-Chief. It's their prerogative as to what to cover and, for the reasons you so clearly state, a speech by the N-i-C is not newsworthy.

  65. I understand the impulse behind this column and the intent is indeed noble. But the country put an incompetent, evil, corrupt anti-Semite into office. Maybe we don't deserve better and his horrific presidency is our penance.

  66. @Walter Penance for neglect, maybe, but Trump prepared all his life for this by learning not how the country runs but how the media runs. Sometimes a tidal wave hits without much warning for preparation, that doesn't mean it was deserved.

  67. In the cacophony of constant Trumpism, probably in his fantasy life more Fuhrer or exalted Generalissimo than President, I'm often left to consider which is truly worse: Trump himself, or all the people who blindly rush to offer obeisance at the foot of the pedestal upon which they've put him?

  68. Among the 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump was 58% of the white European American voting majority including 62% of white men and 54% of white women. Among the 66 million Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton was 92% of the black African American voting minority including 88% of black men and 95% of black women. Donald Trump represents the white European American Judeo-Christian majority.

  69. @Blackmamba And some 40,000 were voting against Hillary Clinton, not FOR Trump. It will be vastly different in 2020.

  70. @Blackmamba Well, not all of it. My husband and I are white, European-extraction, and Episcopalian( although some of the fundies don't think that's "christian"), and the current president does NOT represent us. Hope that gives a bit of hope.

  71. No, Frank, he uses it to ease his bone spurs. More like a motto, perhaps stitched onto a throw pillow that he uses for lumbar support while slumping at the Resolute Desk.

  72. "Most of his predecessors did nothing of the kind. They understood the day belonged to the country, not its leader; and they didn't conflate the two." Frank Bruni, this paragraph could be said about Trump, regarding a lot of things, not just Independence Day. Let's see 'They understood the Attorney General belonged to the country, not its leader'...'They understood the White House belonged to the country, not its leader'...'They understood the Congress belonged to the country, as a separate-coequal branch of government, not its leader'...'They understood the Supreme Court Justices belonged to the country, as a separate-coequal branch of government, not its leader'...'They understood the Constitution to say the President belonged to the country, not just those who are big fans of them'...'They understood our laws belonged to the country, including the President and his family'...Justice will be served. The day of reckoning will come and when it comes our 'so-called' president will be put in his rightful place in our country, because our government is of the people, for the people and by the people, NOT for Trump.

  73. @GraceNeeded 'They understood the Constitution to say the President belonged to the country, not just those who are big fans of them' I read somewhere someone was quoted as saying, "Plenty of presidents have been hated by half of America. Trump is the first president to hate half of America."

  74. This newsletter about a relatively minor matter stands in sharp contrast to the Times' lead editorial today on the aggressive anti-abortion movement, symbolized by Alabama's new near-total ban on abortions. Mr. Bruni is well aware of the media's "obsession" with Trump, yet this piece illustrates that this mainstream media flaw. It has been especially evident in what I term the "Mueller Mainia." These fixations have obscured far more important trends and events--the mushrooming movement against women's rights is just one of them. "Move on."

  75. Personally, I think it should be pointed out how ugly it is all the time, as it's somehow now become so normalized that such a freak is our president and the freakish things he does are ho-hum daily events. For those of us with brains who see beyond the blather, we are horrified that this person is sitting where he is, and we will never stop being horrified.

  76. @Edmund Thats’s because we were raised to be decent human beings. I cannot even fathom what my mother and father would have to say, they I am sure would be horrified.

  77. @Edmund I am so glad that I don't have children. I feel nauseated every time I am awakened and remember that this is not a bad dream, but a waking nightmare.

  78. Mr Bruni, I appreciate your hesitancy to give Trump too much media real estate. It is difficult to balance his world-class shamelessness and indecency, of which we have daily reminders, to far more weighty concerns such as his ho-hum attitude about interference in our elections by a hostile foreign power or what appears to be a lead-up to an altercation with Iran, and possibly a full-blown war. Comandeering the 4th of July is just another example of his central attitude that the U.S. is his private business, ala Trump Corp., and he will do with us what he wants. In his world, the American people work for him, not the other way around.

  79. And because Trump thinks that he is the country and that the country is all about him leads one to wonder what his base is thinking about when they support his every poorly-thought-out proposal, ill-informed comment and impulsive tweet. The man is contemptuous not only of those who challenge or despise him but also of those who support him. When he takes credit for everything that the nation achieves and shirks responsibility for everything that goes wrong he implicitly demeans every one of us. The most disheartening image relating to his administration is that of the great unwashed lining his motorcade route into Mar-a-Lago, cheering their feckless leader as he retreats to the private estate they'd never be able to visit unless a sudden lottery win enabled them to afford membership at the club or unless they were willing to pose as undocumented immigrants to work in the kitchen for less-than-minimum pay.

  80. @stu freeman People generally see what they want to see. "He's a fighter" is the most common refrain. "Fighting for us." Once locked in, no one wants to believe they're gullible, it's what con artists count on, no matter the evidence to the contrary.

  81. @stu freeman trumps acolytes will follow their malignant narcissist leader over a cliff if that is what he demands. He'll claim the rocks below won't hurt and they'll crow with joy as they jump (even then sticking it to the rest of us as we urge them to reconsider).

  82. When your enemy is about to shoot himself in the foot, try not to get in the way. We have to fight back against caged children and Russian attacks on our Democracy, but a parade? Let Trump make even more of a narcissistic spectacle of himself than he usually does. Don't stop him. After his playacting as emperor is done, FOIA how much money the event cost the taxpayers. Run attack adds showing pictures of the parade, of secret service agents on golf carts at his properties, of Mara Lago, of Trump hotels where the Emoluments Clause was violated--put a price tag next to each picture of narcissistic tacky excess and grift. Tally up what we the taxpayers have to pay for his delusions of grandeur and how Trump properties, of which he still holds an interest, are cashing in on his Presidency. A picture is worth a thousand words. Don't stop his parade.

