Donald Trump picked an inopportune time to try to make people forget his history: concurrent with the Jewish festival of Passover, a holiday about recalling the past.
With a haste suggesting he thinks Americans aren’t all that bright, Trump has been rebranding himself as an inoffensive candidate for the general election. He gave a temperate victory speech in New York on Tuesday and he took more moderate positions this week on gay rights, abortion and the national debt. Trump’s chief strategist, The Post reports, told a group of Republicans privately that Trump had been playing a “part” and is “now evolving.”
Those appalled by Trump’s campaign of insults aren’t about to let him succeed in that evolution. But there is a challenge in this exercise: After so many outrageous things have come out of his mouth, which ones to choose?
I suggest borrowing a page from the Passover Haggadah. The Seder service recalls the Ten Plagues that God inflicted on the Egyptians: blood, frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and slaying of the firstborn. This, come to think of it, sounds a lot like Trump’s descriptions of women: fat pigs, dogs, slobs, disgusting animals. But if the Ten Plagues of Egypt were enough to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh, perhaps these Ten Plagues of Trump will help to deliver America from his efforts to make voters forget the past 10 months.
Trump on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Trump has previously said that what matters is having “a young and beautiful piece of ass,” and he said avoiding sexually transmitted diseases was “my personal Vietnam.”
Mexico is “sending people that have lots of problems,” he said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
Trump has called repeatedly for rounding up and deporting all 11 million illegal immigrants, alleged that prominent Hispanic American journalists are controlled by Mexico, mocked Asian accents and disabled people and told Jews they wouldn’t support him “because I don’t want your money.”
Trump said he saw “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 attacks. He also let stand the charge at one of his events that President Obama is a Muslim.
When a protester was escorted from a Trump rally, Trump fondly recalled the old days, when “they’d be carried out on a stretcher.” Trump said of the protester: “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Trump also considered paying the legal fees of a supporter who cold-cocked a black demonstrator at one of his rallies and who said, “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.” Trump also retweeted messages from white supremacists and suggested a Black Lives Matter demonstrator roughed up at his event deserved it.
Trump said he would like to bring back waterboarding for terrorism detainees and a “hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” He said at one point that he would expect the military to follow illegal orders to torture detainees and to target innocent family members of terrorists.
Trump, before recanting, said “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who get an abortion if the procedure were made illegal.
Trump has told mass rallies that he wants to “bomb the [expletive] out of ISIS.” He called his chief rival, Ted Cruz, a “pussy,” and made unsubstantiated insinuations about Cruz’s wife, Heidi: “Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!”
Trump used the occasion of a nationally televised debate to “guarantee you” there was “no problem” with the size of his penis.
Flaying of the first birther
Trump led the “birther” movement challenging President Obama’s standing as a natural-born American. During the campaign he called for ending the tradition of birthright citizenship for all born on U.S. soil.
Like the Seder service on Passover, the catalog of Trump’s outrages could go on and on. And it should: Post Opinions Digital Editor James Downie and I are compiling a comprehensive list of Trumpisms, and we invite you to email us your favorites at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure all of his offenses are included.
But even if we only had these Ten Plagues of Trump, it would be enough — dayenu, as we say during Passover — to make Trump’s rebranding impossible.