America, we have a problem. Not a small one that can be solved with a stroke of a pen or the flip of a switch. We have a large, complicated problem that affects every one of us as citizens.
The chaos coming from the White House in the last two weeks is an alarm screaming out to the country that something is seriously wrong. Never before in U.S. history has a presidential administration behaved in such a manner.
The problem — or what really is a long list of issues that are the basis for the problem — is complicated and at the same time glaring. Let’s start with outright hostility towards anyone questioning the administration’s actions or statements by news media, journalists, judges, celebrities, and politicians — even those of the Republican Party. They come in the form of twitter rants from the president, verbal attacks by aides, and hostile statements made during press conferences.
Then there is the lack of truth and facts put out by the fledgling administration. Actually there is little to none, only propaganda and disinformation labeled “alternative facts”. This has been confirmed by fact checking groups like Snopes and PolitiFact. PolitiFact’s score card on the president offers just a four percent “true” rating.
The truth appears to be the newest addition to the endangered list.
This has made great comedic fodder for Saturday Night Live, much to the outrage of the president and the chagrin of the staff mocked in skits that sent millions of viewers into fits of laughter. Apparently, the cast members hit a little too close to the bone, judging by tweetstorms from the White House after each performance.
Yet, the recent meltdown between the President and the Nordstrom clothing store is an indicator of something very disturbing. Citing flagging sales numbers, the Seattle based retail giant dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. Her father exploded via twitter, railing against Nordstrom. Allegedly, both father and daughter have divested themselves from the family brand.
There is a growing concern that the president may not have. This could be a violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution — the emoluments clause — since he has yet to divulge his tax returns and a list of business dealings from his enormous empire. Suspicions abound more so after his aide, Kellyanne Conway, plugged Ivanka Trump’s product line on live television — a possible ethical and constitutional violation that has sparked a bipartisan backlash. Conway was “counseled” in response, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Many are concerned that things will come to a head, plunging the president (and the rest of us) into a “Constitutional Crisis.” The travel ban that has been blocked by federal court has been giving the president fits. This could prove to be the tipping point.
Funny thing about those people targeted: the refugees, immigrants, and the green card holders from seven majority-Muslim countries have been through over two years of vetting by the U.S. government. They passed and they await entry as this unnecessary drama unfolds.
The constant Twitter and verbal attacks toward the judges involved and towards our judicial system by the president are making many wonder if the Trump administration truly feels they are above the law. Maybe even beyond reach of the Constitution. There may remain a lot being hidden by the administration, and people in high places are beginning to question their actions and statements. Lawsuits are pending and investigations are being formed to find out just how far down the rabbit holes may go.
Another term is beginning to crop up — one I’m reluctant to utter. It makes me think back to a lone protester, waving a nine-foot-long banner on a Palmer street corner during the Obama years. A Lyndon La Rouche, fan he proudly advertised that affiliation along with his bigger message. The man was clearly unbalanced and I don’t want to be associated with him. Yet there are people in Washington D.C. making similar noises now. What was the term?
Impeachment. A tool that has only been used a handful of times against a sitting president. The first time was against Andrew Johnson in 1868. He was acquitted. Richard Nixon was next up, but he resigned before it could take place and he was pardoned by Gerald Ford, his vice president and successor. Next was Bill Clinton, who, like Johnson, was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. And, like Johnson, he was also acquitted. No U.S. president has ever been impeached and convicted.
That may change if the current administration continues down the chaotic path staked out in its first month. At the rate things are happening, I give them a year — maybe two — before it all unravels. It just depends what the “all” entails.
I have little confidence that President Trump will make a full term of office. He will make history, I believe. Just not in the way he likely wants to be remembered.
America, we have a problem.