  83. @Ann Who will pay for admission to his properties when he's out of office and fighting dozens of lawsuits? He may love the fight but few are willing to be tarred by an ex-prez. Lawsuits open many doors. The truth will come out, it always does.

  84. @Ann Great idea. But Democrats are too lame to do something like that. They can't even come up with one decent slogan. A 12 year old could devise better messaging. And when not folding like a folding card table, or wringing their hands about some non consequential side issue, they are relentlessly searching for new and inventive ways to lose elections. Still a great idea, but don't hold your breath.

  85. Yes he is America - represents a significant proportion of people: you need to deal with that reality rather than engage in the Biden like denial.

  86. @Leslie First of all. What you call a "significant" portion of the people for Trump -- is STILL not the MAJORITY. And no offense. But leave Biden out of this, and just let decide for ourselves the fate and future of our country. The only "denial" I see is another four years of the administration Trump.

  87. @Leslie, sorry but Trump is not America at all. He represents a small and diminishing proportion of people. Trump's incompetence is the only reality. Your term "Biden like denial" is gibberish, and the only denial is your denial of Trump's damage to America.

  88. @Leslie Dear Leslie, I totally agree with you. Trump dominates because he focuses attention, daily. Biden and Democrats have no focus. They are BORING! Boring is boring, is boring! Democrats still refuse to understand how boring they are! ---------------------------------------------------------------------- I suggest that Democrats need to focus on dreams, now. They have no dreams, only boring programs to suggest. Take,the "Democracy" song of Leonard Cohen. Cohen sang, "Democracy is coming to the USA." Democrats might dream of a new democratic wave, in response to the Trump insanity, we have now. They could sing "Democracy" over and over, again. Instead, Democrats remain clueless and Trump trumps. Wake up, Democrats, now, while there is still time! "Democracy is coming to the USA." -------------------------------------------

  89. I strongly urge the media and the press to ignore Trump's self-aggrandizing Independence Day spectacle. If people want to go there to see it for themselves, they are free to do so. If they want to watch the fireworks, they are free to do so. But we don't have to give him free publicity by televising his speech or any other part of the event.

  90. Trump is a train wreck in motion. TV will never ignore him because they are 2 sides of the same greedy coin.

  91. The 4th of July celebration in D.C. starring Donny T. will get worse ratings and and even smaller audience than his inauguration. The man is blind in so many ways.

  92. @NemoToad Agree. I won't be watching it this year.

  93. Yes, there are indeed twenty-two Democrats running for the presidency, and my favorite, Senator Brown of Ohio, isn´t even one of them. And, as Mr. Bruni points out, many of them are really running for something else, in some cases anything else... However, it´s early days and at a minimum, fifteen will be gone after the South Carolina primary or, at the latest, Super Tuesday, because they will garner next to no votes, the money will dry up and with it their candidacies, so Mr. Bruni´s fear of cacophony is somewhat overdrawn. As for the Grifter in Chief not being America, we are large and varied, and he represents an important strand of it, to which he does very great harm, such as in his tax law and his trade war. Nonetheless, his gift to our political life is measureless demagogy, and many of those harmed will vote for him while he Makes America Grate Again.

  94. No matter how right you may be, Mr Bruni, Trump is at least 40% of America. At least in the eyes of citizens of other countries, who want to know why, and who fear for the future of the US and the planet.

  95. Much too gradually articles like this one, which point out Trump's false representation of America, are emerging. I don't know why the media are so reluctant to hammer away at these points: In 2016, roughly 63 million voted for Trump, while roughly 73 million voted for any candidate other than Trump. Proportionally, that is 46% pro-Trump, 54% contra-Trump. Those proportions consistently reflect his job approval ratings ever since 2016. In short, he has NEVER represented America. The one legislative accomplishment that Trump can at least claim in part is the Republican tax law. Every other initiative has been by executive order, in total disregard of Congress, the people's proxy. The absolute anti-American move was his veto of the bicameral Congressional resolution to nullify his declaration of a national state of emergency at the southern border. Trump's arrogant disregard for the law, and his constant, in-your-face LIES, rise to a level that no American who respects the honor system that our laws are built on would even think to embrace. In other words, he does not represent American respect for our system of government and the rule of law. It's a good guess that if there were a national referendum on everything Trump does, he would NEVER win. That too is because Trump is not America. I marvel at the majority's peaceful tolerance of Trump's crude, reckless domination. When will their patience end? Not with a parade, I'm afraid, but when he starts a war.

  96. @entity.z I agree with what you write except the part of his achievement of the tax cut. A complete giveaway of the U.S. treasury at a time not economically needed. It instead decimated the ability to pay for infrastructure and future natural disasters, bolster social security, help failing nations in countries south of us, or jump start a green business revolution without raising taxes in the future or gutting government other than the military.

  97. @entity.z Regarding our peaceful tolerance of Trump's offenses and our patience: I think we're waiting for the 2020 election. I'll see how that goes, and re-evaluate peaceful tolerance and patience. We still are a nation with a good constitution and the rule of law. We'll see how the norms hold next year. I do wish the Democrats in the House could proceed against Trump's stonewalling with more alacrity and get down to business.

  98. I'm still trying to figure out how his supporters consider themselves patriotic when they're supporting what's contrary to the ideals this nation was founded upon. If it wasn't clear before, it should be now that Trump only attained the prominence he had through an accident of birth. He's repeatedly shown himself at the bottom when it comes to merit. Aren't we supposed to be a nation that scorns giving power to people based solely on the circumstances of their birth?

  99. Trump's appearance on the Mall is not just self-aggrandizement, but also a way to make it "us against them." This is as close to the optics of acres of supporters as he will get; and I imagine there also will be a military presence. This is one of the most dangerous acts a man with power can do, and we have seen this kind of thing before in the 20th century. Trump means to accomplish something here--it's a lot more than brand, unless you consider that the Nuremberg Rally was just a branding exercise.

