Today the editors of The New York Times published a spectacular rebuke of President Donald J. Trump that I believe has no historical precedent and you should know about it, if only for that reason. You may read the full editorial in the attachment below but here are the highlights:
- “With each day, President Trump offers fresh proof that he is failing the office that Americans entrusted to him…This, in essence, is where we are now: a nation led by a prince of discord who seems divorced from decency and common sense.[my emphasis]”
- As only one example of his “failing the office” he holds, the editors properly called his penchant for twittering as “twitter bursts of anti-historical nonsense.” I would say twitters that betray his infantile mind. The latest one cites General John Pershing stopping Islamic terrorists in the Philippines a hundred years ago by killing them with “bullets dipped in pig’s blood,” suggesting our soldiers should imitate him. Only an undeveloped intellect, a man who is still a child, would make such a claim publicly—and he is our president!
- As a measure of our national “despair,” the editors write, “we find “ourselves strangely comforted” by his inability to carry out his half-baked ideas, like “destroying the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare],” or fully implementing his “demonstrably cruel deportation policy,” and, I would add, building his border wall, and scuttling plans against global warming.
- “Here is yet another oddity,” the editors remind us (and I am glad they did because otherwise it would fly past us without our giving it a second thought). As Americans we are proud of our democratic civilian society, free of military dictators, yet Mr. Trump appointed three military men as top aides (John Kelly, the new White House chief of staff; H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser; and Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense). Why does he willy-nilly violate our important political tradition by having three generals help run our country? The answer is, “to stop Mr. Trump from going completely off the rails.” (God succor us, right?).
- In my young-man-hood, I proudly served in the State Department helping to press for our nation’s interests diplomatically, but under Mr. Trump the State Department “has been robbed of expertise and traditional diplomacy [and it] has been marginalized,” which many of us consider a gigantic mistake.
- Lastly, the editors find comfort with “signs that our democratic system is working to contain Mr. Trump” but what are we to think or make of the Americans (a small minority) who blindly support him? “The deeper question…is..[a] moral [one]…will they continue to follow a standard-bearer who is alienating most of the country by embracing extremists” including white supremacists? What’s the answer?
- In closing, the editors refer to Mr. Trump’s statements about Charlottsville: “He chose to summon not America’s better angels, but its demons.” I agree.
Again I say: how low we have come! How can we regain what we’ve lost!?