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When the presidency trumps democracy

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after stepping off Air Force One at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after stepping off Air Force One at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In bridge, the trump card is a wild card. How very fitting in reference to a president whose time in Washington has been characterized by unpredictable, childish outbursts and actions that seem contrary to the norms of his office.

He hasn’t attempted to lead his nation through a pandemic or bridge a gaping divide along party lines or calm civil unrest. The goal of this president, rather, is to win a hand at any cost, for the betterment of himself. The irony isn’t lost on us: the very definition of the word “trump” is to override, and get the better of.

When Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams wrote the Declaration of Independence, they founded a nation based on the principles of democracy with a unifying structure and a series of binding laws. There are a frightening number of instances over the past four years when the current president has loosed those binds. If Donald J. Trump were to remain in office, I fear that our democracy itself would be in danger of collapse.

The crisis began with the 2016 elections, before Trump stepped foot into the Oval Office.

Free elections are the very foundation of our democratic process.

Jim White

Jim White

Despite statements from every major American government agency that Russia meddled in that election, Trump denied this fact at every turn and has yet to admit the Kremlin’s role in the scandal. Whether Trump is friends with Putin or was duped into refuting Russian interference, or whether he was covering up for his own campaign’s involvement or simply didn’t want his election victory tainted doesn’t matter. If we cannot trust the results of our elections, we run the risk of destroying our democracy and turning into a banana republic. Worse, we become puppets of a foreign power and a laughingstock on the world’s stage.

Now, as the next election draws near, we are once again teetering on the edge of the precipice. While Biden has disavowed any intent to dispute the legitimacy of the election, Trump insists that mail-in voting is rigged and invalid. His intention can only be to garner uncertainty about the election’s outcome. Trump is singlehandedly attempting to derail the entire democratic process of electing the next president. What would the framers of the Constitution have said to this flagrant departure? Or to the not-so-subtle directive during the recent presidential debate, when Trump suggested that his white nationalist “Proud Boys” stand by, possibly to “guard” his election results?

At that debate Trump refused to denounce white supremacy as the revolting ideology it is. His reticence is encouraging white supremacists and other hate groups to further fracture our country, even to the point of violence. The planned domestic terrorist attack against Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer is an appalling example.

Fomenting unrest within America is an egregious assault on the ideals of our cherished democracy… unless, of course, one agrees with another Republican, U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah,who tweeted, “democracy isn’t the objective” and said rank democracy thwarts liberty, peace, and prosperity.

As president when the nation faced an advancing pandemic, Trump withheld critical information and misled the public. He flagrantly ignored medical experts and scientists, even dismissing those with whom he disagreed, and spouted ludicrous suggestions to self-inject with disinfectant. He modeled defiance by refusing to wear masks early on which prompted his supporters to forgo them, too, resulting in skyrocketing infection rates in many of his rally locales. Rather than work together to combat a common enemy, Trump isolated the United States from strategic global partners in the battle against COVID-19 when he abstained from the European Union’s summit on virus response.

Trump continues to downplay the deadliness of the disease – just as he downplayed the significance of global warming, another instance of his flouting science and distancing the U.S. from its allies. In fact, Trump dismantled many U.S. alliances, through continued rejection of long-standing treaties and agreements even when his top advisors resisted his actions.

For four years we have watched this man create his own reality show to star in. His lying, bullying, and dismissal of every employee who doesn’t kowtow to his ego are the antithesis of what leadership should be. A true leader puts the wellbeing of the nation, not himself, first – that’s patriotism. To allow this man to keep the highest office in the land is immoral.

While I am concerned about certain tax policies proposed by the Democrats, the fact is we can negotiate policy. We cannot negotiate morality. We must first stop the moral decay of America, and everything else can follow.

Because as our moral foundation crumbles, so will our democracy.

Jim White, PhD, is the bestselling author of several books and founder and CEO of several companies. 

3 comments

  1. Well-said. Republicans and Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives, have to see that Trump is not good for any of us. He is not a conservative. McCain was a conservative. If we can get him out of office this election, it will take years, maybe decades to undo the damage he’s done. If he stays in office after Jan 20th, our democracy, and the world, are in trouble.

  2. You are obviously a Dem with TDS. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and you voiced yours. Now the adults will re-elect Trump for another 4 years.

    Morality? Please, you actually believe that Biden and Harris have morals? That’s priceless.

  3. Great piece, why as an Ex Republican I voted for Joe Biden and every Democrat. The Republicans have to be voted out at every level; they need to be reduced to ashes, and trumpism needs to be banished forever. They are no longer the party I recognized or was part of for over 30 years.

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