Volume 6 Number 298
There is a tendency on the part of some of his colleagues, and the most distinguished journalists, statesman and historians to make fun of president Trump, calling him a moron and worse. They mock him for being an incessant lying machine with an ever-increasing list of misdeeds both as president, and going back to his over 40 years in business.
A logical question: if he is such a moron, how did he get to be a billionaire businessman, president of the United States, and to remain in office? It is likely that he is smarter than all his critics put together, or at least more cunning than the pack of them. The president has a wonderful talent for “gaming the system”.
There probably isn’t a loophole in the white-collar world of business, governmental and legal systems, that he hasn’t taken advantage of at one time or another. For years he has demonstrated a unique talent for “dodging the bullet.” He’s never been convicted of anything, at worst escaping with a slap on the wrist (unless you want to count being impeached as a conviction)– but he escaped in the Senate.
But we must take responsibility for creating all of the dodges that he has gotten away with throughout the years. Some of those have enabled him to achieve and hold onto the highest office in our land. The president has a wonderful talent for identifying and taking advantage of weaknesses in our system. It’s some kind of weird gift he has, unfortunately for the rest of us.
Now he may be working on the biggest dodge of them all, trying to fix the 2020 presidential election. Besides the usual voter suppression and hands-off on Russian interference, the president, on September 23 was now sounding the alarm that if the Democrats win the presidential election, he might not accept the results. This is unheard of in the history of our democracy. “Talking heads” are noticing his continued belittling of the write-in votes that favor the Democrats. They are postulating that the president might try to invalidate them if he feels that he won the election among swing states “live” voters at the polls. There may be loopholes in the voting laws that might permit him to do this because our past lawmakers never took absentee ballots into account.
This should be no surprise because after all the president lies about everything. He is the all-time Pinocchio champion. So, everything he says is a lie. But if only some of them are illegal, the rest should be. But he gets away with all of them. That is because our government and judiciary have permitted them to happen, and in many cases collaborated with these, what should be called, crimes. And, people just shrug their shoulders and say, “That’s the way it is.” Wrong, we should fix them.
Here is a partial list of what the president has gotten away with over the years.
In Business (for over 40 years)
- Paying fines without pleading guilty or getting a record
- Filing false tax returns
- Refusing to pay debts and settling for lesser amounts
- Repeatedly getting his money out of businesses before going into bankruptcy.
- Not fulfilling obligations to people who have invested with him or bought his services
- Reneging on business deals
- Rarely penalized in thousands of lawsuits
In Politics (In only less than four years)
- Using the social media, particularly Tweets, to spread political disinformation
- Encouraging Russia to interfere in our election in 2016 and 2020
- Extorting, threatening and firing officers and federal employees because they revealed unlawful presidential acts
- Attempting to have Ukraine interfere with our election
- Retaining and using family-owned businesses while in office, to benefit himself and family financially
- Failure to protect from violence our citizens who are protesting
- Pardoning despicable convicts who were often his former associates
- Wrecking our long-standing international agreements
- Pressing investigations of political adversaries
- Attacking the free press with cries of “fake news”
- Separating families and persecuting undocumented immigrants
- Making illegal hush money payments to a prostitute, in the guise of campaign expenses
- Now, more than anything else, trying to fix the election, a scam used by autocrats and dictators world-wide
Then there is the way he has taken advantage of our rusting court system. He has used the right to appeal to extraordinary lengths, appealing an unfavorable ruling until the clock runs out on the issue. Then when the court usually rules in the opposition’s favor, he comes right back with an appeal filing. For example, when the Supreme Court recently ruled the president had to turn over his tax returns to the New York prosecutor’s office, they left a loophole. The Trump attorney was advised that they could question how many years he had to turn over. So back again it went to a lower court. It’s the old “justice delayed is justice denied” trick.
Then there is the timing of cases. Time and time again the courts fail to recognize the need for a timely expedited case. That is why some of the Democratic House potential witnesses in the president’s impeachment were never subpoenaed. They knew there would be an appeal to the courts by the unfriendly witnesses in that case, and the clock would have run out, preventing a timely outcome. Where is the court’s ability to “fast track” in these actions of national concern?
Then there is the way the legislative body (the Senate) has become a lackey for the president. And his use of extraordinary executive powers has become a branch of government in itself. It started with President Obama when he was faced with a Republican majority in Congress. So, he pushed through executive orders, ruling on climate change, energy, healthcare, and immigration measures that were needed.
Along comes Trump, who rescinds most of Obama’s rulings and adds some doozies. Like when Congress wouldn’t give him the money he wanted for the wall with Mexico, he simply took it out of another pocket to pay for a tiny bit of additional wall.
The point is no president should have that much power. After all, a basic job of the Congress is to determine what monies our country spends. These executive orders for the most part should be eliminated, and we must go back to having our Congresspeople legislate. That is what they are elected for.
Another problem: the Senate rules that have been built into the modus operandi for several centuries. Take the power of the Majority Leader to be the sole determinant of what bills the Senate takes up. If he, in his infinite wisdom, wants to sit on all bills coming to the Senate floor, that the Democrats have passed in the House, he can and does this. There are hundreds of bills that the Democratic-led House has passed since 2016, just sitting somewhere gathering dust. And with the untimely death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just before the November election, there is no doubt that McConnell will go through unheard-of distortions to get a new justice in there in time for the November election. This is both unethical and hypocritical. No man or women should have that much power.
Then there is the filibuster. This allows a minority of Senators to stop a bill from being discussed on the floor of the Senate. It is another way that a minority of Senators is able to put the brakes on. And there are the Congressional Ethics committees, a sham that doesn’t do anything to stop the runaway personal and financial abuses in both Houses.
Ours is a country that cherishes the rights of freedom. So, it appears that we are lax to reign in obvious misconduct in government as well as in our own private lives. Let’s face it, when we elected Trump as president, we were letting the proverbial fox into the henhouse. Not only did he come in, but he invited all his family and friends with him.
Another four years of Trump and we will be another authoritarian government to be turned over to the next in line, Don Jr. We’ll be right up there with the likes of Putin in Russia, Xi in China, Kim in North Korea, Orbãn in Hungary and Erdoğan in Turkey. The only way out is if we elect a Democratic president this November. Then, and only then, will historians in future generations be able to say “Well, democracy had a close call in the early 21st century, but the world’s first democracy was strong enough to survive that”.
“I am the flail of god. Had you not created great sins, god would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”
― Genghis Khan