We don’t know what offends us more: the damage inflicted by the monstrous tax law you have signed or your boasting, larded with falsehood upon falsehood, about this irresponsible “accomplishment.” Considering the millions of dollars that you and your family will profit from this bill, your signature is proof of guilt of corruption far beyond any historical example. You have turned the presidency into a profiteering racket. Your persistent violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause is an example and will be a ground for impeachment once we elect a Congress that respects the Constitution more than the current one does.
The nation needed nothing less than a massive tax cut. The economy was already flourishing, thanks to the stewardship of President Obama, whom you refuse to credit. And that prosperity, as even he would say, has left behind the middle-class Americans whose earning powers are diminishing, whose pensions are vanishing, and whose children cannot look forward to a better life than their parents have had. Their benefits under your shameful law are negligible and, by design, fleeting. Moreover, the tax law you so jubilantly signed will make health insurance more expensive by repealing the Affordable Care Act coverage mandate. An estimated 13 million more people will eventually become uninsured by your signature.
The legislation plunders the treasury for the primary benefit of you and your family, the Republican Party’s wealthy donor class and foreign investors, and it gives that misruling party its long-sought pretext to sabotage Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and every strand in the social safety net that can’t be milked for campaign contributions. The American people perceive this by huge majorities that will heap righteous ruin on you and on the Republican Party in the 2018 and 2020 elections and beyond.
Your boasting and misrepresentations are existential problems in themselves because they lay bare your crass confidence that the American people are fool enough to be worn down by your Big Lie methodology, your exploitation of chaos and your appeals to racism. Here’s news, sir: we’re smarter than that. And that’s not fake news.
We deplore you for many other reasons: The obstruction of justice you committed in firing James Comey; your contempt for judicial independence, women, minorities, foreigners, freedom of the press, the Constitution, the FBI and our other intelligence agencies; your disregard for the dignity of the office that you disgrace on a daily basis with your petulant, immature Twitter rants; your persistent efforts to deny the cyberwarfare by which Russia helped to elect you and your constant disparagement of the special prosecutor and other patriots who seek to uncover the truth and prevent future such assaults on our nation; your nonstop destruction of regulations that protect American consumers and workers and the environment from rapacious corporate predators; your profusion of broken promises, including the non-disclosure of your income tax returns; your vendetta against the Affordable Care Act; your deliberate sabotage of all of our essential international agreements; the disrespect and dishonor you have brought upon our nation at home and abroad, and the debasement of your cabinet and vice president when you compel them to worship you whenever the cameras are rolling. It is hard to imagine how Kim Jong Un’s toadies could be any more obsequious.
You inflict evil with a smile and a laugh, and have allowed Congress to go into recess without addressing the imminent loss of health care to some 9 million children or the fear and anguish of the Dreamers who need legislation to normalize their status. You preside over the only regime in the world that is hell-bent to deprive its citizens of life-saving health care.
The next president truly will be challenged to make America great again because you have subverted our country, weakening and disabling it and trashing its reputation, to the benefit and delight of your patron — America’s enemy —Vladimir Putin.
Not the least part of your successor’s task will be to reverse the ingravescent climate of racism and anti-Semitism that has been nourished by a president who sees no difference between good Americans and Nazis.
That said, you have accomplished something other than we think you intended. As Ruth Marcus has expressed it in the Washington Post, “… our fundamental fight is not against Trump. It is for America.” You have awakened the American people to a clear and present danger and to the vital importance of our votes. You have filled us with a terrible resolve.
(Martin A. Dyckman is a retired associate editor of the Tampa Bay Times who now lives in Western North Carolina.