In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday night, Eric Trump described political opponents as "not even people" when talking about the criticisms of his father's administration. Trump honed in on the Democrats, who he accused of being an imploding party of obstructionists with no morality and no message.
“I’ve never seen hatred like this,” Trump told Hannity. “To me, they’re not even people. It’s so, so sad. Morality’s just gone, morals have flown out the window and we deserve so much better than this as a country."
And while he didn't explicitly name him, Trump also went so far as to call DNC Chairman Tom Perez "a total whack job." In response, Perez tweeted out a reminder Wednesday morning that those who have been most affected by the current administration are, in fact, people.
"Eric, Democrats are people," Perez tweeted. "So are Muslims, immigrants, women, people with pre-existing conditions, and everyone else Trump is hurting."
As for Trump's assertion that the Democrats and the president's other detractors are trying to "obstruct a great man," it would appear that Trump has either forgotten or does not care that his father routinely questioned former President Barack Obama's citizenship. Trump also seems to be under the false impression that his father is "great" for trying to take health care away from millions of people and withdrawing the U.S. from a significant climate deal.
Trump's criticisms of the Democrats did not end with his scathing comments about DNC leadership. He also argued that his father was able to win the election while spending less money because the Democrats have "no message" and "no solid candidates of their own."
It is not surprising that Trump — who is currently running the family business alongside his brother — would choose to defend his father and his family. However, there was no shortage of hypocrisy in Trump's remarks, and there was certainly no nuance. He described the behavior of his father's opponents as vicious, but never once stopped to consider that the president's treatment of marginalized communities has been the "truly, truly horrible" thing.
Many of the current administration's policies have been dehumanizing — of women seeking reproductive health care access, of immigrants, of Muslims, of LGBTQ people, of people with disabilities — but Eric Trump's assertion that he does not view his father's opponents as people is the most direct confirmation we have that this administration will not even pretend to value certain individuals.
Trump may have been focusing on the Democrats who have pushed for a continuation of the Russia probe and renewed their commitments to fight climate change, but he was really talking about anyone who has opposed the president, and we cannot let his words distract us from the administration's actions.