Some great late summer reading hit the bookstands this last month – maybe we wish it were fiction ...

It started in mid-August with Mary Trump’s release of “Too Much and Never Enough.” President Trump’s niece, a clinical psychologist, offers an analysis of Trump’s unusual behavior at the helm of our country. Many revealing anecdotes confirm the basic understanding of our 45th President – he’s an insufferable narcissist who struggles with feelings of inadequacy, is limited by a transactional understanding of governance, and cannot control his need to define “the truth,” no matter how many lies it takes.

Then Michael Schmidt, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the New York Times, published “Donald Trump vs The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President.” Again, many of Schmidt’s assertions have already been revealed in the media – but he has multiple sources to back up these claims. 

Then Melania Trump’s best friend, Stephanie Winston Wollkoff, added her tell-all, “Melania and Me,” to the list. More than just a first lady gossip, Winston Wolkoff outlines the challenges faced when three different jurisdictions began investigating the apparent fraud and embezzlement involved with Trump’s Inaugural Committee. Over $100 million was raised, but only $60 million was invoiced and accounted for. Trump’s Deputy Campaign Manager, Rick Gates, admitted he “probably” embezzled some of the funds. But Winston Wolkoff, whose company was hired to produce the inaugural events, is on the carpet, defending her accounting. She refuses to take the fall.

Finally, Peter Strzok, former head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and assistant to Robert Mueller’s investigation, has written “Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump.” One new piece in his reporting: apparently the investigation of Donald Trump’s financial ties to Russia was never conducted – Attorney General Rosenstein directed Special Council Robert Mueller not to pursue Trump’s financial dealings. It was assumed the FBI would take over that investigation, but they did not. Trump continues to fight the release of his tax returns and any financial records in various courts. But he did lie to us when he said he had no financial dealings with Russia when he was running for office. He was negotiating with Russia for a Moscow Trump Tower during his inauguration. He has lied over 20,000 times since taking office. Strzok asks the question, “When a president appears to favor personal and Russian interests over those of our nation, has he become a national security threat?” 

All these books were rushed to release, to inform us before the November election. But not much here is new to careful observers of current events. It’s worthwhile to see rigorous research and sourcing – but having our fears confirmed is not comforting. President Trump is not a good human, and he does not have the skills or veritas to be the leader of the free world.

Yet he is our president. 

As Ibram X. Kendi (author of the best-seller “How to be an Antiracist”) describes in his Atlantic magazine article (September 2020), Trump used the first year of his presidency to undo as many of Obama’s executive orders as possible, reversing holds on two oil-pipelines opposed by over 200 Indigenous nations. He suspended the consent decrees that provided oversight of law enforcement agencies that had demonstrated racism. He suspended the DACA program for Dreamers. He funneled scarce resources to his ludicrous border wall. He insulted four female members of the US House, telling them – all American citizens – to go back to their countries. Trump has not acted as a president for all Americans, as he promised in his 2016 acceptance speech. But one consequence of his biased, self-serving attitudes is that now a majority of Americans agree that their president is a racist, and they support the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The election in November is not about saving our country from socialism; conservatives have “socialism” and social programs confused. A humane government provides, through social programs, for the less fortunate. Americans already enjoy the benefits of two effective social programs, Medicare and Social Security. But Trump plans to eliminate the payroll taxes that fund these programs, bankrupting them within a few years. This is not a tax cut, it is a security cut.

The election in November is not about low income ruffians moving into your suburbs. It’s not about violence in the streets. Trump can warn about the potential street violence of a Biden administration, but this looting is happening now, in Trump’s administration. It’s Trump’s chaotic America.

Our President, through his actions, sets the tone for our country. The aforementioned books analyze Trump, describe his actions, his lies, his lack of focus, his lack of skills. No wonder the streets explode when a president tweets racist rants, supports white supremacists and appreciates conspiracy theorists. No wonder armed vigilantes patrol protests, looking for a fight, when our president eggs them on. It’s challenging reading, these books. 

We must vote Trump out of office, not because he’s a Republican, or a conservative (is he?), but because of who he is. He is not a good human being. He is a poor leader. America deserves much better. And we can have it in November if we overwhelmingly vote to remove President Trump. Please vote for Joe Biden.

Please join us at Democracy is not a spectator sport. Your vote matters.

Editor’s Note: this is part one of a two-part series.

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