Hooray, Trump can read a Teleprompter | Inquirer
Emil Amok!

Hooray, Trump can read a Teleprompter

/ 04:19 AM March 02, 2017


President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. listen. ASSOCIATED PRESS

On the same week the Abu Sayaaf released a video that showed the beheading of 70-year-old German, Jurgen Kantner, America’s Trump45 was railing out against “Radical Islamic Terror.”

He had been warned by his own advisors not to use the word. Not diplomatic enough.

But Trump did it anyway when he spoke for the first time before a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

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It wasn’t exactly a State of the Union; more like a Trump state of mind.

But that means the best thing you could say about Trump45’s address before Congress is this: At least the TelePrompTer didn’t break.

If it did, who knows what we would’ve seen on speech night.


“Campaign Trump”? Or “Twitter Trump”? That’s the Trump who has been the real enemy of the people.

But this speech, overall, was more tempered. Milder. And he didn’t veer off.

The president showed us all — he could read! Sad.


And just for doing that, 78 percent of viewers in a CNN/ORC poll gave Trump positive marks.

Now that’s something Trump understands. Ratings. To date, however, governing has been a mystery.

But now Trump will learn from experience that if you give a political speech that’s long on promises on things like jobs, education, infrastructure, and Obamacare, without a stitch of detail on how to keep those promises, let alone pay for them, ratings can and will go up.

Maybe he’ll start acting normal now?

There were two things, specifically, I was looking for in the speech, and I was pretty disappointed.

Though Trump began the speech talking about Black History Month and civil rights, he really could have condemned the more than 70 threats to Jewish Community Centers and the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries much stronger than he did.

And he could have dwelled on the shootings of Indian Americans in Olathe, near Kansas City. One man, Srinivas Kuchibhotla died. Another Indian American was wounded.

A Caucasian man, Ian Grillot, 24, was wounded trying to disarm the shooter, another Caucasian male, Adam Purinton, 51, who started it all by hurling racial slurs at the Indians.

These are the kind of things Trump45 has brought out in America since the start of his presidency.

We should have seen a passionate denunciation of these acts.

Instead, Trump simply read the prompter then bathed in the shower of lengthy self-congratulatory applause like he was some civil rights hero.

Au contraire. With his anti-immigrant, build-a-wall, nationalistic rhetoric, Trump has given a segment of America a signal that hate is OK in America.

He’s the O-KKK.

Trump’s victory uncorked all that we thought was stopped up for good in America.

The president simply acknowledged it with a single line: “While we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

It didn’t seem sincere. Not after the first 40 days. It seemed hollow. He didn’t even mention the Asian Americans by nationality or name. It was just a shooting in Kansas City.

Not good enough.

Of course, later in his speech, Trump milked another sentimental moment to honor Navy Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens, who died in Yemen during a botched raid last January. Even Owens’ father feels the circumstances should be investigated. But Trump isn’t having any of it. Ryan Owens is a hero, and get the widow to the capitol, the president needs a speech prop.

The military, a Gold Star family is always a safe bet.

But the JCC, or a murdered Indian immigrant? Trump gave them short-shrift.

It’s the reason Trump’s big pre-speech “leak” that he would be calling for a bipartisan immigration reform seemed just like an insincere tease.

After the travel ban fiasco, and the new ICE policies that have resulted in round ups of undocumented immigrants around the country, a real push for a compromise on immigration would have been a great headline.

But there was “no there, there.”

Not when Trump’s speech contained more talk of a wall, references to “illegal immigrants,” and borders as the site of “lawless chaos.” And then, as he is likes to do, Trump mixes border security with national security and all that entails, and creates for us all one big fear: “Radical Islamic Terrorism.”

By the time he got around to his pitch for a bipartisan immigration “compromise,” Trump had no credibility.

Immigration has always been humanitarian based for political or economic reasons for the immigrant. The benefit to the U.S. has always been the extra.

Trump’s idea is for a merit-based immigration.

He could have made a better case had he mentioned the name of the Indian man who died, Srinivas Kuchibhotla. He was a tech worker at Garmin, the GPS company. He was one of the immigrants Trump likes. Just not enough to mention in a major speech.

There were other glaring things Trump said in other parts of the speech. Like calling education the “civil rights issue of our time.”

Really? So is that why Betsy DeVos, the voucher queen hell bent on destroying public education, the secretary of education?

Fortunately, Trump didn’t mention Abu Sayyaf. But he did say this.

“We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world,” Trump said. “We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America—we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.”

Stated or unstated, if you were Filipino you have to figure the beheading of Kantner was potentially more fuel for Trump’s xenophobic fire.

Maybe alt-right advisor Steve Bannon will mention it to Trump and they’ll put the Philippines next on the travel ban bad-ass list.

Just don’t be fooled by a guy who just proved to you he can read a TelePrompTer.

It’s still the same Trump.

Journalist and commentator Emil Guillermo writes his “Amok” column from Northern California.

Contact: twitter@emilamok

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TAGS: Donald Trump, hate crimes, opinion, terrorism, US Congress
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