EDITORIAL

May the country - most of it, at least - be reunited

Posted 1/21/21

To the Editor: In a stunning upset in 2016, Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of the 42nd president, Bill Clinton. A political outsider, he went to Washington in January 2017 to be sworn in as the 45th president. It is said that

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EDITORIAL

May the country - most of it, at least - be reunited

Posted

To the Editor:

In a stunning upset in 2016, Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of the 42nd president, Bill Clinton. A political outsider, he went to Washington in January 2017 to be sworn in as the 45th president.

It is said that Abraham Lincoln mastered the telegraph, Franklin D. Roosevelt the radio, and John F. Kennedy television to become president. Donald Trump dominated social media, especially Twitter, which he used incessantly to communicate with his followers. He did this because of the hostility of the mainstream media he described as “fake news.”

Even before Trump was elected, I thought his background as CEO of a family-run, closely held company would not prepare him for the Oval Office. Used to having subordinates jump to his every command, Trump was not prepared to deal with the leaders of the two co-equal branches of government and especially the entrenched bureaucracy known as the “Deep State.”

Republicans controlled both houses of Congress during the first two years of Trump’s presidency. However, the real estate developer-turned-reality TV star ran into the political establishment. Policy wonk Paul Ryan, who did not want to be Speaker of the House, distrusted Trump. Over in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and powerful senators like John McCain were skeptical of his agenda to “Make America Great Again.”

In fact, McCain despised the president, probably because of a campaign remark that being a POW did not make the former naval aviator who was shot down over North Vietnam a hero. McCain actually rose from his deathbed to travel to the Capitol to cast a vote against Trump’s bill that would have overturned Obamacare.

Trump’s worse enemy was himself. Being a real estate mogul in New York City meant dealing with a sclerotic city bureaucracy and labor unions controlled by organized crime. He is a thin-skinned, egomaniacal, narcissistic street fighter who cannot take criticism. His propensity for calling those who oppose him by derogatory names turned off many people and contributed to his downfall.

Even before he was elected, the Democrats were waging war against “The Donald.” Using a phony dossier provided by the Clinton campaign and Democrat National Committee, President Barack Obama authorized, or was at least aware of, illegal spying on Trump’s campaign. After the election, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her minions Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff led a campaign leading to articles of impeachment that ran into a wall in the trial in the Senate.

At the same time an investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller and staffed by dozens of anti-Trump investigators spent $32 million even after concluding there was no “Russian collusion” in the 2016 election, but maybe there was an obstruction of justice by Trump exercising his constitutional executive authority to fire Mueller’s friend, FBI director James Comey.

Trump rightfully became more bitter and his tweets more venomous as the two investigations progressed. Yet, 75 million votes were cast for his reelection, the most ever for a Republican candidate for president. Trump was leading by hundreds of thousands of votes in several swing states when he proclaimed victory and went to bed.

Heeding Hillary Clinton’s advice of a month earlier, Democrat Joe Biden did not concede. The election was decided by five metropolitan areas – Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Milwaukee and Phoenix – where Democrat political operatives controlled the counting of votes.

President Trump insisted that “voter fraud” was the reason for his defeat. The Constitution requires that state legislatures are responsible for elections laws. Nevertheless, in several states unelected officials or members of the executive branch unilaterally changed the rules.

Here in Rhode Island, General Law 17.20-2.1(1) reads: “In order to be valid, the signature on all certifying envelopes containing a voted ballot must be made before a notary public or before two (2) witnesses who shall set forth their addresses on the form.” Nevertheless, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea (D) declared that the witness or notarization requirement would be waived due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Democrat-controlled General Assembly did not challenge her usurpation of authority. Consequently, more people voted by mail than in person.

Federal and state courts have decided Trump’s allegation of vote tampering and fraud are without merit. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a Constitutional challenge by Texas and 17 other state attorneys general.

As President-elect Biden has already proclaimed a $2 trillion COVID relief package including goodies favored by the far left of his party (e.g. a $15 per hour minimum wage). Even socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders said it is a good start.

As a result, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. will be the oldest man ever to be sworn in as president this week. Hail to the Chief! Let us hope and pray that the Biden-Harris administration supported by the Pelosi-Schumer Congress will be successful and the country – most of it, at least – be reunited.

Richard J. August

North Kingstown

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