NATO is obsolete. Japan should have their own nuclear weapons. We’re going to build a wall to isolate ourselves from Mexico, and Mexico will pay for it. The 2016 election was the biggest electoral win in history. The crime rate is the highest it’s been in 47 years. Media is the opposition party. Over 3 million illegal votes were the cause of Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote.
These are just some of the untruths that President Trump espouses regularly and in many cases, members of his own party disagree with him as is the case with GOP Senators and frequent Trump critics John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (when it came to the now infamous Travel Ban Executive Order the two went so far as to release a joint statement vilifying it). In other cases, many have paid a heavy price because of their dissent (see terminations of Acting AG Sally Yates, Senior NSA Advisor Craig Deare & HUD aide Shermichael Singleton) or are forced to correct the record on his behalf.
And in yet another ode to his remarkable desire to utilize fear to motivate, Trump has yet again presented an “alternative fact” to the truth: He stated in an campaign-style rally to his supporters that a terrorist attack of some sort happened “Last night in Sweden”:
Now, this advent would be utterly hilarious if it weren’t so embarrassing. It spurned a host of memes on social media and derision from the global community. More to the point, it displays on the part of the president a sort of willful sociopathy, an expression that he sincerely believes he’s above even the most basic rules of decency and accountability. Not to mention the shame he perpetually causes to his team as they are often left with the unenviable task of cleaning up the ongoing mess of his rhetorical inaccuracies and outright made up events.
And so the mess-cleaning rounds continued today with Vice President Mike Pence traveling to Brussels to essentially reassure the whole of Europe that the United States will hold firm to its longstanding commitment to NATO and its allies; a tenet Trump has openly and repeatedly stated his willing to abandon because, according to the president, our affiliation with NATO is a “obsolete.” Yes, this in and of itself is troubling, but equally troubling is the divergent messages coming from the White House. VP Pence’s open assertions of loyalty are great but the world needs to hear that the president is aligned with these sentiments as well. Why? Well, because he’s the president, the final decision-maker and policy crafter. This response of open skepticism from European Council President Donald Tusk as he stood on stage next to Pence in Brussels today says it all:
“Too much has happened over the past months in your country, and in the EU; too many new and sometimes surprising opinions have been voiced over this time about our relations — and our common security — for us to pretend that everything is as it used to be.”
-European Council President Donald Tusk, Brussels, Feb. 20, 2017
Essentially, what Mr. Tusk is conveying there is, “Yo, Trump has let a lot of dumb shit fall out of his mouth and I’m glad you’re here, Pence, because we don’t know where the fuck the relationship between Europe and the United States even is at this point.”
What all Americans should understand clearly is that we are in the real world now. The election season is over. And no nation really took Trump seriously during the election because, well, he wasn’t president then and all his virulent and divisive rhetoric was just that, words. But now that this man is president of these United States, it needs to be understood clearly the damage that he is doing to our standing in the world. Ok, Make America Great Again fanboys and girls, look—America cannot survive in the world alone. Like every other industrialized nation, we rely heavily on our strategic alliances to maintain our freedom. Trump’s isolationist rhetoric shows he is either ignorant of that fact or he simply just doesn’t care. We vote the latter.
Trump is a man who care about one thing: winning at all costs. He will say whatever, whenever and to whomever to rally people to his cause. He lied for close to five consecutive years about former President Obama not being a U.S. citizen therefore casting doubts with a certain segment of society as to the legitimacy of his presidency. All throughout his 2016 presidential campaign he labeled Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary” even as he lied about not being able to release his tax returns. And then, once he ascended to the presidency, flat out refused to release them.
This is a man who is intentionally duplicitous, nefarious, mean-spirited and misleading. It’s as if he has no moral compass or a largely damaged one. He literally has not ability to take responsibility when he’s caught lying. When reporters challenged him on his claim of having the biggest electoral win since Reagan, he brushed it aside and stated, “Well, that was information that was given to me.” His response was similar during a White House press conference when he erroneously stated that the U.S. murder rate was the highest it’s been in 47 years.
What’s really sad about the current state of U.S. politics is that as a nation, we are so partisan and so divided that we simply refuse to see things as they are. Our idealogical and racial differences have caused us to allow a demagogue like Trump to hold the highest office of our land. Shame on us, ALL OF US, for letting things get to this surreal and morbid state.
Think Passionately. Disrupt Strategically.
-A. Lawrence Haskins
United States Congress: (202) 225-3121
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