After months of listening to Republican enablers, sycophants and outright stooges of President Trump offer their abject fealty to their leader, I am now seriously worried about the fate and future of our country and its constitution.
Not since Adolph Hitler has a human being so flawed, selfish and self-aggrandizing been allowed to run roughshod over the country that elected him into power. The framers of our constitution saw exactly the rise of a politician like Trump and built into the spine of our laws the balance of powers and the mandate to impeach any president who abused his powers or degraded his office.
In attempting to extort Ukraine into conducting a bogus investigation of a political rival, and holding up critically needed military aid to force their obeisance to his wishes, Trump has abused his powers, degraded his office and trashed our constitution.
Today in the Senate we are witnessing the frightening power of one man popular enough—FEARED enough—to cast a gripping, paralyzing shadow over the independence and integrity of the political party that once ranked Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt amongst its ranks. Gone are the statesmen and stateswomen of that party, replaced by those who would cling to power at any cost, no matter the damage to the country they will leave behind for their children and ours.
Gone, too, is any semblance of balance between the pillars of our government. Those pillars will be torn down the exact moment the Republican-controlled Senate votes to acquit the man who would accept no boundaries to his power, and no oversight of his actions. Once acquitted, he will proclaim his exoneration and immediately resume his unconstitutional efforts to bolster his power and enrich himself by amounts too staggering to contemplate. Which is really only a continuation of his behavior to date.
This is not the place to argue Trump’s guilt or innocence. Like the thief who was caught with his hand in your pocket, he isn’t worthy of defense. He isn’t worthy of arguments that deny his intent or attempt to confuse the issue. He is guilty, and what’s more every single one of his Republican defenders knows it. As do his attorneys and the fawning sycophants at Fox News.
We shouldn’t be arguing about his guilt or innocence. We should be yanking his hand out of our pocket!
Alexander Hamilton wisely predicted the advent of a self-aggrandizing president with these words, recalled by Adam Schiff today in his Senate oratory: “When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanor—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day—it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.'”
And now, owing to the weakness and cowardice of Trump’s Republican enablers, we are about to see the rise of a United States President truly unbounded by honesty, compassion, respect for his office or concerns about the welfare of those he governs. A president who, like Adolph Hitler, will unerringly follow his worst instincts.
“Welcome, welcome! We are pleased to welcome you to the Best Presidential Library in the United States. Inside these glorious gilded walls you will find mementoes and exhibits relating to the abbreviated presidential term of Donald J. Trump, the only president with an asterisk after his name in the history books.
“An asterisk after a president’s name, as President Trump has frequently stated, denotes a presidency of exceptional accomplishment and stratospheric Nielson ratings. Those who argue the asterisk has other, less laudatory meanings, have been proven liars or placed under indictment by Mr. Trump’s official consigliere, William Barr.
“As you move into the library, in the room on your left, you will notice a diorama depicting a bare-chested Vladamir Putin hunting Siberian tigers on horseback, with President Trump walking behind carrying broom and shovel. This is the library’s famous “Hunting Buddies” room.
“Just next door is President Trump’s “My Funny Valentine” room featuring photos of North Korea’s Kim Jung-Un, also on horseback, and also followed by the president carrying broom and shovel. And, yes, that is a cupid shown hovering above the two men.
“Next, to the right, is The Miss Universe Pageant room, to celebrate an earlier period in the President’s long and varied career. Note the racks of beautiful gowns and bathing suits, as well as dressing rooms for pageant contestants. As this is an interactive library, all attractive women visitors between the ages of 22 and 38 are encouraged to try on one of the beauty queen outfits in the dressing rooms, and to ignore the closed circuit cameras they’ll find in each. Those cameras are solely to prevent theft. Every day, one lucky visitor will be chosen to have President Trump walk in while she is dressing, a sign of favor often shown to pageant contestants through the years.
Moving along, we come to the library’s most controversial exhibit, The Jungle Room (occasionally called “Liars, Sluts, Bimbos and Litigants” by the president). Those 23 life-size statues represent the malicious women who have falsely charged President Trump with improper sexual advances ranging from peeping tom-ism to groping to, yes, even rape. In addition to suing each of his accusers for slander, President Trump has offered to pay a small sum towards their survivor’s therapy.
“That darkened room on the right, ladies and gentlemen, is filled with flags from every nation the President has humorously termed a “shithole” country. In addition to most African and South American nations, you will find the flags of Mexico, Ukraine and Puerto Rico. We obviously realize Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, but President Trump insisted they be included. On the movie screen in the back you can see a continuous loop of President Trump tossing paper towels to those who lost their homes in Hurricane Maria.
