Trump rams greatness down our throats
Did Trump think Harlan was talking about him when he said, "Your words and mine can have as much destructive and divisive potential as creative and healing potential"? More likely, he thought people were talking about him when they sang "O come let us adore him."
In a Christmas video, Trump briefly captured the meaning of the day when he spoke of renewing "the bonds of love and goodwill between our citizens." But even in this message, he managed to find division. He highlighted the belief that the Old Testament prophet Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be the Messiah. Jews dispute that interpretation.
The holiday wasn't yet over when Trump tweeted that "tomorrow it's back to work in order to Make America Great Again (which is happening faster than anyone anticipated)!" The next morning, he resumed attacks on Obamacare and a "Crooked Hillary pile of garbage."
Contrast that with another head of state's Christmas message. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II spoke of the resilience of London and Manchester after terrorist attacks, mentioned the victims of Caribbean hurricanes, hailed charities and volunteers, and delivered a unifying Christmas theme about the baby Jesus, "whose only sanctuary was a stable in Bethlehem. He knew rejection, hardship and persecution, and yet it is Jesus Christ's generous love and example which has inspired me through good times and bad."
I write this on Boxing Day, a holiday for many of the Commonwealth nations of the former British empire, with a twinge of envy. I don't wish that the queen would take us back. But I regret that our head of state, with his jingoistic talk of greatness, squanders American goodness.
Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.
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