Disavowing Donald Trump

The Founding Fathers, when facing war and almost certain death in separating themselves from the control of Great Britain, compiled a list of grievances that “[impelled] them to the separation”.

As I wrote in another essay, I feel compelled to speak out against the actions and words of President Donald Trump. In that essay, I chose not to delve too deeply into the specific actions that concern me, but I will do so here, for the sake of clarity and specificity. These are the reasons I cannot support Mr Trump as a leader.

I must warn, as do many of the sources used below, that the President’s language is at times vulgar and graphic.
Some might point to other statements or policies of the president that contradict the statements and actions below. I acknowledge that he has said some praiseworthy things. However, I believe that what is said off-script is a better measure of a man. Furthermore, just as a racist man can say non-racist things at times and still be a racist, the good things Mr Trump has said does not erase, invalidate, or excuse his vile actions and beliefs.

Donald Trump Divides and Enflames. He Does Not Unite.
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Donald Trump does not empathize, but uses any situation he can to place blame and divide, or boost his own image.
- Donald Trump blames Democrats for the murders committed by illegal immigrants. 
- Donald Trump often blames Democrats for his own initiatives, such as family separation at the border.
- Donald Trump says a recent opioid bill that reached his desk had “very little Democrat support.” In fact, the only vote against the bill was by a Republican. 
- ‘‘Democrats produce mobs, Republicans produce jobs.’’ — A common Donald Trump line.
- Donald Trumps warns supporters that Democrats are willing to hurt anyone and do anything to get their way. 
- Donald Trump spreads conspiracy theories that Democrats are funding the migrant caravan headed to the US border.

- Many tell me that they dislike how Trump speaks but that we have to look at his actual policies. However, we have measurable proof that his rhetoric is effecting specific change as much as any policy. At the time of writing (Christmas 2018), people have donated 16 million dollars to build a wall on the southern border. I believe such an effort is more motivated by fear of the Other than by love of the Law. At the same time, a 7 year old girl died in border control custody. I believe that no one wanted that, that agents did everything they could to save her and provide medical help. But there have also been videos in the last week of border agents kicking over and dumping out water and supplies left by humanitarian groups, meant for the immigrants. I would suggest that these kinds of attitudes and actions are less governed by policy and more by the rhetoric exemplified by President Trump. His words have power; more power perhaps to change the heart of the nation than a policy change that may be overturned by the next president.


Donald Trump is a Deeply Immoral Man
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Donald Trump committed — and bragged about — repeated sexual assault.
- Donald Trump cheated on his wife, shortly after the birth of their son.
- Donald Trump continued to lie about his affair with Karen McDougal, and paid her $130,000 in hush money just before the 2016 election. He then lied for months about that payment, as sitting President of the United States.
- Donald Trump has a long history of openly bragging about sexual sins (adultery, threesomes, assault, abuse, etc)
- Donald Trump bragged about walking in on naked teenage girls at the Miss America Pageants, of which he was the owner. Actually, there’s a long list of perverted things he did while owner of the pageant. 
- Donald Trump does not convince me that he is a God-fearing man. He’s “not sure” if he’s ever asked God for forgiveness.
- Donald Trump defended the paparazzi who snuck nude photos of Kate Middleton in 2012. “Who wouldn’t?” he asked.
- Donald Trump autographed Bibles while visiting tornado-struck Alabama.
- Donald Trump seems to lack any semblance of empathy, as demonstrated when he bragged that his building was now the tallest after 9/11.
- Donald Trump did not — as would a decent human being — denounce a rally attendee who shouted that we should shoot those attempting to cross the border as the only way to stop them.


Donald Trump is a Pathological Lier 
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I’m not even sure where to start with this one. Perhaps with this updating list of his blatantly false statements.
- Donald Trump tells his followers that what they hear on the news is not what’s actually happening — that he is the only source of truth.
- Donald Trump averages 8.3 untrue statements a day — but that number is increasing.
- Donald Trump lies to further his own agenda. Often his lies are racist and baseless:

See the next item for his admission that this was a lie.

-Donald Trump knows he’s lying, and admits it openly. He just doesn’t care about objective truth. 
- Donald Trump told supporters at a rally that Californians were rioting over sanctuary cities. They were not. This is the kind of lie that divides us, stokes fear and anger, and encourages real riots. 
- Donald Trump claimed, "I never said Russia did not meddle in the election.” Actually, he denies what he said a lot.
- Donald Trump says a recent opioid bill that reached his desk had “very little Democrat support.” In fact, the only vote against the bill was by a Republican. This is exemplary of the division he sows with his lies.
- Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that his father was born in Germany. He was born in New York. This is an example of just how pathological he is. There’s no reason for him to keep saying this. It’s just bizarre. When he lies about stuff like this, how are we supposed to believe him on anything?


Donald Trump does not convince me he his an intelligent man.
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As far as I can tell, Trump either does not understand things like windmills, or he panders to an audience that cheers for statements like this:

- Trump claims to be incredibly intelligent, but threatened his schools so they would never release his test scores.
- “I support the Great Lakes. Always have. They are beautiful. They are big. Very deep. Record deepness, right?”
- I cannot think of a single instance where I was impressed by Trump’s thoughtfulness, eloquence, or insight. If he is intelligent, as he so often assures us he is, he hides it well.
- Donald Trump claims that global warming was invented by the Chinese.
- Donald Trump lacks self-awareness. Or he fearlessly lies to cover his flaws.

