“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue [NYC] and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Donald J. Trump told the nation before he was put in power by Putin, Russian oligarchs needing money launderers, Russian bots, undiscerning, unhappy Americans, and an outdated electoral college that has more than once crowned presidents not elected by the majority of Americans. Where was outrage supposed to go from there? Go from a statement by a candidate for the highest office in our land that suggested he could murder people with no consequences? Give him credit for one thing. He was apparently right.
Certainly, outrage had no place to hide when Trump was heard and seen stating, “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” on an Access Hollywood tape. He or his lawyers have paid off hookers, recently disclosed but not even major news in this presidency with a lower case “p.” He has repeatedly mocked the disabled and minorities.
“Shithole countries?” Condemn them, says Trump, whose vulgar, ignorant vocabulary, lack of impulse control, anger issues, pettiness, meanness, and profound lack of understanding of history and the world put him in the running for the least qualified person to run for office, as well as the worst human being ever to ascend to the highest office in our land. Misogyny—check. Blatant racism—check. Ignorance—check. Cruelty—check. Pettiness—check. Criminal—likely check. Corrupt—check. Inept—check. Bully–check. Deceptive—check. Liar—check. Dismantler of sacred institutions—check. Crude and crass—check. Dismantler of democracy—He’s on his way to checking.
After recently reading George Saunder’s Lincoln in the Bardo, I was struck yet again by how leadership shapes or warps the country. Lincoln’s extraordinary courage and high moral resolve led us through the horrors of the Civil War even during the time he lost his beloved son Willie and his wife suffered a breakdown. Without Lincoln’s leadership, we might very well be four or five, separate and warring states or completely annihilated. But we had Lincoln. We had Lincoln.
But now we have Trump. It has become a dire situation. Immigrants and Hawaiians can attest to the immediacy of fear. When an accidental warning went out about an imminent missile attack on Hawaii, Trump never bothered to stop golfing or goofing. Even after it was discovered to be a mistake, Trump had no comment about the crisis, only comments about his unending obsessions with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, two great leaders who Trump has spent seemingly every day attacking. The comparison apparently bothers him.
When small, bitter, awful men are confronted with great leaders, they can only lash out, call names, make up lies, and sleep half the day. A complicit GOP Congress is unwilling to stop this likely treasonous man in the Oval Office. They have forgotten their charge or something far worse.
Only the fierce resolve of the American people can save us.
Nancy Avery Dafoe