Trump’s Hollow Words

On the afternoon of January 20, 2017 Donald Trump took the oath of office of the Presidency of the United States of America. Those words were his first lies in office and it hasn’t improved since. The oath reads in part, “…defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…” In the following paragraphs I will cite several occasions where Trump has failed. My examples are far from a complete listing. Let’s explore.

We can start with Trump’s White House staff. Not only did he initially select and employ people who acted outside the best interests of America; to this day he has a cavalier (and that is being kind) attitude toward national security. Vetting for initial staff positions was either missing or incredibly incompetently executed. Trump’s first national Security Advisor was the convicted felon Mike Flynn. During the transition no less than President Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn. Days into the administration taking office, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates took the highly unusual step of personally going directly to the White House to warn the administration that Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by multiple foreign governments. What did Trump do? He fired Yates; he killed the messenger and left the message unheeded until the press made it public knowledge.

Last week CNN and NBC reported that between 100 (CNN) and 130 (NBC) current White House staffers (over 20% of the workforce) were lacking permanent security clearances as of last November 2017 (one year after the Election). Included in that number are Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Don McGahn and Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, all of whom have daily contact with Trump and have been with him since Day 1 of this administration.

In the aftermath of the tragedy at Charlottesville who can forget Trump calling neo-Nazis and white supremacists, “Very fine people”? A woman was killed by what can only be defined as a domestic terrorist.

Last week the heads of the nation’s six top intelligence agencies testified under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee. During their testimony they reiterated previous revelations that they had found irrefutable proof of Russian interfered in our 2016 election. When Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed asked them whether President Trump specifically directed them to guard against future Russian interference in our elections they all replied in the negative. This is a continuing case of Trump taking Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over the findings of our entire intelligence community and the intelligence forces of several of our allies.

Congress passed sanctions against Russia and Trump unilaterally has refused to implement them. That forces any reasonable American to ask, “Why?” I can come up with several answers and none of them are consistent with defending America and its Constitution against foreign enemies.

Last week Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, a shooter opened fire on a Florida high school killing 17 people (as of this writing). The next day, (almost 24 hours having elapsed), Trump finally made a statement in the White House. It was obviously read from a prepared text (Trump misspoke which he often does when reading from a teleprompter). It was a boilerplate speech that any skilled politician could give off the cuff at the drop of a hat. Trump had to have it written for him and still took a day to deliver it. When then President Obama responded to a similar tragedy his anger and emotion was obvious in his sincere words. Trump’s remarks were crafted, very politically correct (even though he and his core followers profess to hate PC speech and actions) and lacked any hint of sincerity.

Careful not to offend the NRA, neither “gun” nor any of its synonyms or derivatives was ever mentioned. Instead the “cover phrases a la mode” were “mental health” and “school safety”. Interestingly Florida Republican Governor Rick “The Fifth” Scott and Florida Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi (she of the questionable Trump donation and decision not to pursue charges against him) used similar verbiage in photo-op appearances.

This shooting was not an isolated incident. It appears to be the 30th mass shooting of 2018 which was only 45 days old on Wednesday. It is the 18th of 2018 which was only 31 school days old on Wednesday (not allowing for snow and teacher work day that were off days in certain school districts). Any way you do the math that is a mass shooting at a rate of better than one every other day.

Speaking of mental health, one of the first pieces of legislation Trump signed made it easier for people with mental disabilities to legally obtain firearms. Several of Trump’s budget proposals, executive actions and proposed legislative efforts have called for cutting funding to mental health. Florida; where Scott has been Governor, (with a Republican majority in the state Legislature), since 2011 ranks 50th in mental health spending.

Trump’s, and many of his enablers’, words have no meaning.

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