Trump Is #FakeHero President And An Insult To The Founders

"We have a president who neither understands nor respects the basic norms of American democracy. Make no mistake: Donald Trump is a true aberration. There is no figure like him in U.S. history, for which we should be thankful."


Via Eugene Robinson for WaPo

The signers of the Declaration of Independence were highly imperfect men. Thomas Jefferson and his fellow Southerners were rank hypocrites for declaring “all men are created equal” while owning men, women and children as their slaves. John Adams was sour and disputatious, and later as president would sign the Sedition Act cracking down on criticism of the government. John Hancock was accused of amassing his fortune through smuggling. Benjamin Franklin could have been described as kind of a dirty old man.

Yet they laid out a set of principles, later codified in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, that transcended their flaws. At this bizarre moment in our history, it is useful to remember that the ideas and institutions of the American experiment are much more powerful and enduring than the idiosyncrasies of our leaders.

I call this moment bizarre for obvious reasons. As Thomas Paine would write in December 1776: “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

We have a president who neither understands nor respects the basic norms of American democracy. Make no mistake: Donald Trump is a true aberration. There is no figure like him in U.S. history, for which we should be thankful.

Trump’s inexperience is unique; he is the only president never to have served in government or the military. This weakness is exponentially compounded by his ignorance of both policy and process, his lack of curiosity, his inability to focus and his tremendous insecurity. He refuses to acknowledge his shortcomings, let alone come to terms with them; and he desperately craves the kind of sycophantic adulation that George Washington, a genuine hero, pointedly rejected.

Trump is a #FakeHero. He strings along his supporters with promises he has no idea how to keep. Like many a would-be strongman before him, he defines himself politically by the fights he picks; he erects straw men — faceless “elites,” cable television hosts, Muslims, Mexicans, nonexistent individuals or groups waging an imaginary “war on Christmas” — because authoritarians always need enemies. Yet his ego is a delicate hothouse flower, threatened by the slightest puff of criticism.

The Founders, mindful of their own faults, ultimately designed a system to contain a rogue president. They limited his elective term to four years, gave checking and balancing powers to the legislative and judicial branches, and designed impeachment as a last-ditch remedy. The Trump presidency compels all of us to be mindful of our constitutional duties.

The role of the citizenry — to express approval or disapproval at the ballot box — includes making sure that suffrage is not selectively and unfairly denied by restrictive voter-ID laws or partisan purges of the voter rolls. It is heartening that red states have joined blue in resisting the attempt by Trump’s trumped-up “voter fraud” commission to assemble a national list of voters. Perhaps some future administration could be trusted to make sense of our confusing patchwork of voting systems. This one can’t.

Congress must assert its powers of oversight. One reason the signers of the Declaration gathered in Philadelphia to pledge “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor” to the cause of independence was that they saw the mingling of royal power and British commercial interests as corrupt. We now have a president whose far-flung business empire — which he has refused to divest, and which his family still operates — presents myriad potential conflicts of interest. Trump has deepened the swamp, not drained it; and Congress has a duty to sort through the muck.

Congress must also let Trump know, in no uncertain terms, that any attempt to impede or disrupt special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian election meddling will have the gravest consequences. Trump should be told that firing Mueller would automatically be considered grounds for impeachment.

The justices of the Supreme Court, meanwhile, should study the court’s decisions in United States v. Nixon, which forced Richard Nixon to turn over his White House tapes; and Bush v. Gore, which halted the 2000 vote recount in Florida. Both were instances wherein the court, which rightly shies away from decisions that determine who occupies the presidency, felt it had no choice but to act. It is no stretch to imagine that Trump’s contempt for the Constitution will once again force the court’s hand.

The Fourth of July is no day for despair. It’s a day to remember that our system, though vulnerable to a charlatan such as Trump, is robust and resilient. Eventually he will be tossed or voted out. And the star-spangled banner yet will wave.


8 comments on “Trump Is #FakeHero President And An Insult To The Founders

  1. “The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. ”
    —Hanna Arendt

  2. And with Eugene’s on July 4, we have a most appropriate day and time for members of the US House and Senate and all Americans to take guidance from one of the great speeches of the 20th century, delivered by Professor Barbara Jordan, Esq.:

  3. A few questions to ponder , for constructive thought:
    1-Why do you think Trump was elected?
    2-Secondly, what was the alternative to voters in the last election? .
    3- Why does the phrase ” Make America Great Again” resonate so strongly with some of our citizens?
    4-What actions in the previous decade may have contributed to the Trump agenda?
    5-Ignore the Trump methods for a moment– is much of the Trump agenda really so foreign to the the ideas of the founders?
    6-Why are these ” Trump” methods being tolerated at the moment?
    7-Is there shame in compromise?
    8- Are we victims of” culture shock”, where change is occurring faster than our ability to adapt?
    9- Is a redefinition of ” journalism” taking place?
    10- Have liberals abandoned the ideas of liberalism?

    Critical thinking can be an exhaustive but necessary function. Have we have fallen into the trap of looking for simple linear answers when our own founders have shown us that there are none?

    Should we revisit the ideas of system theory and complex adaptive systems to help answer these questions? If so, could intelligent “agents” emerge by asking questions , then engage in communication with other ” objects” or ” agents”, and then unite to pose solutions? If so, could not the ” system” be stronger with more ” resilience ” and “persistence” ? Would not this idea be consistent with the democracy that our founders,despite their ” faults” intended.?

