Now we know what Trump thinks about us, the American people: We’re a bunch of babies who will panic at the thought of a pandemic hitting this country. The American people, whose forbears won two world wars, will freak out if we’re threatened with a novel virus. In Trump’s view, the American people, whose ancestors survived the 1918 pandemic and the Great Depression, can’t handle the truth.

Bob Goetsch

Bob Goetsch

Now we know what Trump thinks about our soldiers, sailors and Marines: They’re “losers and suckers” who sacrificed themselves for nothing. They didn’t understand “what’s in it for them.” The 1,800 Marines who died at Belleau Wood weren’t worth a visit that might muss Trump’s hair. The $70,000 deducted from his taxes for hair styling is more important than the hallowed traditions and history of the Corps.

Now we know, thanks to a free and independent press, what Dan Coates thinks about Trump and Russia: They’ve got something on him. It’s the only conclusion this respected Republican can come to, based upon Trump’s constant obeisance to Putin. What other conclusions can the American people come to when Trump prefers the company of dictators to the company of the democratically elected leaders of our friends and allies? Is this what the United States stands for — trusting the corrupt Russian autocrat over our own intelligence services?

Now we know what Trump thinks of the United States Supreme Court: This august body is a barrier to democracy, a final stop to the election that will throw it his way. He certainly doesn’t view the Supreme Court as a bulwark of justice, dedicated to the Constitution; he wants a rubber stamp that will save him from the judgment of voters and the certainty of legal exposure for tax fraud and corruption when he loses. (While this may not be true, it is what Trump desperately hopes is true; he has no understanding of the actual operations of our system of government.)

Now we know that we, the American people, have been carrying Trump on the backs of our tax payments for decades. He doesn’t pay the taxes that we pay to support the government of the greatest country on earth. He must think that we, too, are “losers and suckers” for not cheating the tax system as he has.

Now that we know what Trump thinks about us, about our military, about our intelligence services and legal system, we have a choice that doesn’t seem as difficult as it may have. Do we return this person to the most powerful office in the world, or do we recognize his venality, his corruption and his incompetence? Do we believe in and support the ideals this country has so long stood for, or do we trade our heritage for a mess of Trumpism? As clear as it seems, it is still a choice.

Bob Goetsch is a writer and editor in Idaho Falls retired from a national research laboratory.