President Trump, Elephants in the Room, and a Country on Fire. . . What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Fireman working on a fire engine parked in the courtyard of the fire station
Fireman working on a fire engine parked in the courtyard of the fire station

On early Saturday morning, March 4th, President Trump tweeted “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” He tweeted three more early morning tweets likening the wiretapping to Nixon’s Watergate.

Maybe someone can help me understand how a president makes up crap, with no evidence whatsoever, alleging that his predecessor, former president Obama, had Trump Tower wire tapped during the presidential campaign. No evidence. None. Intelligence agencies say there is no evidence. Even Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, after spending their valuable time chasing down these ghosts the president demanded they investigate, have said there is nothing.

Ah, but that does not stop this Republican president’s lies and delusions. Trump stands behind his nonsensical, no evidence based allegations.  His latest tortured spin, since the first whopper landed like a turd in a punch bowl, is that President Obama had help from Great Britain intelligence to bypass the American intelligence agencies and wire tap Trump Tower. Really? Why would President Obama and Great Britain do this? Oh, and this was after the president’s  own press secretary, Sean Spicer, like a drowning toddler, flailed helplessly to spin his boss’s rants  in any way that did not make him look, well, crazy.

Remember, as folks try and come up with a rational explanation why President Trump would make up such outrageous lies about his predecessor, the first black president, this is the same Donald Trump who spent years peddling his racist, discriminatory and false birther nonsense. Trump does not get a pass on his racist rantings from the past.  For years, than citizen Trump, relentlessly questioned whether president Obama was American. There were years of comments from our now president making these racist and false statements trying to suggest and insinuate that then president Obama was born in Kenya and was not really an American. Trump finally gave up his birther nonsense when he really had no choice if he wanted to be a serious Republican presidential candidate. Think about that.

Has he no shame? No, he does not. But it’s way more than that.

Why aren’t the media, current members of the House and Senate, and all of us calling out the elephant in the room on this latest tweet issue  – our president is a racist. The architect of the racist birther theory that he peddled for years now alleges that same man he worked to show was not a true American, our first black president, his predecessor, wiretapped him.  Apologize to the black guy?  Forget it.  Instead, President Trump demands Congress waste their time and America’s money investigating such fairy tales. And they did. That should frighten all of us.  I think it’s fair to ask if white privilege prevents Congress and maybe all of white America from connecting these particular dots.  Because what if it does? Then what does that say about us? That we’re mired in white privilege and refuse to see it, especially at the highest levels? That’s been “America’s” history.

Imagine if President Obama had made comparable allegations of wiretapping against his predecessor, President Bush, with no evidence whatsoever. And imagine if President Obama had claimed the British helped him pull off that illegal action. I suggest that is something we can’t even imagine happening. That’s really the point. Much of what President Trump is doing is truly unimaginable and unprecedented.

Trump would rather just continue his pattern of trotting out yet another lie, this time that the British, one of our most trusted allies, somehow took complete leave of their collective senses and, at that black president’s request, agreed to  wire tap Trump during the campaign.  Really? The British immediately rebuffed these outrageous allegations and called them out for what they are, ridiculous. In his testimony yesterday before the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director Comey agreed with our British allies that the president’s allegation was just that, ridiculous. That, to me, is putting a polite spin on it. Ridiculous.

Mr. Trump now cites Fox News as the source of this story about Great Britain’s alleged involvement and bizarrely suggests he was just repeating it and that’s who the media should be looking to. What? Nobody really believes this crap. Yet last Sunday Republicans tried to do their all too common and tortured dance on talk shows to defend the increasingly crazy and bizarre rantings of their party’s leader, President Trump.

Fire!

FBI Director Comey testified yesterday before the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI and Justice Department had no evidence at all to substantiate the March 4th tweets of President Trump alleging former President Obama had Trump Tower wire tapped. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Director Comey also admitted the Russians hacked the Democratic Party during the 2016 elections. All this while our president continues to say, nothing to see here folks, let’s move along. Do we see a pattern here?

We should also worry about what these bizarre and insulting comments by President Trump that accuse Great Britain of breaking the law and colluding with former President Obama to tap his phones does to our valued and longstanding relationship with our allies like Great Britain. Let’s say crazy stuff and piss off our friends? Our president seems totally unaware that he is using up, at warp speed, whatever presidential capital he may have had. America’s reputation as a world leader continues to take big hits. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, may now well be the leader of the free world.

This is no longer just about calling out the president with the “liar, liar pants on fire” rhetoric. The fire in the pants has spread. . . and the entire country is now on fire.

I have not even touched on the disastrous proposed skinny and propaganda based budget rolled out by the White House that tears down much of what has taken years for this country to build up. . . and help folks in need.  Community block grants that fund Meals on Wheels and benefits poor people, veterans, and elderly are being cut.  Those without a voice, our vulnerable, are thrown under the bus. The proposed budget would cut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget by 31%. National Endowment for the Arts? Gone. Who needs the arts and artists. That was a beginning theme back in Nazi Germany. Is that too big a leap for us to make?

Fire!!

President Trump appointed an EPA  Secretary who spent years suing and fighting the EPA and refuses to even admit climate change is real. We are going to a low carbon future. The train has left the station. We were a leader in Paris to move this forward and the Trump administration denial position also cuts American businesses  off from the real economic opportunities this future presents, that the rest of the world is living, and our administration  refuses to even acknowledge.

Fire!!!

Did I mention the heartless health care legislation recently proposed by the Republican House to ostensibly repeal the Affordable Care Act? The proposed Republican House plan would, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), result in  24 million people losing their health insurance. Speaker Ryan calls his new Republican House health care legislation an act of “mercy,” where millions of poor Americans will lose their coverage and the top one percent will benefit at the expense of the working class. People will die. Whose faith model does this follow? Not mine.

Fire!!!!

A wise friend of mine recently expressed his concern that the actions and goals of the Trump administration are geared towards dismantling and reducing the federal government. He noted how much easier it is to destroy something than it is to build something back up once it has been destroyed. How do we rebuild America’s reputation as the leader of the free world with a president who routinely says crazy, unbelievable, false and racist things? But we also need to ask ourselves, how do we explain and justify an America that permits this to happen.

When we do yell “fire,” who is the fire department? We need our members of the House and Senate to be statesmen and stateswomen. But recent history does not make it particularly likely our House and Senate elected officials will be that fire department when they continue to act in ways that demonstrate their primary  concerns continue to be their own reelection and party loyalty,  not the best interests of our country. Will the press be that fire department, or will they be hopelessly enmeshed in the president’s latest nonsensical tweet?

It looks like the American public must be the fire department. We must demand our elected officials, Republican and Democrat alike, take all legal action to stop an out of control, lying and racist president, and then unelect them if they don’t.  We must write and call these elected leaders who struggle to remember they work for us. We need to speak out, march, show up, and relentlessly call out the elephants in the room. We need to demand bold, creative leadership and substantive action from people of faith. We need to develop new and innovative ways to deal with this fire.  It may be the only way  we can put it out and preserve our country’s soul.