Yesterday, the man we must unfortunately refer to as our president was accused by multiple news agencies of aiding our enemy, risking the vital intelligence assets of one of our allies and making Americans less safe. According to legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, “This is the most serious charge ever made against a sitting president.” The adversary to which this highly sensitive information was given was Russia-raising two distinct possibilities. One possibility is that the president is too stupid and self-absorbed to realize what he was doing. The other is that this dissemination of secrets was intentional and part of a pattern of collusion with our enemy. Neither explanation is particularly comforting. The latter is treason. We will not rest until we know whether we were betrayed by ignorance or malice. We will not rest until we know exactly what transpired between Russia, our democracy, and the president of the United States. We will not rest until we know the truth.
We have marched in support of immigrants, we have marched for women’s rights, we have rallied for health care, now it is time to fight for something absolutely essential to the continued functioning of our democracy. On June 3, we will March for Truth. Truth is such a seemingly simple request. And yet in the Trumpian world of alternative facts, coverups and outright lies, truth has seemed always out of reach. Now that Trump took the unprecedented and deeply troubling step of firing the very man investigating his ties to Russia, learning the truth seems more difficult a task than ever before.
It is easy to overstate the import of the day's events in a frenzy of overhype. Here we are faced with exactly the opposite dynamic.
The truth is not partisan. All we want is an independent investigation into what exactly is going on between our president and Russia. This is something by the way that 78 percent of Americans support. In fact, the biggest damage Trump has done to our country is not giving intelligence to the Russians at the White House or even the alleged collusion with the Russian government in the election ― the biggest damage has been to the notion of truth itself in our country. Even that bastion of conservatism, the Wall Street Journal, published an op-ed arguing that Trump was undermining the presidency with “his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.” But this endless stream is no accident, it’s as close to a deliberate strategy as Trump is capable of executing. If everyone lies all the time and everything is a partisan lie, you might as well back the liar that’s on your team. By trying to smear everyone with his prevaricating brush, Trump is trying to destroy the very notion of truth in our politics ― and all we will be left with is the raw exercise of power, maintained by any means necessary. More than anything else, this is what we march for. To scream in the face of the debasement of the truth and say that there is a reality that transcends what the powerful say ― we call it the truth and we deserve and need to know it. And it can start by the truth of what the president knew and when he knew it with respect to the Russia investigation.
As I write in my new book “Reversing the Apocalypse,” Trump is a uniquely horrifying threat to our country. Not for his many odious and ever shifting policy positions. Policy can be reversed, albeit not before causing devastating damage to plenty of lives. But the even greater threat of this president is the possibility that he is an actual enemy of the state, casually aligning us with countries which would do us harm. Having been in the news business, it is easy to overstate the import of the day’s events in a frenzy of overhype. Here we are faced with exactly the opposite dynamic. It is hard to wrap your head around the fact that we are living right now through times which will be studied and written about for decades. One day our children and grandchildren will ask what we did during this time. We will tell them we stood for truth. We took to the streets and demanded it. We held every politician’s feet to the fire until they shared our zeal. Like the president’s actions, the movement for truth will be like nothing this nation has ever seen before.