Op-Ed: No matter what happens in the midterms, pundits will trot out familiar narratives about Washington and Washington culture. But the truth is that our new politics and culture is more challenging than previous eras.
The Washington Post’s editorial board issued a scathing rebuke to President Donald Trump on Thursday, blasting his decision to sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries and banning immigration from seven others. It declared that Trump’s “misguided attacks on Muslims, immigrants, and other groups that don’t look like him” reveal his “deep-seated bigotry” and make him unfit to serve as president.
“Given his history of making false and misleading statements, his failure to acknowledge the legitimate concerns of religious minorities, and his failure to disavow white supremacists, the White House must issue a full apology for these statements,” the board wrote.
The statement came after Trump ignited a firestorm of controversy by first announcing that he would indefinitely suspend Muslims entering the country and then, shortly after issuing the order, announcing that he would temporarily suspend immigration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Yemen.
The order is particularly noteworthy because it was issued during the height of the Democratic presidential primaries, signaling Trump’s preference for a GOP nominee with anti-Muslim bona fides. Although Trump could have simply issued an executive order suspending non-immigrant immigration from these seven countries, he chose to issue a Muslim ban instead. Some of the criticisms leveled on the order were overblown. But while many of his campaign and now-official positions are the same ones he is now embracing, a large question mark hangs over his presidency, one that the White House, in particular, cannot effectively tackle.
Trump has repeatedly said he wants to build a wall on the southern border, and he has said the immigrants from his Muslim ban shouldn’t come in, period. He has used the rhetoric of war, calling undocumented immigrants ”rapists” and saying he’ll build a wall, and his advisers have suggested he could be persuaded to accept some immigrants if he could offer them better treatment.
And yet, this president, like so many before him, is facing challenges that are unique to his times.
“We face some of the most challenging circumstances the country has ever faced, and our