John Kasich has demanded that Donald Trump apologize for stating that Judge Curiel is incapable of exercising proper legal judgement. That is only the first unicorn in the parade around Trump Tower. Just on this issue, he owes apologies to the judge, to the judicial system, to America and to western democratic ideals. But those are only the apologies for the Trump U. case. There are lots of others for another time.
First, the judge. Mr. Trump’s comments say more about himself than about the judge. The judge has some Mexican heritage therefore he must be biased because Trump will build a wall to prevent immigrants from easily breaching the US border and has made disparaging remarks about Mexicans. Mr. Trump apparently has a world view in which it is normal and natural to judge others based on ethnic identity. It is particularly disturbing that he believes an American judge would automatically be subject to that type of bias.
Which brings us to apology number two. If Mr. Trump believes that a judge of Curiel’s stature is so easily corrupted by nothing more than an accident of heritage and that’s a natural condition, then what does he think of the rest of the institution? Does that mean he would only appoint Supreme Court Justices that would likely be good for his businesses? (Thank God for the Senate confirmation process – for once!) Does it mean that he cannot be judged because those of different racial, ethnic or political groups would be prejudiced against him and those of his groups would be biased in his favor so no one can judge him? I wonder if that would work for me.
He should also apologize to the country for demeaning its ideals. I will be far from the first to proclaim that the US has no flaws but I will always argue that its principles are the model of western democracy. If Mr. Trump believes they can be so easily ignored by a member of one of its core institutions, then perhaps he does not actually believe in the institutions of the country he wants to run. He shows the same sort of contempt for freedom of the press and to some degree for freedom of assembly (but only if the assembly includes people who are against him).
I’m not holding my breath that we will get any apologies but at least that has better odds than the unicorns knocking down Trump Tower — well, maybe not!