  100. Frank, I would suggest you research the actual activities of previous years celebration on the Mall during our national holiday. I was there one year and their were already rumblings of things to come but stil, but still. There were folk dances from all cultures and orantations from folks speaking words from Sojourner Truth and President Lincoln. There was music and activities from one end of the Mall to another. My friends and I spent the whole day there enjoying the activities and music and museums and the fireworks. I was aware of the issues around the area and nation but for once it felt good to be an American and be in America. I do not feel that way now. I can only hope for the sake of everyone things change, so much damage has already been done.

  101. Why not a parade of strictly real estate developers?

  102. @northlander How about a parade with no attendance. Stay home. Will make it so much easier for the Trumputin crowd counters.

  103. How about no media coverage? A salesman needs an audience. Providing a platform only encourages the egregious actions and behaviors. Perhaps those "fans" who blindly subscribe to his warped rhetoric and lies will attend in person, but there should be a media blackout of the event. It's well past time for the media, collectively, to stop running down every rabbit hole that is introduced by the current administration whose sole purpose is to divert attention from the facts and truth of their methodical and sinister dismantling of our democracy. Personally, I will celebrate the 4th by engaging in efforts to educate and get non-voting citizens registered, participate in grass-root door-to-door efforts in support of Democratic candidates, and work to get out the vote in 2020. Ask bleak as the present seems, we did it before and we can do it again.

  104. No, he's not America. But if House Democrats don't grow a spine and fiercely oppose him, starting with impeachment proceedings, it won't matter because he'll be ruling America, and not as a president.

  105. @Tom I wholeheartedly agree! The Democrats - especially Speaker Pelosi - are absolutely terrified of impeaching President Trump. We thirst for strong leadership, Democrats who are hungry for change and itching for a bare knuckled fight with the Trump administration. We need leaders who are fighters, not wimpy wimps who want to wait until election day so the voters can do the job our elected officials refuse to do: get rid of Trump.

  106. It's blindingly, painfully, evident that he has an emptiness within that cannot be satisfied. It's also evident that he will stop at nothing in an attempt to do so, sucking the lifeblood from those in his orbit, which, of course, now includes everyone on the planet. We can only hope that he doesn't leave America (and the world) a desiccated, morally/financially-bankrupt, shell of its former self as he has done to so many in his path so far. He is to be pitied.

  107. @Jim And voted out.

  108. @Jim I agree with everything but your last sentence: He is to be condemned.

  109. @Jim Pitied? Perhaps. But only after he is removed from office - however it is done - and residing in a secured facility in which he can receive whatever care is deemed appropriate.

  110. Unfortunately DJT does represent a large % of U.S. He didn't plant seeds of hate, resentment, and fear in people's hearts and minds. He simply nurtured, cultivated, and exploited what was already there.

  111. @Basic Imagine what a real leader with a benevolent heart could do: weed, seed, and feed the country. Weed out the hatred and evil; plant seeds of loving kindness and nurturing our relationships with one another; feed our nation by developing and promoting policies that grow our country and move it in a positive direction with our neighbors. Instead, we have...him. The voters need to make him a one-term president and elect a leader who will take our country back from evil and pull it into the sunshine of goodness, love, and prosperity.

  112. @Basic True, lots of those people were always. The best and worst are the potential for any country. Tell me why they turned on their country. Do you have any basic insights to share with the rest of us who believe in something other than USA USA! Basic, you're guilty of being disingenuous. You picked the wrong adjectives to go along with a narcissistic demagogue- he inflamed and conned, not nurtured and cultivated You know Basic that we can do better than Trump

  113. @H I'd like to think what you say is true about ...doing better, however I don't see even the best con artist making someone hateful toward others, unless they are already inclined...

  114. If you are really interested how Trump came to be, you only need to drive through the midwestern United States and listen to the radio. The airwaves there are filled with the demagoguery of conservative talk radio, Limbaugh, Hannity and the like. This is how Trump came to power. On the votes of people who believe the conservative radio shock jocks. There's a lengthy essay written years ago during McCarthyism by historian Richard Hofstadter entitled "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." Worth your time to read it. Then you will know how Trump came to power.

  115. The world would like to believe that Trump is not America Mr. Bruni, but it's clear that he increasingly is, and with a very good chance of winning in 2020, the perception will only get stronger and more defined. Trump is precisely how the world increasingly views the USA.

  116. It is with a heavy heart that I dispute Mr. Bruni's contention that Donald Trump is not America. The evidence is that Trump is indeed America today. He is America because, however outrageous his behavior, however repugnant his style and manner, however un-American he may seem in light of former standards and beliefs, his way is the way of the land. Our vaunted traditions, Constitutional safeguards and institutions are mere confetti before the evil wind of his implacable will to power. We have allowed this, through our loutish inattention to history and learning in general, through our selfish interest in our own betterment as opposed to the needs of our society in general, through our sit-com game-show perception of reality that blurs focus on the clear and present danger in our midst--through all this and more we have dumbed deviancy down to where we accept the rotting of America at the hands of Mr. Trump. So genuinely sorry, Mr. Bruni, but you have it wrong: he is here and we are his.

  117. @Robert LaRue I'm not his. Never will be.

  118. @Robert LaRue "We have allowed this"? I take no responsibility. I am part of the resistance.

  119. Yes, Robert LaRue. Trump is here. But "we are his"? With all due respect, you need to speak for yourself on that one!

  120. Sad to see how low he is taking this country. Assume all in attendance will not be wearing anything make in an overseas country..

  121. We will probably never see another Donald Trump. Few have the ability to so completely sell themselves, shameless and victimized, fierce and ignorant, simultaneously. He's had 70 years to hone this trait but had to wait until the 24 hour news cycle needed it. Disgruntled voters saw his TV show and believed in that persona, now they can't let go. His take no prisoners style is their alter ego. Republican legislators see that unbreakable hold and want the spillage. But a saner America exists and Republicans see major losses in the next election cycles and are therefore grabbing all they can while they can. Stuff the courts, get Roe v. Wade tossed aside, voter suppression, anything they can do, heavy handed or not, it's their last stand and all but the most obtuse know it. It's true, the media cannot ignore the monster they created because he learned how to dominate the news cycle long before cable. It was never a fair fight. Thankfully, many are trying, thanks, Frank.

