Opinion | Stop defending Trump

The constant, incessant childish behavior of our sitting president deserves beratement, not excuses and covering — especially from our elected officials.



President Donald exits Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on October 1, 2020.

Hannah Pinski, Opinions Columnist

After watching what felt like a Dance Moms episode the night of Sept. 29, I feel embarrassed that instead of having a productive discussion about important issues in America, the two presidential candidates passed off as the new Abby Lee Miller and Kelly Hyland in their debate.

Whether you want to call this debate a hot mess or 90 minutes of your life you’ll never get back, one thing is clear: Trump’s behavior proves he is unfit to be our nation’s leader and it’s going to cost him the election.

Furthermore, Iowa Republicans need to stop defending Trump because there are no excuses or justifications for his behavior.

Secretary Karen Fesler of the Social Committee for Johnson County Republicans recently praised Trump for his performance because she believes that he was “debating” not only Biden but also Chris Wallace.

In addition, David Barker, who is a member of the Iowa GOP central committee in Johnson County, claims Wallace should’ve been silent and let the candidates have an open discussion.

First, Trump deserves anything but praise for his performance. Second, Wallace wouldn’t have had to talk as much if Trump hadn’t interrupted him or Biden at least 128 times.

Besides his intolerable behavior, two actions stood out to me that should cost Trump any praise for his performance: his refusal to condemn white supremacy and his attacking Biden’s sons.

When Wallace asked Trump if he was willing to condemn white supremacist groups, he said he would do it. However, when Wallace told him to do it, Trump instead argued that all the violence is caused by the left wing and told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

There is no “pro” or “anti” white supremacy. There is no argument that it is an immoral concept, and it clearly needs to be addressed and denounced. We cannot expect to solve racial inequality if our “leader” refuses to clearly condemn it let alone acknowledge it.

Why then are Iowa Republicans praising a man who is supposed to lead a country with the ideals of justice and equality that betrayed the core values on national television, when he failed to recognize a concept that rejects those ideals?

Trump’s degrading comments about Biden’s sons were also not only unpresidential, but disgraceful too.

Trump crossed a line as soon as he started to attack Biden’s son. Even if this wasn’t a presidential debate, you never in any circumstance bring up a parent’s deceased child, and you certainly don’t speak ill of them.

To make matters worse, Trump first demeaned Beau after Biden defended him when referencing when Trump dishonored dead American troops, and then he falsely accused Hunter of being dishonorably discharged due to cocaine use.

Iowa Republicans, you cannot defend a man while ignoring his remorseless actions when he crosses a line that displays inhumanity. This isn’t just about politics. This is about human decency and respect, and that’s clearly something that Trump doesn’t have.

Instead of applauding Trump and scapegoating others for his behavior, Iowa Republicans need to hold him accountable for his impermissible actions. Just because he is the candidate for your party does not mean you get to excuse his poor and inhumane behavior not just as a candidate, but as a human being.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.