It’s remarkable to me what kind of character flaws American voters will ignore if they agree with their candidate’s overarching ideology.
More than 62 million voters overlooked Donald Trump’s obvious shortcomings as a candidate (and a human being) and made him the 45th president of the United States. That is astounding to me.
Nearly 66 million people, including me, overlooked the many missteps of career politician Hillary Clinton to bestow upon her the rather hollow title (also held by Al Gore) of popular vote winner for the office of the POTUS.
But I have a hard time equating the unwise choice of using a private email server while serving as secretary of state with some of the things we knew to be true about Trump before Nov. 8. You had to swallow very hard indeed and be very enamored with his racist, sexist, reactionary, pussy-grabbing statements to vote for Trump as the next PGOTUS.
For the first time in weeks I was energized again by the Women’s March political protests on Saturday, with huge crowds coming out to show a path forward in dark times. I hope now that energy can be converted into a real political movement that inspires more women to run for elected office in the coming months and years – women like our own state senator from Vail, Kerry Donovan.
Following Trump’s election I have heard astounding statements from people I previously considered reasonable. Things like, “Now the media says the Russians got him elected. Where have I heard that before? Sounds like McCarthyism in the 50s.” Or, “The mainstream media doesn’t have to worry about censorship under Trump. It was alt news sites like Brietbart that would have been shut down under Clinton.” Brietbart, a beacon of far-right fascism.
There’s a willingness to suspend disbelief and absolutely discount the possibility that a candidate who openly called for the Russians to meddle in the election didn’t somehow benefit from the hacking that actually occurred on his behalf, according to multiple intelligence agencies. Those same agencies are now digging deeper for ties between Trump, his advisors and the Russians. Trump will in all likelihood try to shut those probes down, but he can’t be allowed to do so.
I’m not content to wait four years to oust Trump. His relationship with Russia – including nominating a secretary of state who has been honored by the Russians for closing oil deals with them – is at best a slap in the face to all the members of our military (my late father included) and intelligence services who dedicated their lives to winning the Cold War, and at worst is an outright act of treason for the sake of pure profit and building the Trump brand.
If there is credible evidence that Trump coordinated with the Russians to undermine Clinton during the election, impeachment proceedings need to begin immediately. To hell with giving Trump a chance for 100 days. Republicans in Congress obstructed former President Barack Obama for eight years, thwarting him on economic issues and refusing to help fix the ACA – purposefully screwing Americans on critical health care and financial issues.
Meanwhile, Trump spent those eight years openly questioning Obama’s birth certificate. He does not deserve the good will he’s getting from the outgoing administration.
Democrats and justifiably outraged Republicans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham need to go beyond obstructionist tactics to actually forcing a deep dive into the obvious conflicts and self-enrichment policies of the swamp-filling Trump administration and to truly get to the bottom of Trump’s Russia problem. Since Trump won’t self-police his own ethical swamp or take his Russia problem seriously, it’s been left to others to do it for him in the courts.
And journalists need to continue to hammer on the most corrupt presidency this nation has ever known, pointing out its “alternative facts” and digging ever deeper into the full-on frontal assault it poses to our democracy, no matter the considerable hurdles currently being erected.