This one could be filed under “unintelligent” or “compulsive liar”

Donald Trump Uses Race and Fear to Divide Us and Advance His Power
- Donald Trump spread fear of the immigrant caravan seeking asylum at the US border, claiming that “Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in.” He later confessed he had no proof for this.
- Donald Trump scorned protection policies for immigrants from “Shithole countries”. 
- Donald Trump hosted a press conference in which family members of people killed by illegal immigration spoke. This was to spread ideas that immigrants are a “Death threat to every American” and “This could happen to you at any minute.”
- Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.
- Donald Trump promised supporters during the campaign that he would be “looking at a lot of things” in respect to removing Muslims from the country. This was after agreeing that Obama was Muslim.
- Donald Trump used his presidential candidacy announcement speech to accuse Mexico of sending rapists…
- Donald Trump insisted that a Judge of Mexican Heritage could not fairly oversee a case involving Trump University, specifically because of his Mexican Heritage. 
- Here’s a good list by PBS that outlines his history of race relations.
- Donald Trump mocks asylum seekers and immigrants, calling it a “con-job”.


Donald Trump is Inconsistent in his Support of Veterans.
- On Veteran’s Day weekend, 2018, Donald Trump cancelled a planned WW1 memorial with France and Germany, citing the light rain as the reason. France and Germany went ahead with the memorial without him.
- Donald Trump disregarded Senator McCain’s military service and imprisonment, denying that McCain was a war hero, because he got caught. “I prefer people who don’t get captured,” Trump said. 
- Donald Trump treated the family of a slain US soldier dishonorably, suggesting that the mother of the soldier didn’t speak at a memorial event because she “wasn’t allowed to have anything to say,” — a racist reference to their Muslim faith. When the father of the soldier criticized Trump for sacrificing nothing and no one, Trump responded by saying he had sacrificed a lot, referencing the thousands of jobs he had created. 
- Donald Trump derided retired Adm. William H. McRaven — the Navy SEAL that oversaw the bin Laden raid and is now battling cancer — as a “Hilary supporter” and an “Obama supporter” who should have caught bin Laden much sooner. McRaven has criticized the President for dividing the country, saying he is the greatest threat to democracy. Mr Trump seems to only supports those who support him, no matter their contribution to the country.


Donald Trump Surrounds Himself with Criminals, and is a Criminal Himself
- Here’s a handy chart that summarizes the criminal acts of his closest advisors and cabinet members. 
- Here’s a documentary outlining Trump’s relationship with Russia and Russian criminals. I’m wary of such documentaries, as they’re clearly biased, but I believe this one attempted to interview a large swath of people, from Republican to Democrat, including Evan McMullin and John McCain. And if only half of what it uncovers is true, Mr Trump is deeply indebted to Russia. 
- Here’s a summarized list of the things the documentary above covers in more detail, outlining Donald Trump’s long history with Russia.
- Donald Trump has long committed tax fraud, and much of his wealth is based on such fraud.
- Donald Trump used campaign finances illegally, to pay for the silence of two women who have claimed to have had affairs with him. Michael Cohen is in prison because of it.
- Donald Trump, as outlined in the Mueller report, could very likely have been charged with the felony of obstructing justice, were he not a sitting president. The efforts described by Robert Mueller are damning — 650 (at last count) former federal prosecutors agree that his actions were criminal.


Donald Trump is an Abusive Leader, and Praises Dictators
- Donald Trump praises Vladamir Putin often for being a strong leader.
- Donald Trump praises Kim Jong Un for how his people respect him.
- Donald Trump sided with Putin over US Intelligent Agencies in regard to -accusations of Russian interference. Multiple times.
- I cannot fail to notice the differences in how Donald Trump speaks about Russia and Vietnam, and how he speaks about Latino countries. He gives the benefit of the doubt to our enemies in Russia and Vietnam, without question, and assumes most Latino countries are filled with rapists and drug dealers that want to infiltrate the U.S. 
- Donald Trump repeatedly refers to the press as “The Enemy of the People,” even as threats and bombs are sent to reporters
- Donald Trump encourages violence against the press.
- “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?” Trump said, drawing cheers and laughter. “Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise.”
- Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter while on the campaign trail.- Donald Trump is famous for calling people names (especially women), such as Horseface, Crazed Crying Lowlife Dog, and Miss Piggy.

- After an American journalist was murdered in Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump seems to be siding with the Saudis rather than American Intelligence agencies who have determined that the government was responsible for the murder. Donald Trump cited the many billions of dollars we receive from the Saudis as an excuse for not disliking them. Even Republicans have criticized his statements. This is not the first time Donald Trump has sided with foreign leaders over our intelligence agencies.
- Donald Trump defended Kim Jung Un in the case of Otto Warmbier, a student who was returned to the US in a coma and died shortly thereafter. “He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.” Trump later clarified his remarks via Twitter, claiming they were misinterpreted, but he did not go as far as holding Kim Jung Un responsible.
- This list, from Evan McMullin’s organization, is a handy summary of Donald Trump’s praise of Dictators.


Legacy

-As Trump swings further and further right, and as he clumsily fights for more conservative values while mocking anyone who disagrees with him, the pendulum will only swing wider in the coming years. Many consider his speech to be vile, but excuse it on the grounds that his policies are good for conservatives and christians. But I do not believe those policies to be sustainable. We have to realize that his arrogance, his cruelty, his bigotry, will only push the country to elect someone even further to the left than Trump is to the right. This is not a sustainable model, and it is not a wise trade for 4 years of conservative policy. Just as Obama, in many ways, laid the groundwork for Trump’s election, Donald Trump is laying similar groundwork.