“What Have We Done?” Charles M. Blow on Donald Trump

Laura Maylene Walter
March 14, 2017
Comments 1

On a Saturday afternoon in mid-February, Charles M. Blow, New York Times op-ed columnist and author of the memoir Fire Shut Up In My Bones, spoke at Cleveland Public Library. So many people showed up to hear Blow speak about the political and social landscape under the Trump administration that the library had to make use of overflow seating to accommodate the crowd. I was working at the library that day and was able to listen in as Blow gave his enigmatic presentation.

Image result for fire shut up in my bonesBlow, whose op-eds (including, most recently, “Trump, Archenemy of Truth” and “The Death of Compassion”) at times offer blistering accounts of the implications of Donald Trump’s presidency, was just as forthright and unflinching in his speech at Cleveland Public Library. Here are a few snippets of what he had to say:

On what we’ve done: “Donald J. Trump is the president of the United States. That is a sentence I never thought I’d have to say. But here’s a sentence I haven’t been able to stop saying: ‘Good Lord, what have we done?’”

On racist plagiarism implications: “We elected a man who claimed Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father was too well-written for him to have written.”

On toxic masculinity: “We have elected a misogynist and a bigot. We have elected a man who is the logical extension of toxic masculinity.”

On the threat of silencing: “If Trump has his druthers, he would silence all dissent.”

After attempting to quote from one of Trump’s garbled speeches: “These sentences—you can’t diagram them.”

On dangerous rebranding: “Steve Bannon rebranded white nationalism as ‘alt-right,’ which sounds more like a computer command than a batch of fanatical racists.”

On respect and common decency: “I respect the presidency, but I do not respect the president . . . You can’t say yes to Trump and yes to common decency.”

On (not) falling in line: “It is impossible for me to fall in line behind an unrepentant bigot.”

On what’s happening in our country right now: “But now something else is spreading out—a call to resistance.”

And finally, on our American duty: “It is time for Americans to stand up, get loud, and fight back.”

Read Blow’s op-eds here, listen to his 2014 NPR interview surrounding Fire Shut Up In My Bones here, and watch his 2011 C-SPAN interview here.

One thought on ““What Have We Done?” Charles M. Blow on Donald Trump

  1. Smashing Trump is easy. Hardly a controversial subject matter. Charles M Blow needs to write an article critical of women’s rights in Muslim countries.

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