Guest contributors run the gamut, but they all pretty much rock.
Guest Contributor @sirvitup
Before we get into the categorization of grievances I have against the 45th President of the United States, I’ll unequivocally state that he is a better option than his opponent. However, for reasons I’ll list below (and many others) I could not bring myself to vote for him. Despite the regulatory rollbacks, talks of corporate tax rate reductions and nomination of an originalist, I still cannot find it within me to offer him even an “’Attaguy!” for a decision or statement with which I agree.
He is boorish and rude. After the 18-month garbage fire of the Republican primary, it was a reasonable assumption that events like last week’s press conference would occur. As a nation, I am sure we thought ourselves ready. We were not. All 78 minutes of implausible denials, half-truths, scapegoating and utter nonsense left the nation and the world believing what it had suspected: The Leader of the Free World was a boor. He was rude. He was not “plain spoken” or “talking the people’s language.” He is good at being a jerk and making people feel incredibly uncomfortable. In an ideal world, that discomfort inspires and uplifts and makes people seek out higher motives and stronger resolve. My fear is it makes many think it is acceptable to act like him in any situation anywhere. It is not.
He does not lead or inspire. The Fake News is full of stories of palace intrigue just 30 days in. Alt-Righters pitted against GOP Elite. Obama holdovers staging a whisper-driven coup d’état with their buddies in the media. No unity, no harmony, no high-minded public service. A time will come in President Trump’s era that history will demand he stand before the American public and bare his soul and be one of us. I may be being too hard on him, but I do not think he has that in him. He is too self-involved and too self-centered to do anything to draw out the best in others. Try to imagine him addressing the nation after a Columbine, a Challenger disaster, a 9-11. Difficult, right? I’m sure if it occurs, he will find a way in that difficult time to remind us about his 306 Electoral College votes or the great things he did at Wollman Rink. I, for one, cannot.
The Russia Stuff. Carter Page, Rex Tillerson, Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn, Roger Stone. These people all have documented connections to Russia. Far too many for my liking. If there is one person in the inner sanctum who’ve gotten checks cut from Russian interests that is one too many. Do not let my thoughts sway you. Read John Schindler, Louise Mensch and Eric Garland on Twitter. While, as many of us, they are not angels among men, they provide learned, solid research and know from whence they speak. In a glimmer of recent hope, the Vice President has made statements during his trip to Europe this week that show resolve and commitment to opposing Russian hijinks. The recent spy ships off the Eastern coast of the US, Russian jets buzzing US Naval vessels and Sergey Lavrov’s commentary this week about the “post-Western World” seem awfully suspiciously timed. Time will tell but usually where there is smoke…
The people around him are off-putting, ill-prepared and usually not the best choice. Steve Bannon. That name all by itself is enough cause for concern. A hero of the Alt-Right Nationalist movement, Bannon oversaw Breitbart.com’s decline into the sycophantic cesspool that it is today. His fawning commentary on Leninist principles ought to terrify every citizen. Conservatives advocate smaller and limited government. Bannon advocates governance by subtraction and nihilism with no concern for what government, America or conservatism looks like at the end of it all. Pair him with the Cruise Ship full of former conservative icons (Hannity, Coulter, Limbaugh, D’Souza, et. al.) who’ve lost their ever lovin’ minds with their over-the-top “boot licking lackey” servitude to the President, and you have a Rogues Gallery of…well…Deplorables that can be part of any “movement” they want, as long as it is moving in the opposite direction of me.
His arrogance regarding his involvements and businesses. Trump toadies are quick to now call Mar-A-Lago the “Winter White House” or the “Southern White House.” It is neither. It is a private Country Club that despite his protestations is still owned by the President of the United States. Camp David is a facility that is called the “official weekend retreat of the President.” You had better believe that it is a hardened facility prepared for any eventuality. I’m sure the Secret Service has done a great deal to prepare Mar-A-Lago. A privately owned facility. “Upgraded” by you and me. No “making due.” It is the height of arrogance. If Camp David was good enough for all Presidents since FDR, it is damn well good enough for him. And dear reader, who exactly is getting the dollars for the facility rental, accommodations and upgrades to Mar-A-Lago? Right, the President and his business. And as I am trying to keep this piece to 1000 words or less, I’ll reserve the lack of transparency about the President’s finance and entanglements to another day.
The above notwithstanding, I do not wish failure for this President and his administration. If he outkicks his coverage and becomes the greatest thing since Calvin Coolidge, he will deserve the laurels. I see no “Road to Damascus” reason for his supposed conversion, however. Lord knows it is not exhibited in anything close to rational behavior or leadership. And for that reason and 10,000 others, I simply do not believe him. I think an experiment to enlarge his brand has turned into the long con of his, and unfortunately our, lifetimes. I pray our Republic can survive it.