Charles Blow Reveals How Much 'The New York Times' Wants to Hate Trump
On Thursday, Charles Blow, one of the more aggressive columnists at The New York Times, explained President Donald Trump's psychology in a way that revealed his own animus toward the president.
Blow mentioned the tragic case of the Central Park Five, four black men and one Hispanic man convicted of a brutal rape and murder in 1989 who were exonerated in 2002 and awarded a settlement of $41 million from New York City in 2014. The Times writer quoted an ad Trump paid for a few days after the attack, in which Trump declared, "BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!"
In that ad, the future president declared his decision to "hate these muggers and murderers."
"Mayor Koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts. I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers," Trump wrote. "They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes."
For emphasis, he added, "Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I am looking to punish them."
Trump has not taken back his advocacy for the death penalty and his assurance that these men were guilty. Even after the 2014 settlement, Trump insisted the five were guilty, and his unwillingness to reconsider became a minor issue in the 2016 presidential election.
Charles Blow was right to criticize Trump for these stances in his New York Times op-ed Thursday, but he went too far in choosing to interpret the president's views and statements using this event as a prism.
"That to me is the thing with this man: He wants to hate," Blow wrote. "When Trump feels what he believes is a righteous indignation, his default position is hatred. Anyone who draws his ire, anyone whom he feels attacked by or offended by, anyone who has the nerve to stand up for himself or herself and tell him he’s wrong, he wants to hate, and does so."
The Times writer declared, "This hateful spirit envelopes him, consumes him and animates him."
Blow accused the president of "hating" people, one by one. "He hates women .... He hates black people .... He hates immigrants .... He hates Muslims ...."
"He always disguises his hatred, often as a veneration and defense of his base, the flag, law enforcement or the military. He hijacks their valor to advance his personal hatred," Blow insisted.
Then came the fundamentally important confession. Blow condemned Trump's alleged "hate," but he himself was more than willing to fuel an animus against the president that could plausibly be defined as hate.