Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Amorality of Donald Trump

The recent frantic efforts by President Trump to have the Republican-controlled House pass a health care measure to repeal Obamacare, regardless what the nature of that legislation was, reveals the absolute amorality of Donald Trump.

After the initial Republican legislation didn’t proceed to a vote because it didn’t have enough support among Republicans, Trump was willing to bargain with any faction and agree to anything if they could bring the votes needed to get the legislation passed.  Regardless the impact on the public - especially poor people, the elderly, and those with previous conditions - who had come to depend on the benefits of Obamacare, all he wanted was legislation that passed.  His statements, his promises about how we would protect the public, how various provisions needed to be retained … all of that was just so much hot air.

After the House finally voted, his speech praising the passage was beyond pathetic.  While we are used to politicians using superlatives, his over-the-top, self-congratulatory, praise of both the legislation and House Republicans made me want to throw up.  

It brings to mind the famous accusation by Joseph Welch, Secretary of the Army, in response to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s witch-hunt of the Army during the McCarthy hearings in the early 50s:  “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”  The same accusation should be hurled at President Trump, “Have you no shame?”

It’s a sad day for this country.  Of course, almost every day since the inauguration has been a sad day for the country.  But at least for the most part he was doing pretty much what he said he was going to do, except for some foreign policy reversals.   Yes, he’s always guilty of grand-standing, but that’s the way he is.  And with the signing of his many executive orders, he made it sound like he was doing something great for his base, whereas in truth the orders typically resulted in very little.  

The nature of the negotiations on this legislation, however, and his speech reveal something far worse:  the President has absolutely no commitment to anything other than making himself look good, as he sees it.  He will sacrifice anything to that end.  He is totally amoral.   

One can run this country as a conservative, even a right-wing conservative.  I may very much disagree with their point of view, but typically they are men and women of conviction.  Donald Trump has no convictions, no commitments, other than to himself.  Besides being a sorry example of a human being, this leaves everyone guessing about where the country is headed, both in a macro and micro level.  This lack of stability is not good for any aspect of our country’s well-being.

In 2018, Democrats must succeed in engineering a massive turnout of voters, and not just those who normally vote, to change control of Congress and put a stop to the damage Trump is wreaking on America.  In the meantime, we have to hope that his badly divided party will not support what the more radical right-wing elements want.  It seems at the moment that Senate Republicans are going to take a very different tack when they get the Trumpcare legislation.   Let us hope!