So many questions about Trump’s ability and readiness to assume the responsibilities of the presidency have been raised from the very beginning. Ever since the primary contests questions have been raised about his temperament and his lack of desire to learn. There has been concern about the tenor of his rhetoric and the support he is attracting. There have been requests for his tax returns and inquiries into his business interests and practices. There has been confusion about his world view and domestic priorities. There has been concern about his compulsive and impulsive tweeting. There has been concern about his admiration of Putin and his questioning of Russia’s role in the hacking that occurred during the campaign. His disregard for long accepted international conventions and agreements has been disconcerting to many of America’s friends and allies. His stated disdain for the intelligence community and the information they produce for him daily has been disturbing. Finally many of his choices for both staff and cabinet positions have raised concerns on both sides of the aisle. Yet, though he is well aware of all of these issues and concerns, he has done nothing to allay a single one. He is playing a game of chicken with us, and we’re losing.
It is clear that Trump views everything as a negotiation. There are no absolutes. Regardless of what the law is or what history or precedent dictates, Trump views everything as negotiable. In his business even when he has lost he has somehow, in his own mind, turned it into a win. What he has said to America from day one is, if you don’t like what I am saying or what I am doing challenge me. He has not changed a thing. His relationship to the truth has been a sometime thing, his rhetoric has continued to be inflammatory and his behavior has continued to be impulsive and blustery. Yet he won the nomination and now the election. He views these victories as proof that he has been right all along and that conventional wisdom is wrong. The challenges to any of this have been half-hearted and, in fact, most of his party has fallen into line and come to kiss his ring at Trump Tower. The fact that his party controls the Senate and the House as well as the White House creates a clear and present danger to this country. It has become obvious that even those of his party that disagree with him on a nomination or a statement will, after making a show of their disagreement, fall into line when the chips are down. The Democrats are currently too fractured to put up an effective fight as the minority party. As of this moment it appears that Trump will get everything he wants and we will all be the losers.
That will be the case if we allow it. If we allow the Democrats in the House and Senate to roll over and not fight with every ounce of energy and parliamentary strategy they can muster we will lose. If we sit silently on the sidelines of history and refrain from voicing our opinion in every way possible we will lose. We must demand that the media tells the complete story and has unfettered access to information and that freedom of an independent press is preserved. We must assume the role of guardians of the Constitution, a document that Trump and his colleagues appear to feel is still negotiable. We must assume the role of protector of our fragile climate, an issue that Trump and his colleagues feel is junk science. We must demand economic equality for all Americans, not policies that just the wealthy. We must demand that our role in the world and our alliances remain strong and not allow them to be compromised. In short, we the people must accept the role of guardians of our democracy, our planet and world peace.
Trump and his colleagues are clearly unprepared and in some cases unwilling to take on the awesome responsibilities before them. It is up to us to protect America from their inadequacies.