Saturday, April 14, 2018

Trump's Degradation of the Honorable

Draft dodger versus war hero.

With five young grandchildren, I shudder to think of the example they are witnessing on display by the current occupant of the White House, a man who embodies everything that one would NOT one's grandchildren to grow up to be.  Constant lies, unbridled worship of money, zero social consciousness, an apparent inability to keep his zipper done up, and the endless trashing of honorable people.  That is not who I want my grandchildren to emulate - indeed, I wish they did not even know about such morally reprehensible people.  The irony is that neither I nor my children are church goers, yet we have a higher sense of morality than the evangelical Christians who pack the pews on Sunday morning, falsely profess piety and endlessly condemn others, especially gays and non-Christians, while supporting the foul individual in the White House.  Indeed, they give a daily witness of why not to wear the Christian label.  A column in the Washington Post by Joe Scarborough - a former Republican like myself - reminds us of how Trump is attacking and seeking to degrade honorable men and women in his quest to hide his crimes from view.  Here are highlights:

These are desperate times for the quislings of Trump. The cost of collaborating with President Trump in the continued debasement of American democracy is becoming far too high. Fifteen months into his presidency, Trump has seen a national security adviser, a former campaign chairman, a foreign policy adviser and another high-ranking campaign official face charges of serious crimes. This week, [Trump] the president must have felt the walls closing in even more tightly around him when FBI agents searched the home, office and hotel room of his longtime personal lawyer, whom associates call Trump’s “fixer.”
[Trump's response] was to reflexively trash law-enforcement officers, undermine the rule of law and slander a Vietnam War hero who has committed his adult life to the service of America. . . . . But this week provided insight into just how desperate Trump and his courtiers have become in their defenses of an indefensible administration. [Trump] The president promoted a Fox News show via Twitter that starred a steady stream of sycophants who slandered special counsel Robert S. Muller III.
Mueller, who led a Marine rifle platoon in Vietnam, has been awarded a Bronze Star, two Navy commendations, a Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After being shot through the leg, the young Princeton grad continued leading his troops in battle. Later he would continue his service in Vietnam even after he was given the opportunity to go home.
Despite playing tennis, golf and football during his college days, Trump took five deferments, four for college and one for bone spurs in his feet. On the day Trump graduated from college, 40 Americans were killed in Vietnam.
Newt Gingrich, who went on Fox News and compared “the American FBI” to Joseph Stalin and Nazis, also did not serve. And Joe DiGenova, who now spends his days sliming law-enforcement officers who investigate crimes in Washington, took student deferments, even admitting in 2003 that anyone who did the same should seriously consider never seeking public office “when you didn’t serve, when you had a chance to.”
In fact, Mueller’s record has been so spotless that none other than Gingrich himself tweeted 11 months ago, “Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity. Media should now calm down.”
What a difference a year makes. Gingrich has now joined the chorus of collaborators attacking Mueller. 
Even the most terrified politician must know that Trump and his stooges have reason to be rattled. And an ABC News-Washington Post poll shows that almost 7 in 10 Americans want Mueller to continue his investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Sixty-four percent support the special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s past business dealings. And nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe that the special counsel must continue investigating Trump’s payoff to women for the purpose of keeping them quiet during the 2016 election.
Trump will one day leave Washington. And when he does, the steady stream of attacks on Justice Department professionals, FBI agents and all the honorable men and women who daily defend Americans against enemies foreign and domestic will forever stain the reputations of Trump’s most shameless apologists. All this for a man who has spent decades showing loyalty to little else but his ravenous pursuit of money and fame.

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