Election 2016 is not a schoolyard kickball game, and Donald Trump does not get to call “redo” after a bad kick like the class whiner.
Trump’s consecutive efforts to call redo, or “pivot” toward civil decency simply do not count. They are meaningless insults to America’s intellect. Trump is still a neofascist, racist bigot who got this far into the election by calling for ethnic deportations, religious bans and oppressive interpretations of the First Amendment. He can shakeup his staff of, allegedly, the “best people” as many times as he wants, but he is still a menace to American democracy.
As such, Trump needs to stop being treated like a baby, especially by the conservative media, which has spent decades waxing poetic on the manliness of Republican presidential candidates (mostly for their dreams of eternal war). Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte got into trouble for lying about being robbed in Rio, and many commentators argued that he does not deserve to be let off easy because he is 32 years old. It’s true, Lochte is not a kid anymore, and his lie was stupid. Yet, in contrast, Donald Trump lies about Americans being robbed by immigrants on a daily basis, and he is 70 years old.
The number of years in which Trump is older than Ryan Lochte — 38 — is older than Ryan Lochte. Yet many in the political world have no professional guilt about treating Trump like a kid, and conservative media personalities believe that Trump deserves a do-over on account of his apology-without-actually-any-apologizing last week.
Politics is, of course, plagued with partisan, moral relativism, but Donald Trump is, objectively, a much bigger liar than Ryan Lochte. Trump certainly has much more destructive intentions. Say what you will about Lochte, the swimmer has never incited faux-populist rage directed at America’s most socio-economically disadvantaged to get elected into a job he certainly does not actually want to do.
Lochte should take a page out of the Trump playbook and just call for a pivot. Or call out the media for being “disgusting,” and smear journalists as “the lowest form of life” for reporting on his lie. Or declare pompously that the Brazilian government will pay for his legal fees.
Unfortunately, Trump is not about to take a page out of the Lochte playbook and apologize for his immature behavior.