Tillerson Takes Parting Shots At Trump
In describing outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s parting statement, the BBC noted:
“He pointedly failed to thank Mr Trump or praise his policies.”
Actually, the BBC may have understated things. An examination of Tillerson’s remarks reveals some not-too-thinly-veiled shots at Trump. Near the end of his departing speech, Tillerson said:
“Importantly to the 300-plus million Americans, thank you for your devotion to a free and open society, to acts of kindness to one another, to honesty, and the quiet, hard work you do every day to support this government with your tax dollars.”
Instead of thanking Trump, these words thanked people and acts that embody the very opposite of Trump:
• “a free and open society”: Trump notably opposes free expression, as shown in Trump’s directing vulgarity at protesters (such as Colin Kaepernick) and Trump’s trying to bully and intimidate the media (“Fake News”)
• “acts of kindness to one another”: Trump campaigned on hatred and incivility, which he directed at other candidates, minority groups, and many other targets
• “quiet”: reality-TV-minded Trump is an exhibitionist and narcissist with a Twitter addiction — the complete antithesis of quiet humility
• “hard work”: Trump notoriously does not read briefings or devote attention to fine points of policy; meanwhile, he spends his time in office golfing, after having criticized President Obama for having done so
• “to support this government with your tax dollars”: the public’s tax dollars go to fuel massive Trump expenditures on golfing and travel to his winter White House (Mar-a-Lago), as well as other high costs involving travel and security for his family. Meanwhile, there is no indication that Trump has ever paid his share of taxes: he has still
failed to release his tax returns; and, when it was suggested (during a Presidential debate) that he doesn’t pay taxes, he said, “That makes me smart.” Indeed, by taking a $916 million tax deduction, he apparently avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years; yet, according to a tax expert, the loss (that gave rise to the claim for the massive deduction) was “attributable primarily to losing other people’s money” (i.e., funds that were contributed by other investors).
In summary, Tillerson seems to be one person who keenly remembers the ironic and irrevocably broken promise from Trump’s inauguration speech: “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
And so, on his way out of office, Tillerson delivered a powerful message. He lavished no praise on the narcissist Trump. Instead, he showed regard for those who exemplify Trump’s complete antithesis.
Well said, Rex.