I have the Republican debates of 2016 embedded in my memory where Trump ridiculed and bullied his opponents. Things like “lying Ted” and “look at that face.” They all let him get away with such behavior and never once called him out. Once in the White House, he has not only continued this behavior but actually amplified it. He still has not been called out on this behavior in spite of the terrible example he has been setting for the young people of both our nation and of the rest of the world.
As the father of five daughters and having multiple grand- and great-grandchildren, I shudder at the remark he made to Billy Bush on that bus just before the 2016 election. I choose not to repeat the language, but I suspect most readers remember the event and the language. By giving him a pass on this, his supporters are telling their own children that they are free to conduct similar behavior.
Then there are the pictures of him with two porn stars that have been published many times and the well-documented payoffs made by his personal lawyer, payoffs the lawyer first lied about to Congress and later confessed to having lied. This lawyer is now in prison for having lied to Congress while Trump is still in the White House. Another issue is the multiple women who have publically accused him of sexual assault. He has simply brushed off these accusations by saying that they are not his type.
Even worse, he first threatens and then carries through on those threats to destroy the political future of any Republican in Congress who will not support him on every issue. He publically ridicules and degrades them so as to intimidate others from voting their conscience. Mitt Romney seems to be the only current Republican in the Senate willing to confront him, and he is now getting the same treatment as Jeff Flake.
Almost as bad since moving into the White House are the lies and half-truths he has told, 15,435 at last count. He is the prime example of the politician in the old question: “How do you tell when a politician is lying? It’s when his lips are moving.”
There have been a number of characters in the White House during my lifetime, 82 years and counting. Johnson was famous for being a bully, Kennedy and Clinton cheated on their wives and Nixon got caught up in Watergate. On the other hand, Eisenhower set an excellent example of how to behave.
What inspired me to write this column was Trump’s ridiculing Romney’s religious beliefs. That was my red line.