As much as I want to stop writing about Trump I can’t. He remains a threat to America and global democracy. Today I will stay within my lifetime and political awareness but still illustrate just how un-American he is.
The first presidential election I followed was 1960. In it John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon. I was too young to stay up for the results and didn’t find out until I woke up for school the next morning. It was close and Nixon felt he was cheated. However Nixon did the right thing and accepted the results.
The 2000 election is clearer in most minds and within the lifetime of many more of my readers. It was one heck of a rollercoaster ride! I don’t think it is possible to truly know who won Florida and with it the election. Al Gore, Jr. exhausted all his legal options and when the Supreme Court finally ruled in Bush v Gore, he accepted the ruling and for the good of the country conceded the race to George W. Bush.
Defeat, especially one they felt was tainted, had to be bitter for them to accept but they loved the country and had respect for the system. Each had previously served in the armed forces, the House of Representative, the Senate and as Vice President prior to running for the top spot.
Fast forward to the 2020 election. Donald Trump was solidly defeated by Joe Biden. He lost the popular vote by about 7 million votes and the Electoral College by the exact same margin he (falsely) declared to be a landslide in 2016 (where he lost the popular vote by about 3 million). Trump filed over 60 lawsuits none of which were successful except for one small victory which basically let his observers get a few feet closer in a recount. Before the counting was even finished Trump declared victory and claimed fraud. Countless audits and recounts were held all with the same result: the vote was in Biden’s favor. When all else failed Trump incited a terrorist attack on the Capital Building in a sort of coup attempt.
To this day his forces are still perpetuating the Big Lie including an “audit” in Arizona with treats of more in other states. The Republican Party has let Trump retain control to the point they are about to unseat Liz Cheney from House leadership for the “sin” of telling the truth.
Trump avoided military service due to his alleged bone spurs. Nixon served in the Naval Reserve during World War II. Gore was the son of a sitting Senator yet served in country during Vietnam. The Naval Reserve is not the most dangerous assignment and being a journalist is not like being a tunnel rat but at least both served. World War II was different from Vietnam and I don’t know everything about Nixon’s situation but neither avoided service which Gore certainly could have. Time in the military and Congress along with 8 years being a heartbeat away from the presidency will also do something for your sense of duty and obligation. Trump had no prior military or government service before he sat in the Oval Office and it showed.
Nixon and Gore cared for America; Trump only cares about Trump. Both had loyalty to their respective political parties; Trump views the GOP as something he can use to sate his ego and wallet.
Nixon went on to “fight another day” getting elected in 1968 and reelected in 1972. Gore sank into relative political obscurity concentrating his efforts on the environment which is an issue near and dear to his heart.
Trump is in ‘hiding” in Mar-a-Lago trying to run the Republican Party by remote control and perpetuate money making scams. Nixon ended up resigning in shame as part of the Watergate scandal and Gore may well be the most boring writer in history but in the crucial moment both let their patriotism overrule their personal pain. Neither was perfect but both were certainly superior to Trump. Thanks Dick and Al.
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