Remember the old saying about a “corker”, referring to an event that was surprising and a real attention-grabber? Well, yesterday, prominent Republican senator Bob Corker (TN) went public with some remarks that fit his last name; i.e. he described Trump as lacking “stability (and) competence”; as having failed to “…understand the character of our nation”.
The first two descriptors have grown increasingly more fitting over 45’s short time in office. Indeed, they have become blindingly obvious to every objective person. What is less so, is the third reference to the man-child’s failure to understand the character of our country. And so, the focus here will be there.
We were founded as a nation of laws, checks and balances; of tolerance and the protection of the rights of the individual, even if that person was a member of a small minority. S/he was still guaranteed “equal protection” against a tyrannical majority. We held to an uncompromised freedom of speech.
Trump’s words and actions reflect no better than a meager grasp of any of this. Consider the detailing of verifiable events that follow.
The rule of law
The courts are the final arbiters of our laws. Anything that undercuts their authority is a blow against an important “pillar” of our country. And 45’s record in this sphere is what? In the law suit against Trump University, he decried Judge Curiel’s objectivity based on the jurist’s ethnicity. When the courts issued injunctions against Trump’s “total and complete ban of “all” Muslims trying to enter the US, he condemned those federal panels.
Checks and balances
Just as surely as the courts exist to restrain an overreaching Executive branch (see immediately above), the Congress exists for the same reason. In the last month, the Senate in particular, has acted in that capacity by refusing to pass a decidedly objectionable healthcare bill, by blocking Trump from making recess appointments and undoing sanctions that had been levied against Russia. Trump has responded in a state of high dungeon; with condemnation and claims that he has had his powers of office curtailed, failing to grasp that such is the job of the Legislative. It is one thing to be critical of the Senate for the actions it took; it is quite another to condemn it for doing its’ constitutionally mandated job. Here again, there is evidence of a fundamental lack of understanding of something that is basic to our form of government.
The horrific events in Charlottesville presented 45 with what could have been a defining moment in his presidency: He could have stepped forward promptly and without hesitation, and put light years’ of distance between himself and the White Nationalist and Neo-Nazis who were marching in protest against the bringing down of Confederate monuments. He chose instead, to first, delay any response for 48 hours. He next came forth with a denunciation of the aforementioned two groups only to follow that with a backtracking within which he attempted to put those same intolerant groups on the same moral footing as the people on the left who had stood in opposition to them. This is turning our core belief in tolerance on its head.
Freedom of speech was not enshrined as the First Amendment in our Bill of Rights by accident. Our Founders believed it to be absolutely essential to the health, well-being and longevity of our country. We had to be free to speak Truth to power. In the sharpest of contrasts, Trump has behaved, even before being elected, as though he is to be free to crush the power of the press (both printed and electronic). He has done this through a steady attempt to discredit the news media as sources of reliable, valid facts and information. He alone is to be believed; no one else.
What Senator Corker had to say was simply not enough. Let us take it a big step further: To identify Trump as someone who has “…failed to understand the character of our nation” is to at least imply that 45 has not only failed to study our fundamental institutions and beliefs, but has also failed to embrace them. In that damning context, Donald J. Trump marks himself out as being unAmerican.
There is a bitter irony in that last judgment: 45 ingratiated himself with our country’s racist element with the bowel rumblings of birtherism leveled against Barack Obama. Yet, it is Trump who repeatedly shows himself to be the person who is unfit to occupy the Oval Office.