The news story of the year has not been Donald Trump; it has been the ”#MeToo” movement, where brave women denounced sexual assault and harassment. This movement brought down Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. Now it has prompted new demands for Trump’s resignation.
Sexual assault is one of many reasons why Trump should resign from the presidency. The most important reason is his lack of moral leadership.
Whether we like it or not, the President of the United States is an archetype. His behavior serves as a model for many Americans. The president is, by virtue of his position, someone that dominates the daily discourse of American society. We are influenced not only by his decisions but also by his daily actions. Good or bad, the president sets an example for our children and other impressionable members of our society. In addition, the president represents us to residents of foreign countries.
After Trump won a bitterly contested presidential election, many Americans resolved to give him the benefit of the doubt. “Let us give him time in office,” they said, “perhaps he will rise to the challenge.”
Trump has not risen to the challenge. On Jan. 20, many of us believed that Trump was pathologically amoral. Eleven months watching him in the White House, have convinced us that our assessment is correct.
On Dec. 12, USA Today published a scathing editorial: “Will Trump’s lows ever hit rock bottom?” The editorial was in response to Trump branding New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as a whore ― someone who would trade sexual favors for campaign cash ― with this tweet: “Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them)...”
USA Today remarked: “Donald Trump, the man... is uniquely awful. His sickening behavior is corrosive to the enterprise of a shared governance based on common values and the consent of the governed... Trump’s utter lack of morality, ethics and simple humanity has been underscored during his 11 months in office.”
USA Today detailed six categories of Trump’s “sickening behavior.”
1. He lies nonstop. “As of mid-November, [Trump] had made 1,628 misleading or false statements in 298 days in office.”
2. “Trump takes advantage of any occasion — even Monday’s failed terrorist attack in New York — to stir racial, religious or ethnic strife.”
3. He routinely demeans women. “When accused during the campaign of sexually harassing or molesting women in the past, Trump’s response was to belittle the looks of his accusers.”
4. “Trump has shown contempt for ethical strictures that have bound every president in recent memory. He has refused to release his tax returns, with the absurd excuse that it’s because he is under audit. He has refused to put his multibillion dollar business interests in a blind trust and peddles the fiction that putting them in the hands of his sons does the same thing.”
5. He hasn’t done his job as President. “As of last week, Trump had failed to nominate anyone for 60 percent of 1,200 key positions he can fill to keep the government running smoothly.”
6. He enthusiastically supported the deplorable Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore: “Trump summed up his willingness to support a man accused of criminal conduct: ‘Roy Moore will always vote with us.’”
And, of course, we have every reason to believe that Trump cooperated with Russians to subvert the 2016 presidential election. Now Trump seems determined to undermine the Mueller investigation into this treachery.
Sadly, it’s not surprising that Trump has failed as President. What is surprising is that he continues to have the support of the leaders of the Republican Party and that only a handful of Democratic Senators ― including Gillibrand ― have called for his resignation.
However, the American public has turned on Trump. A new Public Policy Poll indicates that “53 percent think Trump should step down to just 42 percent who think he should remain in office.”
Donald Trump is a moral cancer afflicting the U.S. body politic. We have to excise this cancer before it fatally corrupts our country. Trump must resign.