  122. I hope you’re right. The people I run into day to day seem to think he’s OK and are more worried about our country becoming “socialist”. I always find this amazing as they conveniently ignore Russia’s interference. How can health care for all and free community college seem like more of threat? They refuse to see they’re being conned by a man whose very position is due to Russian interference. Again, I DO hope you are right that this narcissistic, incoherent, disgusting grifter will soon be gone.

  123. Um, Frank, I believe the holiday is now called Donald Trump Day, celebrated with fireworks and much outdoor grilling of brats and hamburgers. Totally his idea. The guy's a genius, it cannot be denied.

  124. Wonderful commentary, Mr. Bruni. There seems to be no narcissistic conceit to which our nation’s Lying Scofflaw in Chief will not aspire. If he does manage to horn in on a traditional Fourth of July celebration, I will jump at the chance to participate in a counter-celebration/demonstration. I’m sure that here in the San Francisco Bay Area there will be many such opportunities. KH

  125. Thank you Mr. Bruni, so well said. The most important thing about trump is we/US should never normalize all of his horrible traits. From his foul mouth, vindictiveness, lack of awareness and education, to his complete breach of protocols, love of authoritarian dictators and his own exaggerated sense of self, including malignant narcissism. This is not normal behavior from anyone, let alone a president.

  126. I am afraid that America is not America. Not anymore. We have been overtaken. It is over.

  127. Bravo, Mr. Bruni. So well said. We do indeed need to express aloud and publicly the ugliness and the disgrace of which this sorry example of a man is capable. Thank you. Zav Levinson

  128. Mr. Bruni, Donald Trump is America. This is a democracy.

  129. The only cure for malignant narcissism is by shunning. Turn off the TV have a good day outside. Any coverage you miss that day will surely be on the next.

  130. @Ev Doesn't NYC have a good fireworks show on the Fourth? I remember watching it from here on the left coast. I might tune in to the DC event only to see the acres and acres of empty Mall as people find some other place to enjoy their holiday.

  131. I'm surprised that he hasn't announced a name change for the holiday: Make America Great Again Day! (Trademark owned by Kushner and Co., LLC.)

  132. "More like a motto, perhaps stitched onto a throw pillow that he uses for lumbar support while slumping at the Resolute Desk.” I work with a lot of neurological dysfunction in patients older than 60...”bad backs.” I despise Trump but it was evolution and becoming bipeds that unleashed the degeneration of the lumbar spine as we aged. Trump nor any other older citizen deserves contempt for an arthritic back. Doesn’t matter his weight as sports such as golf are terribly hard on the back as one coils and uncoils one’s spine to hit the ball. That was wrong Frank.

  133. I think that Trump's idea of turning July 4th into a MAGA rally is a great idea....as long as it can also be an occasion for a "save democracy rally" that will bring crowds the size of the million man march and the women's march together to show the world that we are ready to see him removed and will not allow him and his goon squads to overrule the results of the 2020 election. Let the world see what we really think of him.

  134. Why do we let Donald Trump take over our psyche, our well being? He does not speak for us, he does not respect us, he is not respected by us. Trump will soon be off of our radar and away from us. Forever.

  135. Thanks, Frank. It is ugly. And it reveals just how much the Republicans and especially their wealthy donors are indifferent to the needs of others and how much they despise the masses. The stakes couldn't be higher. Time to take the gloves off and fight for democracy.

  136. I am very glad that I will be in Canada on July 4th.

  137. Figures the media would be having conniptions when Trump does something different to celebrate the country on July 4th. Sure, his plans could be about him but it could just as easily be about making the President more of a participant in the rituals of this country.

  138. This is the moment of reckoning for a nation that has not dealt with its' neo-colonial roots of racism and a legacy of genocide and slavery. This autocrat with the help of Russia's new totalitarian government has thoroughly exploited those toxins of history. Sadly, the materialism of an economy rigged with a record national debt and disregard for the environment seduces many to think they are making America great again. Our constitutional democracy died the day this man entered office. The question is - will there be a resurrection? - despite the nihilism championed by fundamentalists cheering on their demagogue. If there will be - it will be from streets beyond our own - a spirit rising that wants life on this planet to continue - who champion truth over lying, social justice over corruption and inequality, and life over death.

  139. Trump is not America. But his election was not an unforeseeable natural disaster. He was not sent by some vengeful, democracy hating, God. Trump was a choice made by 63 million Americans. He has consistent approval ratings of 40+%. Trump will eventually leave office. And it is likely the next GOP President will regress a bit towards the mean: Less ignorant, less openly racist. More emotionally stable. Probably not a career white collar criminal, or at least an obvious one. In other words: a more subtle form of execrable. Why? To paraphrase a quote from Thomas Edsall's column: The House, Senate and therefore the Electoral College all overrepresent predominantly white rural areas (Trump country) giving the Republican Party/Trumpists a very high electoral floor that will make its consignment to the political wilderness unlikely. Trump may not be America, but he represents the views, resentments, hatreds, purposeful ignorance, and pro authoritarian leanings of a very large minority of Americans. They are not going away. And dealing with that reality will consume our politics for years.

  140. @LT A "very large minority" is till not a MAJORITY of Americans who stand with Donald Trump. And we can only thank whatever God -- or Gods there may be for that.

