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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
9:19 AM Sun, Dec. 16th

Talk of the Town: Divisive Trump should get used to criticism

Some Trump supporters think now that he’s president, everyone should stop complaining and accept everything he proposes and promotes. Consider this quote by president Theodore Roosevelt: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by him, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but morally treasonable to the American people.” Teddy Roosevelt was a strong Republican, very capable of accepting and responding to criticism.

It’s expected for the losing side to complain when a new president is seated, because of differences between Republican/Democrat policies. With Trump it’s much more. Complaints are about his character — his religious bias, his lies, his refusal to show tax returns or to relinquish control over his businesses. They are about whom he denigrates — the judiciary, the intelligence services, our allies, our free press. Trump is a very divisive person. When he became president, he promised to unite all Americans. His subsequent statements and choice of staff clearly show he didn’t mean what he said. 

From his business experience, Trump is used to being the boss and getting his own way. He’s finding out that running a nation is quite different: we have a Congress (which makes its own decisions), an independent judiciary, a Constitution.

His supporters like his slogan “America First.” Two centuries ago, nations were largely self-sufficient. Today, the world is intricately intertwined — with trade, finances and alliances. If America insists on being first, everyone becomes isolationist and protective. Friendship suffers, prices rise, trust disappears, war becomes more likely.

Our history is to welcome immigrants. They are stronger and more ambitious than their neighbors in the country they left. These strengths have made America what it is today. Refugees often have similar characteristics; America has always done its part to help these unfortunates. Since 9/11, how may terrorist acts in America have been by immigrants from the seven banned countries? (Zero.) How many by legal citizens? (All!) Should we intern all Moslems? Has Trump improved security? Trump’s values are un-American.

His executive orders have often resulted in chaos because Trump and his staff lack government experience. On immigration, insufficient direction caused confusion at the airports, then court challenges — was his edict constitutional? He claimed he’d give priority to deporting “bad hombres” who’d committed serious crimes. Well, the first deportation was a mother (Arizona) with two teenage children. Her serious crime? She misused a Social Security number so she could feed her children. The result? She paid income taxes (good!) and FICA (for social security she’d never receive). Obama’s deportations had a higher percentage of real criminals than Trump’s. Another Trump fiasco.

Michael Flynn (his National Security adviser) was a fiasco. (Will Obamacare replacement be the next fiasco?) Flynn talked to Russia’s ambassador about sanctions before Trump was president. Trump (and others) later listened to the transcripts of that call, but Trump took no immediate action. He didn’t tell his VP that Flynn was lying — causing a major embarrassment to Pence. The VP doesn’t appear to be in Trump’s inner circle but is expected to explain Trump’s contentious decisions and tweets.

When Bill O’Reilly said Putin was a killer, Trump defended Putin, saying America wasn’t innocent. How do we accept that our president thinks America is no better than Russia — a country that invaded Crimea, fomented civil insurrection in Ukraine? Why is Trump pro-Putin? Perhaps Trump’s tax returns would show his business relations with Russia? Previous presidents have shown their returns. What is Trump hiding? 

Trump wants to make America great again. His actions so far have produced just the opposite. He has made America appear to be mean and selfish. He’s inward looking and has no interest in helping small and vulnerable groups. His bigotry, his religious and racial bias, his attitude towards women have encouraged other narrow minded citizens to come out of the woodwork and show their nastiness.

Trump is a liar, usually over things that don’t matter — about his charitable foundation, his inauguration parade being the biggest ever (the numbers show otherwise). His latest unsubstantiated lie about his phones being tapped is just a diversion — further reducing people’s opinions of him. Trump is erratic, prejudiced, conceited. We are all stuck with Trump for four years. If he is to change, intense pressure will be needed. McCain has strongly objected to Trump’s biases and treatment of the press. Gorsuch (the potential Supreme Court replacement) has described Trumps statements about the judiciary as disheartening and demoralizing. Other key people must join in!

Nigel Reynolds has lived in Prescott for over 20 years. He is a pragmatic engineer interested in politics, religion and history, and many other things.