As one political commentator put the matter, his actions “have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it—and rather successfully. Cassius was right: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
That is certainly an apt description of Trump, even though it is a quote from March of 1954, in a Edward R. Murrow broadcast examining the work of Joe McCarthy. Old Joe was a Republican Senator from Wisconsin who had a brief claim to fame by loudly and publicly accusing large numbers of government officials of being communists. He ranted and raved, accused and insulted, but rarely produced a shred of evidence. He just made wild claims, often demonstrably false but shouted with such conviction that they carried a great deal of weight with the public.
One characteristic of the conservative mind is a certain paranoia, an exaggerated sense of needing to be on the defense. As it usually shows up in people, it is relatively harmless, being little more than gullibility for any word, true or not, that supports their defense or their accusations against their supposed enemies.
Think, for example, of the patently absurd story some time ago about Obama costing the US 200 million dollars a day for a trip to India. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk jumped on the story, ridiculous as it was, without pausing for a second to ask whether it was true. the truth did not matter. All that mattered was that Obama was being accused of something bad.
As Murrow notes about McCarthy, Trump exploits the fears and insecurities of the ultra-conservatives in America. He takes advantage of their gullibility and their lack of concern for truth. To be stamped in the image of Joe McCarthy is a shameful thing, Mr. Trump.