  141. Trump will never understand grace or humility. Nor will he understand integrity, dignity, fairness, justice, or humanity. He is the absolute center of the universe. Always has been and he always will be, in his warped mind. He is overwhelming, exhausting, and numbing the populace to his outrages and corruption. He is utterly relentless in pursuing his personal agenda and will not stop. He is incapable of committing any wrong, or making any mistake, again, in his distorted mind. Introspection and compassion? Just useless words to him. He has twisted the minds of those around him from his children right up to the cabinet, and almost every elected GOP official. None of these people seem capable of seeing the forest for the trees, or they are simply willing to sacrifice all values for the power he gives them. The fatigue of this insecure, ceaseless self aggrandizer is growing and reaching a critical level. I am grateful for George Conway, Chairman Burr, James Comey, and Robert Mueller, and the entire Democratic Party. I continue to hope, and faintly believe that the truth will come out, but it is going to be an excruciating process.

  142. Unfortunately, the cult of trump is ~44% of this country when you look at approval ratings. That is big enough to conclude that the title of the op-ed is incorrect. It should read "A large part of America is trump's America". Whether we like or not, we're part of a society that has a large part of it perfectly fine with morphing the country through all sorts of vile chicanery into a racialist/nativist based autocracy with fake democracy trappings. Orban's Hungary is a good model of how that's done. F-x is a good example of what orban has done to use media to control discourse and disinform minds. To finish the job, a large enough turnout in Nov. '20 is needed from that ~44% plus whatever else can be added to in the meantime. There are plenty of ongoing efforts to secure that needed bump. The assault of tendentious, manipulative idiocy never ever stops since you never know when the next over the top garbage filled rant will find some open, emptied out brain to take root in. That other part, small but vital, is, alas, also a not insignificant part of the country. The only way to neutralize this deadly toxin is evident. Organize, organize, organize to register voters and make sure they turn out. Indifference is not an option.

  143. That’s the biggest mistake of 2016: Yes, he is what too many are. We pretend better than we are. What too many assumed were fringe and freaks, are too many of us.

  144. @Terry This should be the top comment. As Walt Kelley said best, "We have met the enemy and he is us"

  145. We are 845 days into the Trump Presidency and I still catch myself mentally surfacing in a state of awe and disgust over the fact that he is the president. Like Medusa's head suddenly appearing from around the corner for all to see, his emergence as the Chief Executive and his grandiose narcissistic display is indeed ugly and terrifying to behold. His nauseating ubiquity has virtually ruined media for me. Even the global fantasy phenomenon Game of Thrones seems like a metaphor for his hideous vanity. If all the old gods and new are with us there are only 616 days left until his vulgar spectacle closes for good.

  146. How cute...Trump isn't America...I think 63,000,000 voters and 304 electoral votes would beg to differ... I firmly believe Trump ran for publicity's sake and had no desire to actually win, that he has been horribly divisive, and that he needs to go. But to say he isn't America is ignoring reality. This is a huge country. It's more accurate to say that California and New England are not America.

  147. @Matt He lost by some 3 million popular votes.

  148. @Matt California and New England are as much a part of the United States as anywhere else. You don't get to decide which parts are more inherently American than others, because they are all American.

  149. @Matt More people DID NOT vote for Trump than did vote for him. Clinton received 3,000,000 more votes than Trump. Gary Johnson (Libertarian) got nearly 4,000,000 votes. That's 7,000,000 Americans who DID NOT vote for Trump. And that doesn't count the eligible voters who did not vote at all. Does this there are three Americas?

  150. Is there a more insulting way for America to die, than by the hands of Donald Trump and his followers? The ideals that this country has aspired to and stood for; freedom, democracy, equality, opportunity, optimism, justice and fairness - blackjacked by a petty, privileged, power mad solipsist and stomped on his hateful mob of greedy, racist and blindly ignorant sycophants. But they are America too - a particular brand of american scoundrel and a mindset born and raised in lies. Trump’s just a dumbed down robber baron, a wanna-be Hearst or P. T. Barnum and his type of lemmings have been following demagogues off cliffs since the first tent revivals. And so we are devoured by our devils. The United States may have never measured up to its ideals but now I fear the dream is truly dying. Eaten from the inside out by our own cancerous corruption. When I think of our “inalienable” rights under attack from within; free press, free speech, fair elections - the betrayal of our allies and the embrace of autocrats, the rise of hatred, bigotry, distrust and division - I wonder if it might have been a more honorable demise to have lost the Cold War, and when I walk around and see the “Plattenbau” rising in my city and the results of Russia manipulating our vote, I wonder if maybe we did.

  151. @gwr My sentiments exactly. If djt and his cult continue to reign supreme, then a justifiable case could be made that the Russian propaganda machine were the victors of the cold war.

  152. "'I alone can fix it,' he said during his speech at the Republican National Convention in 2016, and that was no aberration. More like a motto, perhaps stitched onto a throw pillow that he uses for lumbar support while slumping at the Resolute Desk." Thank you, Frank. That provided me a wonderful laugh this morning.

  153. Good column - thank you. In addition to Supreme Narcissism one must add this Oval Office occupants clear affliction with the Dunning-Kruger Effect. He is a clear genetic anomaly. A clear and present danger to our country and our nations reputation. Vote in 2020. Take back our country. Dump Trump, Ditch Mitch, unseat Lyndsey Graham. No apathy, register, contribute, do your homework -- VOTE!

  154. I fail to understand how you libs do NOT understand the fealty we have to our president who is trying to rebuild, protect and defend our nation at great personal cost to him. It was his predecessor who almost destroyed our country, and almost made us lose the shining goal that makes ppl from all over the world risk everything to come here. Is DT indelicate?...you bet as he attempts to coalesce public opinion in favor of maintaining our borders and our nationhood. He is brilliantly reminding us and the world during our most sacred holiday to not allow the ppl like the previous administration to ever gain power again! I, for one of millions feel so grateful to him for his sacrifices...

  155. But what exactly is he protecting us from? What did the previous administration do that you find so reprehensible? You people keep saying things like this, but you never speak in specifics. I wonder why that is?

  156. @louisemoore That great personal cost includes doubling the membership fee at Trump's Mar-a-Lago from $100,000 to $200,000. I really cannot understand how you maintain that Obama, who was admired by most of the world, was less good for American than Trump, who is despised and feared by most of the world, most foreign dictators excepted.

