I was in Tarpon Springs, Florida on the morning of 9/11/01 when I got the word. On afternoon of November 22, 1963 I was in Cheektowaga, New York when I got that word. Most Americans know the first reference; all of my generation or older know the second. Perhaps we have come up with some sort of twisted way of commemorating September 11th this year. Today Bob Woodward’s book Fear is being released. Let’s explore.
Donald Trump’s presidency has been terrible and has the potential to get much, much worse. The day after he took office, while he was busy lying about the size of his inaugural crowd, the largest protest in American history took place. While I was not one of those who took to the streets, I was among those early skeptics. As time goes on our numbers have grown.
On January 5th of this year, less than one year after Trump took office Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury was published. The publishers actually moved up the release date in response to a Trump attempt to stop publication. (Does that sound consistent with the First Amendment guaranteed right to freedom of the press?) I was among the many that chose not to read it because Wolff has something less than a sterling reputation. To date this critical view of the Trump White House has yet to be disproven.
Then on August 14th Omarosa’s Unhinged hit the shelves. It was somewhat similar to Fire and Fury. Omarosa was a long time Trump associate and a staffer in the Trump White House before being fired. Omarosa is hardly the gold standard of truth and journalistic standards so I passed on her book also. Interestingly, she actually had audio tapes to back up some of her most sensational claims. Again, to date nothing of substance has been proven to be false.
News of Woodward’s book Fear broke on September 4th with an excerpt in the Washington Post. Unlike Wolff and Omarosa, Woodward is the gold standard in journalism and I plan to read the book. As a young Washington Post reporter along with his partner Carl Bernstein they broke the Watergate story and brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon in the process.
One day later the New York Times took the highly unusual step of publishing an anonymous op-ed entitled, I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration, which they attributed to a high ranking White House official who needed to keep their identity confidential in order to protect their job. The op-ed like the books portrayed a president who was incompetent, deranged and dangerous.
Trump’s reaction has been to call for the New York Times to turn the person over to “The government” and for the FBI to investigate their identity. (Does this sound like an authoritarian state to you?) His justification is national security. Mr. Trump you are the temporary president; not the nation. People swear an oath to the Constitution – can you remember yours or was it too complicated for you? They do not swear an oath of allegiance to you. Again, you are the temporary president; not the king.
Part of the hilarious reactions of Trump’s staff has been the plethora of denials of authorship of the op-ed. It’s kind of like watching a bunch of kids who were just throwing rocks telling the old lady that it wasn’t they who broke her window. The window is broken and it certainly didn’t break itself. I don’t know who wrote the op-ed and I’m not going to waste a lot of time trying to figure out who it was. What I know is that there is a very good chance the author is among those who have issued denials.
What I am concerned about is that we have an incompetent and possibly unstable person sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office who is more concerned with finding out who wrote an op-ed than finding out how the Russians attacked our democracy. Could that be because he already knows the answer to what he calls the “Russia thing”?
Too many people are all saying substantially the same thing for it to be false. America is in dangerous territory.
John Kennedy’s assassination was a national tragedy. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 changed America and the world; and not in a good way. Let’s hope the catastrophe commonly known as the Trump presidency ends before it reaches those levels. If it doesn’t none of us may live to remember the date this story ended.
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