I argued on this station that Trump should have been impeached for disloyalty. The American people understand disloyalty. They didn't understand the significance of the articles of impeachment.
The House impeached him for trying to get a foreign government’s help for his campaign and for defying House subpoenas. The people agreed that Trump did what he was charged with, but apparently thought those actions were trivial.
Democrats didn’t bear down on the bigger issue – Trump’s disloyalty. Not only did he take money and assistance from foreign countries, itself unconstitutional, he strengthened their positions and weakened our own. He undermined institutions that kept Russia in check; isolated America from its real friends; and deluded his followers about an international pandemic. No president should be allowed to sell the welfare of this country to foreigners or rich friends. That’s disloyal.
Trump’s disloyalty goes way beyond the payoffs he accepted. Trump despises America and Americans unless they are very very rich.
- He despises American workers, providing lavish tax breaks that help his rich supporters pay peanuts to their workers, outsource and off-shore their jobs.
- He despises the American people, authorizing his rich friends to poison our air, water and climate so his rich friends can make a little more money and give him some too.
- I should add his despicable attitude toward women.
- And so great is his compassion for the American people that he’s been trying to deprive us of our health care in the middle of a health crisis.
- So great is his compassion for older Americans, for our parents and grandparents, that despite Americans’ support for Social Security, he’s trying to eliminate it with an Executive Order to defund and bankrupt it so he can say there’s no money left. His order is unconstitutional and may be overturned, but it’s disloyal to the people of America.
- He grandstands about policies that are supposed to help workers and farmers, but disrupts their lives instead.
- Trump told us he wanted to defund the Post Office to prevent us from mailing in absentee ballots, but when it became clear that the American people didn’t want their Post Offices defunded, he blamed it on Democrats. His war on the Post Office is not only a war on absentee ballots, it’s a war on the Christmas cards we send every December; it’s a war on our mail carriers, whom many of us know and like; it’s a war on voting safely without crowds that spread the virus; and it’s a war to force us to pay private carriers much more money than what we pay the Post Office to carry our mail, medicines, and bring us our Social Security checks. In other words, it’s another attempt to rip us off.
- And to cap it off, he hates our democratic system, threatening to stay on in spite of the election, so he can be dictator, and the rest of us merely subjects.
In other words, everything for Trump and nothing for America. That's the real issue. We know he’s a fraud, claiming fake news so often it’s an obvious effort to avoid defending his behavior.
Trump is running a Ponzi scheme, trying to cover his debts and increase his own wealth by bilking the rest of us. His misbehavior is criminal. But don't lock him up. It would be better to deport him and take his passport away. Let him shine Putin’s shoes in the Kremlin.
Steve Gottlieb’s latest book is Unfit for Democracy: The Roberts Court and The Breakdown of American Politics. He is the Jay and Ruth Caplan Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Albany Law School, served on the New York Civil Liberties Union board, on the New York Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Iran.
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