The Weekly Standard, one of the nation's leading conservative opinion magazines, says a pro-Trump ruling by a judge once slammed by the president as a "hater" likely prejudiced by his Mexican heritage unmasks the commander in chief as a player of "identity politics" that have no place in the world.
"There's something wrong with politics when it becomes personal — especially when we're wrong about the person," the magazine's editors write in an editorial published Thursday.
In May 2016 during the presidential race, Trump tore into U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel who was overseeing a lawsuit against his now-defunct Trump University — accusing the jurist of a "conflict of interest" because "this judge is of Mexican heritage. [And] I'm building a [U.S.-Mexico border] wall."
This week, Curiel knocked down California environmentalists' concerns and ruled that Trump may move ahead with constructing the wall.
"Had Curiel ruled differently, or further prolonged the building of the wall, imagine the president's response," the editors write.
"Identity politics is chiefly a phenomenon of the left, but there is a version of it on the right, or on the alt-right, and candidate Trump and many of his supporters embraced it, knowingly or not. . . The individual is reducible to his or her identity and there's no saying otherwise.
"The African-American male, the Mexican-American female, the white Midwestern worker, the same-sex couple: These are not complex individuals but easily comprehensible and predictable political identities. It's a dismal worldview and we wish to have no part of it."
The editors add they do not know or want to know how Curiel leans politically.
"In the best of worlds, a judge's political opinions are irrelevant anyway. But we are happy to be reminded by his decision, pace candidate Trump's fulminations, that a man's identity does not reliably predict his ideas or his outlook," they write.
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