Trump Pulls a Reagan: Zoomed Photo Shows He Edited Speech To Add Controversial Chinese Virus Comment


Read my lips: “Chinese virus” isn’t racist.

I know many people seem not to agree with this simple sentiment. And crazily enough, this actually seems to be something we’re discussing in the midst of a global pandemic.

Apparently, President Donald Trump has made a grave, bigoted error in the eyes of the media by continuing to refer to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus.”

On Thursday, Trump again referred to it that way during a news conference.

Not only that, but a photograph showed he followed in the footsteps of former President Ronald Reagan.

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Confused? Well, take a look at this telling zoom-in by Jabin Botsford:

Yes, again on Thursday, he referred to the virus as the “Chinese virus” instead of “coronavirus.”

The shame. The obloquy upon our country.

Here are two of the top replies from this one:

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Whichever side you take, you’re probably not going to change your mind.

And yet, remember that the most famous speech of another Republican president was also subject to significant scrutiny.

Hopefully you’re old enough to remember it.

I warn you, once you watch this clip, you’ll be addicted to conservatism for life. Viewer discretion is advised:

Oh, wait, no, he didn’t just say that — did he? That’s good stuff. I want some more of that.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how people become conservatives.

Yes, Gorbachev listened, the wall was torn down and peace reigned.

Yet in 1987, when this speech was delivered, many people didn’t want Reagan to give it. “Don’t anger the bear in the woods that we made that advertisement about,” they probably thought to themselves.

The writer of the famous Reagan speech was Peter Robinson. The geekier among us will know him as the host of the Hoover Institution’s “Uncommon Knowledge.” The ungeekier among us will know him not all. This is where it helps to be geekier, I suppose.

Robinson was a speechwriter for President Reagan who also knew a West German woman named Ingeborg Elz. Elz knew someone who knew Robinson — and the rest would be history.

In a 2007 piece for the National Archives describing his role in history, Robinson explained why it was appropriately small.

“Why was there only one Great Communicator?” he wrote.

“Because Ronald Reagan’s writers were never attempting to fabricate an image, just to produce work that measured up to the standard Reagan himself had already established. His policies were plain. He had been articulating them for decades — until he became President he wrote most of his material himself.

Do you think the phrase "Chinese virus" is racist?

“When I heard Frau Elz say that Gorbachev should get rid of the wall, I knew instantly that the President would have responded to her remark. And when the State Department and National Security Council tried to block my draft by submitting alternate drafts, they weakened their own case. Their speeches were drab. They were bureaucratic. They lacked conviction. The people who wrote them had not stolen, as I had, from Frau Elz — and from Ronald Reagan.”

Reagan eventually decided against the State Department and the NSC.

And? The results stand up to history.

Why is this the same as Trump’s edit? Both Reagan and Trump knew they had to identify the problem — because without a problem, there’s no solution.

And yet, there are people in President Trump’s midst — just as there were people in President Reagan’s midst — who don’t want to acknowledge there is a problem. They don’t want to acknowledge there is a bear.

Fair enough.

The media’s facilitating the new communists, so Trump responds as if he’s dealing with communists.

If you don’t acknowledge there is a bear, however, you can’t get one to stand down.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture