Trumpty Dumpty is sitting on the wall—no, not his wall—and the chances are that even all the king's horses and men won't be able to salvage the wreckage.
"A very stable genius," "the chosen one," "possessor of great and unmatched wisdom," "one of the highest IQs in America," "valedictorian of his graduating class." With all those self-bestowed superlatives, how come Donald Trump isn't the greatest president ever elected? An even bigger question: Why is he the worst president in our 243-year history? First of all, not one of his lofty claims was the truth—over 14,000 verified lies to date. Second, he is, through utter ineptness, irrationality, dishonesty and greed, trampling the very foundations of our democracy. Sadly, a small group of God's chosen, gunslinging racialphobes are still scraping the scriptures for a reason to keep him in the White House.
I don't know about you, but the current horrific news stream is making me believe that an awful lot of what they taught us in public school was total malarkey—particularly the part about the separation of powers. My first exposure to this sacrosanct protection was in fifth grade. I can clearly remember Ms. Shapiro chalking-up the blackboard with a simple diagram of how our democracy functions, and, particularly, how none of the three branches—executive, legislative and judicial—would be allowed to function without proper oversight from the others.
The president provided leadership; the legislative branch created laws in line with the Constitution and Bill of Rights; and the judicial arm saw that laws were honored and that lawbreakers were punished. In addition, the Supreme Court bore the duty of reviewing laws, precedents and specific cases to ensure they complied with the Constitution.
As a naive 11-year-old, the system certainly sounded foolproof to me. The branches of government were the brainchild of 1776's most foresightful patriots—men who had a clear vision of what was necessary to ensure that the people's voice would be heard, respected and upheld, while still giving proper deference to individual rights and minority interests. That principle was further reinforced by my high school civics class.
Unfortunately, the wisdom of our Founding Fathers failed to address the incomprehensible scenario—that a person of Trump's abysmal morals could be elected president—nor did they anticipate a president who would create an autocracy wherein the executive and judicial branches were partnered against the best interests of the American people. Driven by lofty ideals and believing that character and principles defined potential presidential candidates, these great men simply couldn't imagine just how deplorable a human being could end up in the White House.
But, enter Donald John Trump, crooked businessman, mobster and thug, and a self-proclaimed expert in the art of the deal—a phrase that simply refers to a no-holds-barred method of bringing others to their knees, employing overwhelming extortionary devices to ensure that only Numero Uno ever gets to win. His business model never included the pathetic notion that, for a deal to be good, each party should derive a benefit. Instead, his dealings have left a wake of victims who had to settle for whatever DJT allowed, or suffer the financial consequences of the endless legal battle that would follow. If "The Donald" found he could not win through an almost unlimited legal budget, he would casually bankrupt another of his companies in order to do the end-game, which was always the same—cheat another person out of what they were legitimately owed.
The system of checks and balances has been tossed aside by a man who has utter contempt for the principles that made our country great. The crimson MAGA hats might scream a message of redemption from the political dynasties that have long dominated D.C., but Americans have been forced to consider how the frying pan was actually more comfortable. Trump's assumption is that it's the president who rules, but his thoughtless grandstanding of executive orders is hurting our country and our world. He's robbed the poor to pay the rich, thrown allies to the wolves, raped the environment and caused an alarming increase in the cost of consumer goods. Let's face it. Trump was not a benevolent liberator—draining the D.C. swamp and making our country great again.
While Trump scrambles through his last-chance punch-list of campaign promises, mostly soaring on the legacy of a far better man, there are a few who are bedazzled by the smoke and mirrors. Trump has excelled at but one pursuit: "Me." He has sold out our country, purchased the judiciary, dishonored Congress and befriended a peanut-gallery of other world despots who ostensibly love him and are emboldened by his gross abuse of presidential power.
It's time for Americans to acknowledge it: This country cannot survive another four years of Trump.
The author is a former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and one mongrel dog. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org