A virtueless presidency

I cringe thinking about Donald Trump boarding Air Force One today for his first trip abroad as President. The thought that he will be representing the USA, and by my citizenship representing me, is an appalling thought. If ever there was an individual who does not speak for me, it’s Trump. I have never found greed, narcissism, and vindictiveness to be characteristics to admire. Nor can I respect an individual who shows no intellectual curiosity in the world around us. And most damning for me is Trump’s complete lack of virtue.

Trump shows no interest in truth, remorse, or even common decency. He once said he has never felt the need to ask God for forgiveness, suggesting, I suppose, that he is without sin. As a thrice married serial adulterer, I think he is on very shaky ground to say the least. These characteristics, and the list could be significantly longer, put us in the unique position of having a virtueless presidency. One can search but will not find a single redeeming quality in the man now “leading” our country.

While much lip-service is given to family values, Trump doesn’t even live with his own family. While the blue-collar class struggles to find its place in a new technologically driven economy, Trump flaunts his wealth and proposes policies that will continue his gilded fleecing of those same people. While parents teach their children not to lie, lying is the only thing Trump knows. In short, Trump is, was, and will always be what we see today for he is incapable of change.

I remember telling my students that the “campaign” Trump will moderate once the magnitude of the presidency is upon him. I was totally wrong. Trump has not moderated but instead more fully embraced his campaign persona. Mean-spirited rhetoric, self-indulgent braggadocio, juvenile name calling, and incessant claims of victimization (poor me!) are now daily news items. And then there is that damn Twitter account.

Where this goes is beyond prediction at this point. One bad week has led to a worse week, to yet a worse week. Trump is increasingly isolated and increasingly threatening. This is what happens when you hand the reins of power to virtueless man. Shame on him and even more shame on us.

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