After the outrage of stoking his supporters to chant 'Send her back', it's clear Donald Trump is no longer fit to lead America by STEPHEN GLOVER

Lots of people have bent over backwards to give President Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt.
It was always clear to all except his most blinkered admirers that he is an obnoxious man, a bully and a misogynist. 

But reasonable observers could see that he had tapped into the fears of many people about uncontrolled immigration and the dire effects of globalisation.
So whenever those on the Left accused him of Fascism, I felt they were concentrating on the disagreeable aspects of his personality without conceding that he speaks for tens of millions of decent people in America – and no doubt in this country, too.
Moreover, he is the Leader of the Free World, and the President of our closest ally, so it seemed there was nothing to be gained, and almost certainly much to be lost, in covering this famously thin-skinned man with abuse.
But after his latest outrage – stoking an hysterical crowd into chanting ‘SEND HER BACK’, in reference to an elected US congresswoman of Somali origin – it’s no longer possible to mount any kind of respectable defence of Donald Trump.
This was as ugly as it can get in a democracy. A crowd including children at a rally in North Carolina was incited into a kind of racist hysteria by the President of the United States, some of them with raised fists. They constituted a mob – created and controlled by Trump.
No previous American President could have conceivably behaved like this. Nor would any democratically elected Western leader one can think of. 
The horrid truth is that one has to go back to the Fascist demagogues of the 1930s in Germany and Italy to find politicians eager to whip up supporters in a comparable way.
Needless to say, I’m no fan of Ilhan Omar, the woman who was the target of the mob’s rage, and who earlier in the week Trump crudely invited to ‘go back’ home, along with three other non-white female, American-born members of the so-called ‘Squad’.
Omar is a hard-line socialist whose hostility to Israel has led to plausible charges of anti-Semitism. She would, in fact, be perfectly at home in Jeremy Corbyn’s inner sanctum. 
In the unlikely event of her ever getting close to power, she would be a disaster for her fellow Americans.
However, she is an elected representative and an American citizen, who escaped a terrible civil war in Somalia before spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya. Then she was rescued by Uncle Sam.
If all Americans with foreign connections were sent back to where their immediate ancestors came from, there would be many millions of them – including Donald Trump, whose own mother was born in the Hebrides, and did not arrive in the United States until a day after her 18th birthday.
Trump is really suggesting that someone who is black and foreign-born, and happens to hold views he doesn’t like, should not enjoy the same rights as ordinary Americans. In his estimation, she has inferior status. We all know the last time a populist leader sought to demonise a whole section of the population.
Of course, unlike Adolf Hitler, if nothing else, he is circumscribed by the long-established apparatus of a democratic state. And, unlike the evil Nazi leader, he has not developed a coherent racist philosophy.
Rather, he lashes out in destructive way because he is a deeply unpleasant and opportunistic man. 
In the 2016 presidential campaign, he repeatedly called his opponent, Hillary Clinton, ‘crooked’, and delighted his followers by suggesting that she should be ‘locked up’. 
There were echoes, of course, in this week’s chants of ‘SEND HER BACK’ directed at Omar. Isn’t it interesting how his nastiness takes on an extra edge when he is attacking women? 
For Trump, women are first and foremost ‘meat’ – as newly unearthed video footage taken at his Mar-a-Lago club in 1992 attests.
He is shown standing next to the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, pointing to one woman before saying: ‘She’s hot!’ In another scene, he grabs one young woman by the waist, as he is surrounded by a bevy of laughing girls.
There’s plenty of evidence that Trump is sexist as well as racist – and by any normal standards a thoroughly disagreeable human being.
His latest outburst has thrown the United States into a new sphere of febrile populist politics – which why it is shameful that only a handful of Republicans have so far dared to rebuke him. This is a pivotal moment in his presidency, and no doubt in the history of his country.
Trump’s calculation is that if he develops the narrative of ungrateful, foreign-born, non-white people taking advantage of an over-indulgent America, he will energise his core support. To judge by the squalid reaction of the crowd in North Carolina, he is bang on the money.
But will reasonable people of conservative disposition be swayed by Trump’s dredging the swamps of populism? 
The United States is certainly a more Right-wing country than Britain, and it possible for politicians to use language there that would be considered unacceptable here.
All the same, I have some faith in the good sense of most Americans to resist extremism. It could be that by whipping up a crowd into a racist frenzy, and using racist jibes against the Squad, Trump has alienated a number of the voters without whom he cannot be re-elected President of the United States.
Let’s hope so. We can only pray. The events of the past few days have confirmed what many of us feared but didn’t want to believe – that this awful man is not fit to be leader of his great country and of the Free World.

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