“Next on the right, as we turn this corner, is the most controversial room in the library, “The Rogues Gallery,” in which you will find animatronic statues of the President’s most strident and ardent enemies. Inside you will find life-sized statues of Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and many others who trampled on President Trump’s constitutionally-authorized right to do whatever-the-hell he wants as president. Also featured, suspended over dunk tanks, are Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff. For a modest $20 fee, visitors can toss rocks at both statues, with a chance to win a jackpot should they knock either statue off its perch. All monies collected, as with the $50 library admittance fee, will be donated to President Trump’s favorite charity.
“You ask about that Doomsday clock on the wall near the Fox News Room display…? President Trump personally commissioned that clock to keep track of the many millions spent on security details for his golfing vacations at Mar-A-Lago. Once the sum rose above $100 million, there was some concern the expenses would unknowingly drain the United States Treasury, but the president wasn’t so much worried about the treasury as curious about how much the Secret Service was spending at his resort. Reports have him very pleased.
“Now, watch your step as you enter the last room in our library and museum, the “Obama Room.” Filled with photos of President Barack Obama pasted on gun range targets, dart boards and punching bags, this is the room most visited and utilized by the president himself. Notice the papers in the fireplace. They consist of every executive order and bill signed by President Obama during his term, as well as hundreds of birth certificates from Kenya that prove Obama’s foreign birth.
“Please be careful as you leave the library, folks! There is a U.S. military drone circling the library in the upper atmosphere. Any sudden move by an individual of color or someone wearing Muslim dress could trigger an unwarranted attack similar to the assassination of Qasem Soleimani of Iran.
“If you wish to purchase insurance to avoid such an attack, you can pay Rudy Giuliani or Vice President Mike Pence $1000 as you leave. As with the other fees, all monies collected will go directly to the President’s favorite charity.
There’s a pattern I’ve detected in the behavior of Donald J. Trump, whether as a mega-rich real estate developer, a sex-crazed libertine, or the holder of the highest office in our land.
As undeniable as his serial bankruptcies, is Trump’s serial tendency to swoop down on a coveted prize, be it a beautiful woman or the presidency of the United States, and take it for his own. No matter what obstacles stand in the way. Once in his possession, the prize is claimed and to the fullest extent possible consumed by Trump to satiate his unquenchable thirst.
With women, Trump uses his charm (amply magnified by the allure of his self-publicized wealth) and his snake-oil sales pitch to wear down or tear down any resistance. When those fail, he is not above using force. Or so say at least 23 women who have accused Trump of everything from peeping tom behavior to groping, rape and sexual assault.
E. Jean Carroll, a New York City journalist, recently recounted her rape by Trump 23 years ago in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. Trump’s denial: she wasn’t pretty enough to qualify for his attentions.
As the final act in his sexual peccadillos, Trump usually dumps his accusers, calls them liars, reviles them, then threatens to sue.
This pattern of behavior, which I term “Trumped, Thumped and Dumped,” applies as well to his behavior towards the Republican party, though it is still too early to tell how irreparably damaged republicans will be once Trump sucks the marrow from their bones and dumps them. As he certainly will.
Trump has already bullied the Republicans into abandoning their principles in service to his avarice and self-gratification. Honesty, integrity and fiscal prudence have been thrown out the window. A political party that once stood resolutely against the Russian threat is now reduced to repeating Russian-sourced propaganda, and turning a blind eye to presidential behavior that puts Russia’s interests ahead of ours.
And lastly—frightening as it is—we must look to Trump’s corrosive impact on the United States, once held as democracy’s future and the world’s hope for the weak, the dispossessed and the downtrodden. The pride we once felt as a melting pot nation has been abandoned and reviled. Brown-skinned immigrants are no longer welcome. Nor are Muslims, people with accents, or anyone from Trump-labeled “shithole” countries.
And what a thumping we are taking. Our electoral system has been violated, our constitution is under relentless assault, our deficit has ballooned to $22.6 trillion, and the leader of our country tells more lies than his Russian puppet-masters. We’ve become a nation divided, a country so committed to the primacy of corporate interests and military excess, we cannot afford to ensure the health or welfare of our people. A second Trump term, with a Republican majority in the Senate, would usher in the biggest assault on Social Security ever seen. Medicare, too!
The only question left to answer is whether the man who promised to make America great again, will dump America before he kills off every trace of its greatness.