I recently returned from a trip to Europe where it was heartening to see everywhere public images mocking Trump.  Many town squares featured large walls for flyers and posters that included some distorted image of our president raging or caught in a ridiculous pose.  Souvenir shops featured items like Trump toilet paper and the Trump toilet brush.  And cable news shows featured hours of criticism of Trump and his despicable policies.  His most recent outrage–retweeting a conspiracy theory that Bill Clinton had Jeffrey Epstein killed in a faked suicide–had European pundits especially astonished.

Which brings us back to our own media. When a corrupt authoritarian grifter is trying to break our democracy from inside the Oval Office, it’s important to listen to the people who are in or used to be in that president’s party.  And these days, such “never Trump” Republicans are legion.  Over the weekend one of them, former Bush speechwriter David Frum, published a scathing article about Trump in the Atlantic entitled “The Shame And Disgrace Will Linger,” focused on Trump’s response to Epstein’s death. Here’s an excerpt:

Trump’s circle probably expects the world to sputter for a while and then be distracted by some new despicable statement or act. That is how it has gone for nearly three years, and that is how it is likely still to go. Trump is steering the U.S. and the world into a trade war, and perhaps a financial crisis and recession along with it. He is wrecking the structure of U.S. alliances in Asia, and his rhetoric is inciting shooting rampages against minorities. Compared with that, mere slurs and insults perhaps weigh lighter in the crushing Dumpster-load of Trump’s output of unfitness for the office he holds.

But it shouldn’t be forgotten, either, in the onrush of events. The certainty that Trump will descend ever deeper into subbasements of “new lows” after this new low should not numb us to its newness and lowness.

Full link to article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/trumps-conspiracy-theory-about-clintons-and-epstein/595915/

While Frum has hated and rejected Trump from the start, another major supporter turned on Trump in recent days.  Wall Street financier Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci was Trump’s communications director for ten days and remained a high-profile defender of the president until the most recent racist Tweets, which the Mooch criticized.  And in typical fashion, Trump turned on the Mooch and made it personal. Years ago I met the Mooch a few times and I’ve known people who worked for him and had good things to say.  He’s a relatively level-headed guy in a business of hot-heads and I’m glad he now sees Trump for the liar and racist we all know him to be.  Perhaps he will motivate more defections.  At some point the defections will start to add up.  But the Mooch’s rejection of Trump is troubling.  Like so many others in Trump’s circle–and in his broader personality cult–nobody turns on Trump until they receive personal ire.  As long as Trump is assassinating someone else’s character, they remain loyal. It’s as if they are unable or unwilling to empathize with others and can only see Trump for the sleazy, insecure, dishonest, self-centered cad he truly is when he attacks them directly.  Why aren’t they able to see the pain, division and destruction he causes to so many others?  And if they can see it, why do they only care when it affects them personally? Are they really that selfish and/or sociopathic?  Troubling.

Every issue we care about as progressive voters, every change we hope to make in the service of our communities and nation, faces one major obstacle: Donald Trump.  He is rewriting the rules of government every day and destroying every protection and internal agency policy we hold dear.  Just yesterday he announced a plan to penalize legal immigrants who are not yet citizens but who require some form of government assistance.  In other words, he is trying to keep poorer people from immigrating here. It’s an unAmerican disgrace. Trump has betrayed and abandoned the statement affixed to the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell is also a major impediment to progress, but McConnell can’t take unilateral action the way Trump can and does.  Trump and his rotten inner circle are the main problem.

The 2020 election will be a major turning point in the direction of our nation and it’s crucial we do everything we can to vote Trump out of office.  Once a presidential nominee is chosen we will need to ramp up our efforts to organize, register new voters, help in other swing districts, and turn out the vote.

Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

 

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