OK enough is enough.
I don’t fault anyone who voted for Donald Trump – even though I actively begged folks to not to. 2016 saw both major parties put up deeply flawed presidential candidates and it was a matter of picking the lesser of the two evils for many folks. I know a lot of people – smart people who I respect – who voted for Trump, just as I know a lot smart people who voted for Hillary Clinton. Having a philosophical difference of opinion on how to govern is crucial for healthy debate and healthy dialogue.
Since Trump took office he’s been making one outrageous claim after another. I try to ignore a lot of it. That isn’t an ideal response, but I can’t go around being angry all the time- it’s not good for my physical or mental health. And, I honestly believed that most other people didn’t pay his tweets much mind either.
But over the past few days I’ve become truly frightened for the future. As I’m sure you know, a couple of days ago 12 high-profile Americans, including former President Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, were targeted with pipe bombs via the mail. The suspect is now in custody. He was well-known on the Trump rally circuit. His Twitter feed was full of hate and actual threats against the very folks who received the packages. His van was covered with images like Hillary Clinton’s face behind cross hairs. And even after the arrest, there were people claiming there was a liberal conspiracy to mail all these bombs to themselves. And what did our commander-in-chief say to the nation? “We have seen an effort by the media in recent hours to use the sinister acts of one individual to score political points against me and the Republican party,” “The media’s constant unfair coverage, deep hostility and negative attacks only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate.” Fun fact- Fox News blurred the images of this suspect’s van for a couple of hours and made no mention of his social media attacks or his constant presence at Trump rallies until they were essentially shamed into reporting honestly and admitting that yes, this man was a Trump supporter. Unfair coverage indeed.
Then the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. This suspect has a history of antisemitism on social media and elsewhere. Eleven people were killed and several more are in critical condition. What did our leader say this time? “If there was an armed guard inside the temple, they would have been able to stop him.” and then suggested capital punishment and that there was no need to look at any gun control laws. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time you are reading this he’s found some way to blame his political opponents and/ or the “liberal media” for this too.
And there’s the Saudi nationalist Jamal Khashoggi murdered in Turkey. Trump stated that he wasn’t going to let it stand in the way of a big arms deal – which is widely reported to be nowhere near as large as he’s claiming it is.
And then there’s his continual praise of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, two men whose evil actions really speak for themselves.
And then there’s the report that Russian and Chinese spies are listening to his cell phone conversations because he refuses to use a secure phone and in fact is known to routinely leave it on his golf cart unattended.
Even if you deeply agree with the every plank of the Republican platform on an ideological level, even if you’ve voted Republican every time for 50 years, you HAVE to know on some level Trump is off his rocker and that he’s dangerous. He’s not a good Christian man. He’s not an outsider looking out for the little guy. He’s not moving the country forward. He’s not even a Republican! It’s OK if you voted for him thinking he would be those things- a lot of folks did. Trump is a salesman and he’s damn good at selling himself. But as citizens, and especially if you’re one of the folks who voted for him- it’s time to stand up and demand better for our country. Demand that he respect the press and the First Amendment. Demand that he worry less about his poll numbers and more about the business of running the country. Demand that he stop making claims that are easily proven false and then turning around and calling the people who point out the lies bad guys. We deserve better.