Adventures in spinelessness:
The year Jesse Owens burned bright under Nazism’s glare, a grave injustice was obscured beneath the Olympic flame.
Avery Brundage, head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, held out two American Jewish sprinters from the 1936 Games so as not to anger Adolph Hitler should Jews mount the medal stand.
Why? Simple. Brundage had a financial stake in not offending. Brundage’s construction company was bidding for German contracts.
The ranks of those who would grant dispensation for this coward’s errand surely are microscopic. We do, however, know one man who would award Brundage a hearty thumbs up: Donald Trump.
If Robert Mueller is the gumshoe we assume him to be, we will come to know the extent to which Trump, the developer, has sold his soul to insidious outsiders.
“Follow the money” is no throw-away line when it leads, for instance, to Germany’s Deutsche Bank, which over that last 20 years has loaned Trump $4 billion, necessitated largely because the Orange Scofflaw’s credit had dried up on these shores.
As Vanity Fair reports, the bank has strong and seedy ties to Russia that the German government is investigating, and about which it can expect to hear from Mueller, if he hasn’t called already.
Trump’s simian “speak-see-hear no evil” posture on Russia’s election meddling said everything. His refusal to release his taxes (being audited, he said this time last year) screams as much.
Someone has something on him.
But even Trump will acknowledge that not everything comes down to money. Often it comes down to power, and deals with any number of devils, like these:
Trump is owned by the “alt-right”: That explains why he just couldn’t denounce Nazi hoodlums, as his handlers wished that he would, and leave it at that.
Just as Breitbart knows that white supremacists have helped make it a player on the national scene, so, too, with Trump. Or what’s a Steve Bannon for?
If the tea party is the life force of the Republican Party, the alt-right it the life force of Trumpism.
Note the absence of women at the torch-bearing marches and bullhorn symphonies of these dangerous dudes. It’s Donald Trump’s core support: angry white men.
Angry men like Jack Posobiec, a Trump supporter who the Washington Post theorized as being the brainchild behind a sign reading “Rape Melania” that was doctored into pictures of anti-Trump rallies. See how horrible Trump’s opponents are? Ah, that fake news.
The alt-right goons are doing Trump’s bidding the way goons do. Sweaty white supremacists have been foot soldiers in his quest for power. He owes them and now owns the problems they cause.
Trump is owned by the religious right: Isn’t it amazing that leaders of the religious right are so silent about Trump’s – well, everything? His racism. His sexism. His misogyny. His dogged dishonesty in business and in office.
Jerry Falwell Jr. was telling CNN over the weekend how this president is a man of deep beliefs. Yes, deep. So deep no one can find them.
Donald J. Trump is as alien to what Christ stood for as a brush salesman on the moon. But to the pious right he proved to be a useful ally in holding court in red-state culture wars, so he played its game. It was a Faustian twosome.
Trump held his nose and kissed preachers’ rings. And the preachers held their noses as he did, glomming onto his disreputableness in their never-ending quest to order gestation by state mandate, to further stigmatize gays and lesbians, and to treat transgender individuals like mythical ogres.
So we know what motivates these neo-partisans (new term for these “evangelical leaders”). We still have no idea what Donald Trump stands for, none, except maybe what the Deutsche Bank ledger has to say.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.