    Could it be that a ” feedback loop” has occurred because it appeared to many that the ideas of the constitution were being ” rewritten” in a way that did not follow compromise and adaptation as outlined in the constitution?

    I welcome your thoughts… traps of linear thinking plague mankind, where intelligent adaptation and compromise might offer the best path forward to an alternative of destructive and often unnecessary cataclysmic change.

    I must thank you for writing your article article with your provoking but i will argue incorrect title and assumption:

    You are a true patriot, but so is President Trump, each of you in your own way. Maybe even Obama was also a patriot ?

    Could it be that Trump is not a ” fake” hero” but the result of failed uncompromising change by both sides? And is that is the problem– do we have polarized sides and we our not united. ?

    I wonder if President Trump is providing us with a constitutional lesson where both ” sides” of the “UNITED States” learn what happens when we have lost the art of the ability to compromise with our fellow citizens. IS not that the lesson of the framework of the constitution?

    Maybe more compromising leaders will emerge after all of this and the result will be a leader that truly :” Makes America Great ” again.!? For now — I suggest that we need President Trump, despite his faults.

    • Anonymous

      Frankly Guerry, I think you are as bat shit crazy as trump is.

      – Murphy

  4. Thank you Murph. I can tell you really read the thoughts carefully.. and spent a lot of time with your reply.. which is exactly the issue I was addressing. .. a complete lack of critical thinking and thought. .. crazy .. ok.. I accept your rude comments.. I truly care about what happens in our country. And if you regard me as crazy for worrying about it. Then I will proudly accept that as a complement. . No wonder we have issues compromising and following the sprit of the Constitution.

    • Anonymous

      Guerry, you posted your crapola a couple hours before I did so what makes you think I did not read it carefully….. and because my response does not feed your psycho ego, you judge it a complete lack of critical thinking. It is perfectly clear that we are on opposite sides of this “discussion” and I ain’t budging. In a nutshell, I voted for Hillary as the lesser of two evils while wishing that Bernie could win but without being one of the two recognized parties, there was no chance. I would vote for trump only if and when hell froze over. So there was only one choice. You and the rest of your “non-majorit” voters decided against Hillary for who knows which reason you picked…… those elusive emails….. Benghazi bullshit…… uranium sold to Russia crap….gossip about the Clinton Foundation….her husband was a womanizer and she did not divorce him….some insane FBI investigation that was not warranted (as we have since been told!)…..her secret illness that Asswipe ranted about that did not exist……that child sex ring she ran from the pizza parlor……she only wore pant suits……omg she was a woman…..ALL OF WHICH WERE UNTRUE AND GOSSIP ONLY.

      Meanwhile your guy has an undeniable true history of wrong doing and failures, unsavory business connections and practices, non-stop lying, non-payment of taxes for how many years?? ….funny thing about that is he complained about the infrastructure, streets and bridges, and taxes pay for those repairs and he did not pay any taxes so he wants YOU to fix all that…..Refusal to show us his 1040’s, tweeting like a teenager, still frustrated about not winning the majority vote and whining about the size of the crowds…. addicted to fake news InfoWars, Fox, Reddit, Hannity, O’Reilly, etc. Childish retorts to anyone who does not support him, extreme disrespect towards women, (actually towards anyone!), the absolute laughing stock for 99% of the planet, and nothing I say here is gonna change your mind.

      And clearly you voted for him. That makes you stupid for believing his mouthy bullshit and empty promises – saying what he thinks you wanted to hear with absolutely no intention of doing any of it. Totally uninterested in learning about this new job he got, ignorant of history (“dumb as a rock”). Has not drained the swamp but has added more reptiles to it! Has not and apparently is not going to fill all the empty positions in the WH. Too many witnesses would be there to see what corruption is running amuck? Most of the ones he has appointed are with wholly inappropriate/unqualified people! Not to mention the FBI investigation seems to have made some tell-tale discoveries with more to follow. Fired some people to keep them from the investigation, did everything he could to keep Flynn even after he knew for a month Flynn was heavily connected to Russia!

      He cannot stay on topic, cannot read beyond a one page bullet point list, cannot pay attention after only a few minutes, cannot speak like an adult, cannot spell worth a crap (neither can you), answers all questions as a con man does, the most narcissistic person ever born — the man is completely unqualified for this job and it will eventually be clear to even his audience of deplorables.

      So, Guerry, you can kiss my ass. How’s that for rude?

      – Murphy

  5. Once again . You illustrate the problem perfectly.. . On both “sides”. Creating insults instead of thoughts and solutions.. this is not a sporting event.. we are all on the same side.. .. …Have a Happy 4th.. and I for one am glad to be a citizen of this country and what is stands for.. and for your ability to vent without being locked up as is the case in many parts of the world. Compromise and civil communications might have left us with better choices.. .. instead of “sides”.. Thank you for your comments.. Consider once again not Trump but what created his Presidency.. much as what created Obama’s.. I will leave you to your thoughts.. .. I have nothing left to say.. except that I am a bit sad to witness such polarization.

    • Anonymous

      Your comment reeks of arrogance. Of course I love this country and appreciate all the values of being lucky to have been born here. I love it enough to logically consider the attributes of the candidates offered for our consideration and our votes; to be able to avoid the least qualified for the highest office in our country. The majority of the voters made the same choice as I did.

      The parties are angry with each other for an assortment of reasons and no thanks to Trump, it is festering. If not for the Electoral College this numbskull would not be president. Perhaps there will be better candidates in the future.

      – Murphy

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