The divide over President Donald Trump was vividly demonstrated by two comments this week. Fox host Lou Dobbs declared Trump to be “the greatest president in the history of our country” while former Trump associate (and Communications director) Anthony Scaramucci called him a “cult leader” in the vein of Jim Jones.
Trump himself highlighted the comments of Dobbs in a signature self-aggrandizing moment. He told a crowd in Kentucky:
“I was watching the other night, the great Lou Dobbs. He said, when Trump took over,— when Trump took over, President Trump, he used to say ‘Trump is a great president,’ then he said ‘the greatest president since Ronald Reagan,’ then he said ‘No, no, Trump is an even better president than Ronald Reagan.’ And now he has me down as the greatest president in the history of our country, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln!”
I still find it extremely odd to hear such self-praise, but the crowd appears to have loved it. The suggestion that a president was greater than Washington and Lincoln would have once been viewed as not just comically exaggerated but somewhat sacrilegious in American politics.
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci had a distinctly different view. He told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move that “When you talk to elected Republicans privately they can’t stand the president. They know the president is a lawless person and basically a criminal.” He added “The president tries to shame people. He’ll bully people. Remember, we have to be 100% loyal to him like he’s David Koresh, or Jim Jones from the Jonestown Kool-Aid punch. If you’re not 100% loyal to him he flips out.”
The contrast in comments captures the insane divide in this country. There is no ground between these extremes for meaningful discussion which is a dangerous place for this country to find itself before a national election.