The fantastic fictions of an unfit president

Opinion

Donald Trump is unfit for the office of president because he threatens core American values, ignores hard-won lessons of history and assaults the constitutional role the press and truth-telling play in our democracy.

He delegitimizes the press by calling it fake and the “enemy of the people.”  He invents an alternative reality – Spygate he calls it – based on fantastic fictions about how the “Criminal Deep State” of the nation’s top law enforcement officials is out to get him.

He lies more than any other president, even though his supporters laugh it off saying the lies are just the puffery of a salesman.

He ridicules brave, patriotic Americans such as Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., a war hero, and a Gold Star family of a Muslim-American killed in the Iraq war.

He disrespects women by bragging about the crude way he assaults them and then calling them liars when they sue him for the assaults.  Meanwhile he praises the “good men” who assault women, such as Rob Porter, Roger Ailes and Corey Lewandowski. And he pays porn stars for their silence.

He uses the bully pulpit to bully NFL players who kneel for the National Anthem and Jeff Bezos who owns both Amazon and his nemesis, The Washington Post.

He enriches himself and demeans the presidency by cashing in on the White House and raking in profits from his Washington D.C. hotel where lobbyists and diplomats curry favor – all in disregard of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.

He paints immigrants with the broad brush of rapists, murderers, gang members and animals and calls African countries “shit-hole” countries.  In fact, the claims immigrants should be seen as murderers and rapists propelled Trump to the White House.

He rejects America’s role standing up for human rights and democracy around the world, closing the door to thousands of asylum seekers.

He defends the ‘good people’ in the Nazi/white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, ignoring the hard lessons learned during the centuries-long struggle to redress America’s original sin of slavery and segregation.

He fails to protect America’s democracy from the Russian assault that all top American intelligence officials say occurred in 2016.  Instead he makes preposterous, fact-free claims first that his predecessor tapped him and now that the “Deep State” of the FBI is spying on him in a scandal bigger than Watergate. To top it off, he demands his yes-men in Congress, his aides and even his lawyer be allowed to see secret evidence against him.

He insists repeatedly that there is was no collusion with the Russians, even though his national security adviser lied to the FBI about his Russian conversations and his son sought dirt from a Russian agent.

Isn’t it apparent Trump has invented the Spygate fable as a smokescreen to divert attention of the daily disclosures about Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf?

Isn’t it apparent Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would launch of criminal investigation of the FBI if there were substance to his claim about FBI persecution?

Isn’t it apparent that Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee wouldn’t have concluded Russia interfered in the election to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton if there wasn’t strong evidence?

Isn’t it apparent that Special Counsel Robert Mueller personifies service, rectitude and honor, all character traits foreign to Donald Trump?

Isn’t it apparent Trump’s lawyer paid off Stormy Daniels to silence the porn star right before the election?  How revoltingly crude for a presidential candidate to pay hush money to cover up an affair with a porn star on the eve of Americans going to the polls.

Put it all together and think of all the ways President Trump has trampled important American values.

We are a people dedicated to decency and human rights.

We live under a Constitution that protects a free press.

We are a nation of immigrants that welcomes newcomers and guarantees everyone is treated equally.

We have shed blood and continue to struggle to overcome slavery, segregation and racism.

We are leading advocates of women’s equality and have begun to recognize the ways sexism and sexual assault have brutalized and objectified women.

We have led the world successfully when we have stood up for freedom and human rights and have organized alliances to defeat tyrannies of Nazism, Communism, poverty and religious intolerance.

We have built our democracy on the belief that truth will win out in a marketplace of ideas where everyone is free to speak.

We believe in the rule of law and that no one is above the law.

But this president imperils all of these values and most especially the adherence to facts, truth and fairness essential to the press’ role in providing citizens with the information they need to govern the world’s greatest democracy.

Mueller may report later this summer that Donald Trump conspired to obstruct the investigation of Russia’s interference with the 2016 election – a conspiracy he has orchestrated in plain sight.  Mueller may even report that Trump campaign aides sought foreign assistance in defeating Clinton. After all, that’s what Donald Trump Jr. did at the Trump Tower meeting with Russians in June, 2016 and later that summer in another Trump Tower meeting with an emissary of Arab princes.

It will then be the responsibility of the House, possibly in Democratic control come November, to hold public hearings Watergate-style to provide months of open testimony to enable the American people to decide whether this president is unfit for office.  By then, the 2020 election campaign will have begun and the nation can choose to remove this unfit president either by impeachment or the ballot box.

This is the latest of a series of editorials over the past two years commenting on President Donald Trump’s assault on truth and the press.  To see the entire series, go to: http://gatewayjr.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/trumpwarontruth17-2.pdf