  157. @louisemoore Lol... We are Americans. We don't believe in "fealty". He's supposed to be a public servant. The man is supposed to work FOR us. YOU should know that patriot. But thanks for the chuckle...lol...

  158. Dear Frank, I LOVE the title of your newsletter and it makes me so very sad.

  159. L’Etat c’est moi. In Trump’s mind, he is, indeed, the country. Or, at least, all that matters in the country. He and his Romanov family. But if push came to shove, he’d (he’ll) shed the family. And the notion that in return for lifting up the country he expects us to lift him up is ludicrous. All he does is divide the country. Talks about the country as if all but his cult are a bunch of “losers” who have been taken by everyone and everything. Never mind that the federal taxes paid by those “losers” flow largely to the states in which the cult reside. The only thing that will end this self-love fest is if the media deprive him of his oxygen – the attention he gets for every unhinged tweet, every incoherent utterance, every terrorizing threat. Don’t cover the “parade”. Don’t give him the opportunity to puff out his chest and show us what a big important man he is. The parade is just a means to convince himself that he’s not literally and figuratively the tiny, tiny man he actually is. The narcissistic, paranoid fake tough guy that he is. As to parlaying his confidence, showmanship, etc. into considerable riches, you must be confusing him with someone else. He parlayed the considerable riches and opportunities handed to him by daddy into an ever increasing string of losses. He doesn’t represent the country, our values or us. He needs to exit, stage left.

  160. If you consistently want the President to reflect the nature of the majority of Americans, you will need to get rid of the electoral college system. THAT should be issues #1 for all Americans who care.

  161. I can’t say, how ugly it is. I know it floods us all with shame.

  162. Trump is the most motivated person in the world. He has his ego to protect. He knows that he can beat down any one and any thing. He sleeps little because he knows that most people do sleep eight hours a night. His nicknames for Democrat candidates are like stakes in the heart. He knows the art of painting a picture about a person. After Trump attacked Beto's flailing arms, I now cringe when I see Beto bouncing and wildly waving his arms. I now can't imagine Beto sitting behind the desk in The Oval Office.

  163. @Ron I cringe when I see Trump's strange hand gestures, particularly the little "O" he makes with his fingers. I cringe when I see him sitting , with rounded shoulders, blank or defiant expression, hands hanging simian-lke between his splayed legs. I cringe when he opens his mouth, and when he walks with his stiff legged gait. I cringe at his forced witticisms.. I cringe when he uses ignorant, inflammatory rhetoric. I am embarrassed for America's gullibility.

  164. A photo of the beautiful American flag, highlighted against a bright sky on the evening of July 4th is quite enough to provide Americans with the knowledge of what this country stands for. We certainly do not need to see President Trump wrapped in the Flag.

  165. There is no such word as normalcy. It is normality.

  166. @Allen Said the man with no dictionary available for reference.

  167. The Senate voted, 49-46 along party lines, to approve Michael Truncale a federal judge in Texas. The choice of Truncale was controversial. In 2011, coinciding with Donald Trump’s “birtherism” smear of a sitting president, then-lawyer Truncale referred to Mr. Obama as “un-American” because Truncale was “frustrated” that the Commander-in-Chief wasn’t more “overtly patriotic.” A president leads America by dint of his likability or his charisma or his perceived morality and goodness or the people’s inherent trust in him (maybe some day her?) to be a good president. Americans should be very wary of a jingoistic president who turns about this way and that, is inconstant and feverishly troubling about matters personal and patriotic. Donald Trump’s neither patriotic nor brave. To his rabid zealotry, otherwise known as MAGA nation, I would ask, “May we see the proofs of his love of country?” It certainly was not in evidence during the Vietnam era (1964-1975) when he asked out of hors de combat with a minor foot ailment. It certainly is not in evidence as he, like a toddler soon bored with his latest amusement, scatters all about in red-faced, breath-holding defiance of the universe to order itself to his pouting whim. He bows, in most un-presidential servility, before the knees of the likes of Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orban. He admires the thuggism of Rodrigo Duterte. An American president should, above all, be seen as the soul of dignity and wisdom Trump is neither, by far.

  168. Thank you for a new way of thinking about the trump rump in WDC. A throw pillow slogan for a throw pillow president. A pillow that we as a nation will collectively throw away soon. His meaningless wants are noise of the day for this buffoon in charge. The political party that adheres to helping this pillow pass legislation dis a traitorous crowd. With right arms raised and swearing to god each and every one of them walks away from their OATH of office. A portion of people here will always be unhappy about their lot in life. tRump is just the manifestation of humanity throwing in the towel or throw pillow, as this column calls the fool in the oval office.

  169. People from the Center to the Left cannot ignore the 60,000,000 Americans, representing all strata of economic and educational achievement, voted for a white supremacist. Bruni is ignoring that fact, which will be the downfall of the Dems. These 60,000,000 CANNOT be talked out of their racism and xenophobia. Their white fear must be acknowledged and then politically neutralized by the uniting of all those peoples - 100 million - that the trump people fear. Bruni's philosophical stance that trump does represent America is NOT acknowledging the impact of the haters, and that will be a failing strategy.

  170. @GariRae Totally correct posting. Also his approval rate is 40% overall and 90% amongst republicans. TRUMP IS AMERICA and that is the reality of the projection to the rest of the world. SAD!

  171. @GariRae If, after all that we have seen and learned in the past two years, Trump is re-elected then I think we will have arrived at a place where the majority of Americans will be ashamed enough that they will look at emigration. I know I would.

  172. Donald Trump may not be America, but he is a duly elected American president, elected by Americans. So, in that respect, he does represent what America stands for today. That makes him a true reflection of the real, living, breathing America of today. Trump may not be an embodiment of an idealized America of our text books, but he does represent and reflect the America that elected him to the highest office in the land. The office that is the face and soul and spirit of America to the world. To that extent Donald Trump is America, an embodiment of the true, living American values to this age. Let' not deny the reality of live staring at our face.

