Trump in hypocritical overdrive blaming others for anger and division

It’s hardly news that Donald Trump is being hypocritical in blaming the media and others for being divisive, but in his latest claim of the moral ground proves his own divisiveness.

Trump repeatedly encouraged anger against others at his political rallies in the 2016 presidential campaign, and until very recently he continued to do this. And in his rant against ‘Anger’ he does much the same.

Aaron Blake (Washington Post): Trump is unwittingly blaming himself for postal bombs

At a rally in Wisconsin on Wednesday, Trump made a show of supposedly being civil but also cast blame on others who employed harsh rhetoric. He criticized those who “carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains.” He added that people need to “stop treating their opponents as morally defective.”

Trump also pointed a finger at the media — a sentiment he expounded upon Thursday morning in a tweet.

So Trump has now cited three causes for what happened Wednesday: people who villainize their political opponents, people who cast their opponents as “morally defective” and resentment of the media. All three effectively implicate Trump himself.

Nobody in American politics in recent years has so villainized and attacked the morality of their political opponents like Trump. His attacks are routinely about people’s character, rather than allowing for honest disagreements. He has literally appended nicknames to his opponents attacking their morality: “Lyin’ Ted,” “Crooked Hillary” and “Cheatin’ Obama.” Trump at one point before he ran for president even assured us that his critics weren’t just mistaken, but were “born f—ed up.” He has called the media and his female sexual harassment accusers “liars,” repeatedly.

And just two weeks ago, while defending his Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, Trump said Kavanaugh’s opponents were not just wrong, but “evil” — repeatedly.

“You had forces saying things that were evil. They were bad people,” Trump said. When asked whether he was calling fellow Americans “evil,” Trump confirmed that he was: “I know many. I know fellow Americans that are evil. I know — are you saying we shouldn’t say that a fellow American is ‘evil?’ I’ve known some fellow Americans that are pretty evil.”

But perhaps the biggest self-incrimination here is in Trump’s decision to blame this on the media.

It bears noting that only one of the targets thus far was a media outlet; The others were Democratic and liberal figures whom Trump has verbally attacked. If this was truly about frustration with the media, sending a bomb to Joe Biden or Eric Holder doesn’t really make sense.

Setting that aside, Trump seems to be arguing that the media has created such resentment that people are liable to do things like mail bombs to people they don’t like. But here’s the thing: Trump has spent the better part of the past three years egging on suspicions of the media — and often unfairly. There are undoubtedly some fair criticisms in there — the media isn’t perfect and should never claim to be — but Trump has also gone so far as to label the media the “enemy of the American people.”

He has repeatedly denied reports that he and his administration later confirmed. He has attacked anonymous sources as nonexistent even though there was an official White House transcript to prove it. He has made repeated claims about how the media covered him that don’t comport with reality or what he said previously.

Which is what he’s doing now.

Trump accusing others of things he is guilty of is nothing new.

And his rhetoric about reducing anger and division is likely to be thrown out the window at his next rally.