(Photo courtesy of Rick Stiebel)

Rickter Scale: All hail the great white uniter

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

Rick Stiebel/Columnist

The list of qualities I admire in Donald Trump is much shorter than a super model’s mini skirt. There is one accomplishment he’s engineered, however, during his waltz to the White House that’s forced me to tip my hat. I do feel obliged to point out that the Habs cap in question is perched backwards atop my head in deference to my absurd reversal of opinion.

Although he has been branded by many as a divider, President Trump has somehow managed to bring together two groups that have less in common than Pope Francis and Snoop Dogg.

The fervent flocks that comprise the Evangelical Christian movement and the white supremacists who stained the streets in Charlottesville are surprisingly united in their unshakable support for President Trump. Devout born against across the country are absolutely rabid in their praise for the president. There’s nothing Trump can do or did contrary to their religious dogma that can shift their unwavering endorsement. The dangling carrot for Christians is Trump’s promise to obliterate a woman’s right to abortion under any circumstances. Trump’s attacks on morality, minorities and the marginalized aren’t enough to revoke his get out of jail free card because of the convenient Christian belief that God will forgive his sins. It’s given birth to a brand new commandment; “The end doth justify the means.” Trump’s crowning achievement for them is his appointment of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Look no further than Mississippi’s move last week toward invoking the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, setting the stage for the cradle of justice to sway to the extreme right.

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On the other side of this pairing of strange bedfellows lay the white supremacists. In their defence, it’s not easy being a neo-Nazi. You have to be able to march, chew gum, carry a Tiki torch and chant “Jews will not replace us” at the same time. A 17 per cent increase in their ranks since Trump was elected underlines that the hooded hordes are gaining popularity, which should unite the rest of us in singular disgust.

It would be enlightening to see if some analytics expert could correctly calculate the percentages for those two factions in the 35 or so voters out of every hundred who represent Trump’s base. What’s the breakdown between those who take the Old Testament verbatim, compared to those who consider Mein Kampf a must read?

It’s worth considering what’s at stake, especially now that the Mueller Report has sizzled to a fizzle and the prospects of early impeachment have gone up in smoke.

America and the rest of the planet are bracing for two more years in Trumpistan and potentially six, much to the delight of the ultra right. That leaves little middle ground on the horizon for those who seek comfort in a more measured, moderate approach.

Rick Stiebel is a semi-retired local journalist.


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