  173. @S. Zafar Iqbal - reminder... trump was NOT "duly elected - he stole the election courtesy of Russian aid and a ridiculously flawed electoral college. He never was, is not now and never will be the president.

  174. @S. Zafar Iqbal NO. Get it straight. Donald Trump is the product of an antiquated Electoral College, Russian interference, Republican gerrymandering, Voter suppression, Citizens United, FOX news, white nationalists. and a "poorly educated" electorate -- whom Trump repeatedly professed to "love".

  175. @S. Zafar Iqbal The reality staring us in our face is that Hilary won the popular vote fair and square.

  176. If the nation is fortunate enough to remain a democracy through the end of this aberration of an administration, we now see that many actions need be taken to prevent a repetition. The Founding Fathers did not foresee an electorate so easily led astray aided abetted by 24/7 disingenuous and dishonest news coverage posing as legitimate and factual news. They also failed to conceive that a President: would place self before all else, attempt the de-legitimization of our own government, thwart legitimate legal constraints, emplace representatives to thwart the objectives of the very governmental bodies they head, embrace autocrats, distance allies, and cast aside core American values. The Founding Fathers never foresaw a political party as bereft of their values as today's Republican Party. Republicans have, in their obsequious quest for power, nullified the oversight required by the Constitution and endangered democracy itself. Let's hope we have the chance to rectify this travesty in 2020.

  177. While it's painful to think about President Trump starring in his own show, "Trump's Fourth of July", it's also painful to have to say that his election, to me, represents the culmination of many things having gone wrong in America for quite some time. We could start with Ronald Reagan announcing that government was the problem. Once government had been "softened up" (i.e., well de-regulated), it's been pretty downhill from there. We have a giant military budget, the Citizens United ruling, thousands with no homes, vast income inequality, a tattered safety net. We bailed out Wall Street, not Main Street. Trump is just continuing a very negative trend, it seems to me.

  178. Some rightfully say Trump represents so much of what America is today. But that will not change until the American people decide that he is NOT the America they want. It's in your hands, nobody else's.

  179. Countless Americans have died protecting Democracy. American Democracy means equal opportunity for all regardless of race, sex, national orientation, or sexual orientation. It means freedom of religion, whether that religion be Muslim, Hindu or atheism. It means equal voting rights regardless of race or political persuasion. And, above all, it means the right and opportunity to protest racist, dictatorial and unjust government practices. Those are the rights that should be highlighted, applauded and emphasized on July 4th.

  180. It's bad enough that Donald Trump wants to turn himself into the centerpiece of the nation's annual day of celebration -- but what bothers me the most is the fact that I no longer recognize this country. It has changed a lot in the two plus years that he's been in office. And not necessarily for the better. Aside from all the incidents involving his presidential campaign and questionable business ventures, the countless rallies, the snide attacks on what few allies we have left, and an appalling affinity for idolizing strongmen and dictators, lies the fact that Trump's America isn't for ALL Americans -- and those of us who live in cities inhabited by the "coastal elite", or who just don't blindly subscribe to everything he says have been made to feel less than "patriotic" and worthy of our birthright. In the meantime. More taxes. More tariffs. And the threat of never living again in the 'Land of the free'. That's nothing to celebrate.

  181. @N. Smith I don’t feel “less patriotic” by Trump. I feel more patriotic than I’ve ever felt in my life, by publicly resisting. And I do it all the time. It may not change anything, but I cannot sit back and ignore what is happening. I know I’ve ticked off plenty of my relatives who tack to the right. Too bad, we have a Democracy to save. I may be 79 and battling cancer, but that isn’t stopping me.

  182. @wolf201 Good for you, and keep up the good fight. And please don't misunderstand my point about Donald Trump trying to make many of us feel "less patriotic -- because we're all in the same struggle to make (and keep) America as a place ALL of its citizens, especially those who don't necessarily tow the line for this president. And goodness knows, most of us here in New York City already knew what the deal was, and would be with Trump, that's why we tried to warn the country. Now America knows. Hope it's not too late. Our Democracy is at stake. Don't stop. Rock on!!!

  183. @N. Smith You have the instincts of a sentient patriot. Flaunt it! It should cheer you that the change you notice merely corresponds to Trump's "leadership" in office. When he's gone, the evils he promotes will subside. We need true patriots to stand firm in these times. I live in pretty rabid Trump country. Discussing Primary Election Day turnout last year, I let slip that I was only the 14th Democrat to vote, and everyone who formerly liked me, turned to look at me with appalled expressions and edged away. No kidding. I'm not backing down and I'm not staying silent, and I am upholding sense and decency. I will at least encourage people to compare the news from contrasting media sources, to think for themselves, and not be fed pap by whoever controls Fox News. I let Bush II and Cheney make me feel unpatriotic because I didn't fawningly support their war with Iraq, which they equated with supporting our armed services and being American. Never again. Stand firm and defend your birthright and the land of the free. Our day will come.

  184. Thank you. Yes, it is ugly. And alarming and destroying our country and it's institutions and government. Right now we have a Trump advisor itching for America to enter into a war with Iran. In such a time, we used to be able to look to our elected officials in Congress and the President to check this rogue security adviser and consider the facts. Not any more. And our President rejects information briefings as being to cumbersome and un-necessary. Our democracy is now broken. I see no reason to celebrate that with the man who broke it for ego and greed.

  185. @Elizabeth Our Democracy is not broken, the big experiment is still working we are just experiencing a bump in the road.

  186. @Bob Nice fantasy there. Trump is the culmination of Republican strategizing since, at least, Ronald Reagan took office. Clearly you do not understand the serious nature of a President who is openly, and without shame, encouraging his people to break the law and defy subpoenas. The immunity he creates for himself by appointing a completely controllable toady as Attorney General. The danger of a compliant and complicit Senate that refuses to defend the country. The very little we can do to stop him as Republicans continue to dismantle the electoral process with “outside” help. This is no mere bump in the road, Bob. This is the sea change that takes down democracy.

