There have been giants who served as president: George Washington helped found the country; Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves; Teddy Roosevelt established the national parks; Franklin Roosevelt pulled us out of The Great Depression and defeated fascism; Lyndon Johnson established Medicare; Bill Clinton gave the nation a budget surplus; and Barack Obama provided access to health insurance for all Americans.
Now we await Donald Trump, and I am deeply concerned for our country and the world. He has demonstrated he is both dangerous and unfit for office. Does he understand the magnitude of the job? Did he just run for president to get even with President Obama who once made jokes about him at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner? Does he want to get rid of Obamacare just because of the name?
He doesn’t just bring economic policies I happen to disagree with, or an approach to healthcare funding that could hurt millions of people. This isn’t simply a matter of Republican versus Democratic. This is a man who, on record and often on video, disparaged or outright ridiculed women, immigrants, the disabled and others. He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes, and yet cannot seem to grasp that the president’s obligation is to at very least attempt to unite and respect all Americans.
“I cannot respect a racist, xenophobic sexist who puts us all at risk with his behavior.”
I have great respect for the experienced politicians who have served our nation with sincere regard to improve and protect the republic, even those I have often disagreed with. I cannot, however, respect a racist, xenophobic sexist who puts us all at risk with his behavior.
A series of studies by the Financial Times showed Trump was bailed out of bankruptcy by Russian entities more than once. This, we can only assume, is the real reason he won’t release his tax returns, as it’s proof that he is literally indebted to Russia. If Trump claims this isn’t true, he is welcome to release his returns, but I don’t think they will ever see the light of day or public scrutiny.
There are now reports of possible Russian blackmail material on Trump, and that he and President Obama were briefed on this by our intelligence agencies. The Washington Post reminded us that his son,
Donald Trump Jr. — who is also an executive with Trump’s business — makes clear how the company in 2008 sought business from wealthy Russians. ‘In terms of high-end product influx into the U.S., Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,’ he said at a conference that year, according to news reports. ‘We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.’
It took Trump until the January 11 press conference to acknowledge our 17 intelligence agencies’ findings that Russia had indeed manipulated our election with their hacking. Trump’s siding with Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange over our expert intelligence officials is a dangerous harbinger for American democracy.
He will not divest his assets or put them in a real blind trust. We can not see his charitable donations – if he has any. The head of the Office of Government Ethics said Trump’s plan to avoid conflicts of interests is “meaningless.” Experts say he will be in Violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution on the first day of his presidency. His claim that he will never talk to his sons about his business is laughable.
Meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey knew of the potential Russian blackmail on Trump and didn’t release it, because it was too close to the election. Yet he didn’t pause to release detrimental and unsubstantiated information on Hillary Clinton that likely cost her the presidency. Addressing allegations of Russia’s election hacking, Comey recently told the Senate Intelligence Committee,
I would never comment on investigations — whether we have one or not — in an open forum like this so I can’t answer one way or another.” Senator Angus King of Maine said it perfectly when he responded, “The irony of your making that statement, I cannot avoid.
The irony is also unavoidable in Trump’s claims of “fake news” and a media “witch-hunt” against him. He refused to call on CNN at his press conference, blaming the station for factually reporting that he had been briefed about the potential Russian blackmail. The Russian and GOP operators along with Steve Bannon and Breitbart News helped to create fake news and true witch-hunts that didn’t just derail elections, but put people’s lives in danger. One month ago, a man who believed ridiculous, fake conspiracies against Hillary Clinton took an AR-15 rifle and .38 caliber pistol into a pizzeria and said he would sacrifice the “lives of a few for the lives of many.”
While preparing to become the president of the United States, he finds the time to tweet ― seemingly without anything more important to distract him ― about all of the TV shows, magazines and newspapers that don’t bolster his ego enough or that dare to print the facts of his lies. He used the 9/11 anniversary in 2013 to address his “haters.” He did the same this year in a New Year’s greeting “to my enemies.” This is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.Our presidents are usually magnanimous and understand the gravity of the office and our democracy.
Meanwhile, he says he does not need to spend time sitting through intelligence briefings, but finds the time to start Twitter fights with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over television ratings. I’m not the first to say it, and you need only peruse top ten lists of his most horrifying or childish tweets to see his own words as evidence. Donald Trump behaves like a petulant child.
How can we forget the endless “birther” conspiracy that Trump created around President Obama’s legitimacy as an American citizen and then claimed that he ended it? Back in 2012 he tweeted: “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” This, much like his secret plan to defeat ISIS or have Mexico pay for a border wall, is typical of Trump’s claims; no evidence, no names, made-for-reality-TV faux suspense, and absolutely no credibility.
We can expect Trump, as Trevor Noah pointed out, to spend the next four years denying things he has said that are documented in print and on video. In other words, we can expect him to lie, and lie prodigiously. He projected on Hillary Clinton his own characteristics, “corrupt,” “crooked,” and “lying.”
I lived through President Bush, who was elected even though he lost the popular vote. His administration also used the intelligence agencies to falsify evidence to justify war. That president led us into a war that still rages today, a decade and a half later, and gave rise to ISIS. I am terrified at what risks Trump poses to the world as well.
I hope all our representatives and senators, hopefully even Republicans, will do all they can to ensure that some semblance of justice is served in America, and the world is not put at great, unnecessary risk. The rest of us must remain vigilant. Write your representatives and senators. Make donations to groups that fight for equal rights, civil rights, freedom of the press, climate change measures, gun control regulation and healthcare mandates. Protest. Speak up. Help others. We are all in this together, and it is our right and responsibility to protect our freedoms and help our fellow citizens.