Tony Schwartz, the author who co-wrote Trump: The Art of the Deal told MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Wednesday how President Donald Trump is debasing the country.
"The issue today is that Trump's dirty approach is being rewarded and even mimicked," Melber noted. "Schwartz argues this is actually testing our values as a nation as we reckon with a barrage of cruelty."
"When Trump is pressed on these comments he will often default to claiming these are jokes. Many people don't consider them funny and they point out each if it is a joke, he has power, and this is very cruel," Hayes continued. "The deeper point you are reaching, which is when cruelty is rewarded, what do we as a society do about it?"
"Two of the values we hold most dear, I think, or the most universal are honesty and compassion. and those two are -- neither is represented in Trump," Schwartz argued. "And I think that the problem is that he's dragged the dialogue and the focus on those two core values to a level that drags all of us with him."
"What he does though, if I may, is he bastardizes the concept of honesty and says that he is actually just being more honest than others by saying, quote, unquote, the cruel things that other people really feel," Melber noted.
"Civilization doesn't hold together any more easily or naturally than democracy does, so when you begin to debase the most core values that every contemplative of tradition has valued, we are in -- we are at a point where we sit faced with chaos and certainly at a minimum with a sense of fear and anxiety about what is going to happen next," Schwartz concluded.