Donald Trump’s unprecedented “go back to your country” comments question the loyalty of elected officials based on their race. On many occasions, Trump has used similar language when speaking about immigrants in this county. Why were these same Congressmen not outraged previously?

Yesterday, the House of Representatives issued a resolution condemning tweets by the sitting President of the United States of America, Donald Trump. In response to an overtly racist tweet thread he sent, without issuing an apology, the Democratically controlled House rebuked the President’s remarks. The condemning of a President is usually referred to as a censure. Throughout history, the censure of those in political offices is mainly used by and for those who occupy a seat in the Senate or Congress. 

However, it is not a common occurrence and censure has not been used by either the Senate or the House for at least seven years. Censures are more like reprimandings and are a form of public humiliation for those in the highest offices of our federal government who are engaging in dialogue that is not considered appropriate or committing an unlawful act that is not worthy of removal. Censuring does not usually lead to expulsion. 

The only time a sitting President was condemned was Andrew Jackson, President of the United States from 1829 until 1837.  He was condemned by the Senate for not disclosing documents related to the defunding of the Bank of the United States and his removal of the Secretary of the Treasury. However, there were previous instances that either the House or the Senate attempted to censure a President; Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama were all subjects of censure attempts. 

This is a historic move for the House of Representatives in a government that seems ineffectual in its efforts to combat racism and hate speech, even within its ranks. So far, most of the President’s comments went unchecked until now. However, there were two other censuring attempts against the President in relation to his comments: the first was in regard to his remarks about the United the Right rally, stating that “both sides” were equally involved in the violence in Charlotte, North Carolina that killed Heather Hayer: the second attempt at censuring the President was in regard to his alleged comments about “shithole” countries. 

These comments remained uncensored on both sides and even in the wake of Trump’s recent remarks, most Republicans remain eerily silent and were unwilling to cross party lines and come out against the Republican President. In this most recent case, only four Republicans stepped up and voted to condemn the President’s tweets.  How are these most recent comments more offensive than previous statements or tweets by this President?

The four women he attacked are not foreigners, they are United States citizens. Born or naturalized, they all grew up in the United States. When most people look at these four women, they see bravery and the future of politics. For others, they represent the reality that the United States is one of the greatest melting pots in the world and these people believe that anyone who looks like The Squad should be unable to represent the United States of America. There are eleven other naturalized citizens serving in this Congress.

Donald Trump’s unprecedented comments questions the loyalty of elected officials based on their race. Though his attacks were obvious before his Presidency and the public was warned about what his Presidency might bring, the reality is that Donald Trump has the strongest base of any current politician. For years, his attacks on underrepresented groups in this country went unnoticed or were not regarded seriously by government leaders. As of yesterday, they are taken seriously, but for political gain. 

When Trump attacks the general public, Congress does nothing to condemn the President’s remarks even when there are clear and just reasons for the censorship of his previous comments. It is astounding that more censuring attempts were not made. The only reason that the Democrats considered censuring Donald Trump is because he attacked their own. The only reason why four Republicans crossed party lines is because he attacked their constituents in the House. On many occasions, Trump has used similar language when speaking about immigrants in this county.  Why were these same Congressmen not outraged previously?

Essentially, Congress did not censure the President as a pathway to impeachment or to truly hold him accountable for his actions, they did it to garner votes and protect their own. The Squad in the House of Representatives fully deserves protection from their own party, even though Nancy Pelosi criticized their progressive stances. However, Pelosi may need these women just as much as she may criticize them. They will keep many who feel disenchanted with the political climate of the United States with the Democratic Party. 

This condemning of racism really had nothing to do with racism and everything to do with a political strategy to garner support from victims of racism and Generation Z, who grows more socially aware every day to the point of sometimes being too politically correct.

Now, it is time to see if the President’s inevitable future comments will be dealt with using the same amount of pressure. If the Democrats do not truly believe in looking out for the citizens of the United States and only believe in looking out for their own, then perhaps they are just as bad as the majority of Republicans in the House who did not vote for the resolution. 

While the actions of the House for passing a resolution to condemn racist remarks by the President are applaudable, however it came about, needs to be a censorship of comments against those without a voice in our government. As much as the resolution proves that society progressed to be able to condemn a horrendous racist attack such as Donald Trump’s on The Squad, were these actions only taken because it was an attack on those within their ranks? Was this just a move to further their own popularity by showing their support for The Squad?  Is it true that they are not here for the people or by the people even though they are of the people, that they are simply here to win the next election by whatever means necessary? People forget that sometimes, even for a noble cause such as reclaiming the heart and soul of democracy in the United States, politics is a dirty game and always will be.

Margaret Valenti

Margaret Valenti is the Editor of Generation Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today.