To The Editor:

Political reality dictates that Democrat candidates for president promote “a woman’s right to choose,” while Republicans must oppose abortion — rhetorically. Trump, however, seems to have meant it. Remember that debate with Hillary? “Ripping a baby out of the womb might be all right with you, but it’s not with me.” Blunt, inelegant, clear. This breach of double-speak etiquette caused some to cheer, others to pull their hair.

He was not just “shooting from the hip.” His policies have been of a piece with his words. Again, at this year’s Pro-Life March, he persisted: “I will veto any legislation that promotes abortion.” Imagine how that went down in the green room at CNN. Does this help explain the visceral loathing (malice, in my view) against Trump? No one declares this, but public controversies are not always entirely what they seem to be about.

Media coverage (90 percent negative) is as constant as it is frenzied: Trump is Putin’s houseboy, a puppet or a spy, a saboteur of peace, an isolationist, a Nazi, an anti-Semite, an Islamophobe, a builder of immoral walls (“experts” know they won’t work), a lover of coal, a wrecker of alliances, an eater of fast-foods and hater of salads. The task of filling up the list, I’d rather leave to you.

For a thesaurus of the standard insults, Kathleen Parker’s ventings appear biweekly in The Missourian. Any of her columns will illustrate the standard line of attack. The one I just picked up from my basement recycling pile is dated 1/16/19. Her dual theme here is the wall and the shutdown — both entirely the fault of the president. He is “impervious” to the pain of federal employees because “billionaires can’t relate” to working stiffs who need a paycheck. Ms. Parker doesn’t tell us at what income level the heart deadens, but let’s hope that a mere millionaire like Pelosi, or a well-off columnist can still feel our pain. As if the shutdown and wall didn’t prove reptilian blood, Parker reminds us that he once “threw paper towels to hurricane victims.” So there! Trump is “cold-hearted” — a “narcissist” who wants a wall, not to slow the flow of drugs and crime, or for any of his stated motives, but only “for his personal fulfillment.”

Ms. Parker’s analysis is enough to make one yearn for the good old days when insults didn’t camouflage themselves as diagnoses.