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What Trump leaves unspoken carries consequences

23 1 0

President Donald Trump seems to rarely leave a thought unspoken.

Of late, though, it is increasingly clear there are things Trump won’t say — and they are tied to the most important issues of his presidency.

Among them:

— Knock it off, Russia.

— Wear a mask, Americans.

— Systemic racism must end.

None of the above are particularly bold or controversial messages.

Modern American presidents of both parties have often sounded off against Russian aggression. They have amplified the advice of medical experts in public health emergencies like the coronavirus. They have used the bully pulpit of the presidency to ask Americans to summon their better angels in confronting racism.

But such words do not come easily to Trump — and his silence emboldens those who reject these messages and contributes to the cascading crises that now engulf the White House and have put his reelection in peril.

“People now require a serious man with a serious message and don’t feel like they have it,” says Calvin Jillson, a presidential historian at Southern Methodist University.

For his part, Trump has responded to the chaos surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the unrest over racial injustice and more recent questions about his stance toward Russia by insisting that the “silent majority” of Americans are with him. There are surely those who endorse his sentiments and trust his instincts as Trump plays to his most loyal base supporters.

But revelations this week that the president has long known about allegations that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan represent a fresh source of tumult for Trump when he can least afford it.


© Japan Today