  187. @Bob Bob, I hope you're right--and that the bump doesn't take out our national undercarriage, or turn out to be an IED. With roughly a third of the country cheering for Drumpf, even as his "policies" hurt them, and the rest of us, it's not easy to keep an optimistic view.

  188. Actually, Mr. Bruni, Trump is about 35-40% of America, as voting and polls have shown. The liberal press likes believe that if Trump disappeared tomorrow all of his supporters would magically begin to turn into racially tolerant, socially open-minded, immigrant-sensitive Keynesian internationalists. They won’t. Trump is not some kind of luddite unicorn. He opened a window to the true feelings and beliefs of a large swath of the country. If he loses in 2020, we’ll all still have to deal with his supporters. Absent succession from the union (again!), they aren’t going anywhere. That’s the problem.

  189. @Jack Sonville While true, it certainly does not help to have someone like Trump encouraging and feeding the hate and fear.

  190. @Jack Sonville Trump is 35-40% of America if you're only looking at his recent POLL numbers. If you look at the vote totals versus Clinton from 2016, Trump is approximately 50% of American. And that's the REALLY scary thing.

  191. @bijom Sorry. I meant to say that, based on 2016 vote total vs. Clinton, Trump is NEARLY 50% of America (48.8%, to be more precise)

  192. Agreed, but none of this would be possible without the compliance of an uninformed, misinformed or ill-informed public. It's ugly alright, but ugly is in the eye of the beholder and he has too many cult-like followers who are beholden to his vision to see, clearly, the damage he is doing to the republic. Nothing upsets me more about this slow moving coup than the brain dead followers who peddled their hypocritical love of country, the constitution and some mythical ethical standard that, when push came to shove, shoved it all under the bus for this mango Mussolini. If he hasn't been able to insult their intelligence after two years of treating them like fools, then they insult mine.

  193. @Rick Gage, That's funny, that's what we say about Democrats.

  194. @Ryan It is demonstrably true that a) Liberals (who tend to be Democrats) are better educated; b) FoxNews viewers are more misinformed; c) The vast majority of scientists (and science enthusiasts - ya, know, secular folks that recognize climate change is due to human activity)...from all academic disciplines, trend strongly towards being 'liberal'. There are clearly uninformed people at all points along the political spectrum. However, you can say all you want about who tends to be more or less 'informed', but the facts aren't on your side. But facts don't seem to be an issue in today's GOP.

  195. @Rick Gage "...mango Mussolini." It doesn't rhyme with 'orange,' but still hilarious. Thanks for the image.

  196. You are correct, Mr. Brunni, trump is not America. Within the week polls revealed that about 42 percent of America approved of his presidential performance. So maybe he is 42 percent of America?

  197. It finally dawns on me who The Donald models himself after...Zaphod Beeblebrox, the Galactic President in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. His real purpose is to distract from the real center of power. Yet another case of Life imitating Douglas Adams.

  198. @Alex. Yes, the resemblance is amazing.

  199. Trump is not all of America, but he is certainly reflective of a disturbingly large part of it. Sixty million or so. They think he's wonderful. They practically worship him. They not only forgive his most disgusting actions, they often praise them. In short, we are in real trouble, and that trouble extends far beyond the disgrace of a person who now occupies the oval office.

  200. Trump is more like Argentina, circa 1944.

  201. @Jbugko The entire Republican party is more like 1944 than 2019.

  202. Perhaps our Military Officers will remember their Oaths of Office, especially the part about "Defending this Nation and the Constitution against all Tyrants, Foreign AND DOMESTIC" (emphasis added for effect). We have Constitution Breaking Politicians hurting our Nation from the Senate, where McConnell has Obstructed Justice since Obama was Sworn in as President, he has unconstitutionally stacked the courts and cabinet with incompetent and felons and has allowed the present President to run roughshod over the basic tenants of proper governing since Mr Trump is stupid enough to listen to Pence and his Deep State choices for Every Office. He has made the USA a much less safe place to live or work, and more expensive due to his ignorance. He is trying to destroy the Democrats, calling them fake and Deep State despite the opposite truth If Trump really wants to destroy the Deep State, he is doing so by killing the Republican Party, which with the backing of Fox News and Limbaugh have become tied up in believing their own, well-known lies as real, and now they are having to fight against the worst Fake Every in our History. The Republicans have brought this tragic destruction upon us, and while a few may have a couple extra bucks at the moment, is it really worth the trillions on the credit card for you to have $20 now? The billionaires got a 20 MILLION tax cut, each, compared to your $20. And No, they are NOT going to give it to you, that was the whole reason for the tax cut.

  203. It will be interesting to see the Park Service's crowd size estimates for the 4th of July 2019.

  204. Old Bone Spurs never would have fought in the Revolution. He would have been too busy evicting those who were behind in their rent because they were away fighting. Then he'd try to steal George Washington's glory.

  205. Sorry Frank, Trump and his followers are as American as apple pie. They have existed since the founding of our country and their influence has ebbed and flowed depending on how much fear, loathing, scapegoating can be dredged up by those whose only interest is maintaining power. It would be nice if the current mindset of the Trumpists were an aberration but millions of people during the last 200 or so years have proved that hypothesis to be incorrect.

  206. No, Trump IS America. The Country did this, is doing it to itself, is allowing it..

  207. Actually, he is. And I think that is terribly unfortunate, but I think denying it is a mistake.

  208. Donald Trump is New York personified - a loud, abrasive know-it-all. Being wealthy exacerbates it, but it's not a prereqisite. Millions of bigmouths live, and write, there.

  209. @Teller I know a number of New Yorkers who are nothing like trump. And all of them are embarrassed by and feel repelled by him. Same as the rest of the rational world.

  210. No, Trump reflects what America has become. It is not a country respected but rather feared. Trump reflects a social and political culture that has been hollowed out. The form remains but the substance is gone.