Four months in, yet it’s not unfair to ask Americans, especially political leaders, Republicans and Democrats, when is enough enough?
Donald Trump, who wasn’t elected by the American people, but rather selected by the odious and archaic Electoral College, continues to demonstrate levels of intemperance, possibly acceptable under a skillful president such as Richard Nixon, but, much worse, he displays considerable incompetence.
Last week, the man I call Trump the Pretender unceremoniously and gutlessly fired FBI Director James Comey, a man for whom I shed no tears and have many times excoriated on HuffPost. Not for a minute do I regret his dismissal after Comey’s almost unprecedented, unprofessional intrusion in the final days of 2016’s presidential election. He reopened wounds, mostly healing, about Hillary Clinton’s server, citing supposed new information, then nine days later stated in effect “Nevermind,” and in the process cost her the presidency.
Compounding matters, Comey recently testified before Congress describing his “nauseated” feelings about having done so, though stubbornly reaffirming his deeds, and many Americans felt he sealed his own coffin.
However, Comey also confirmed there was an actual investigation regarding Russia’s involvement in our election, endorsed by numerous intelligence agencies. It was currently underway to learn whether Trump and/or campaign aides, whose interactions with Russian agents were unquestionable, worked together to destroy Clinton’s campaign.
Though bipartisan legislators agree Russia hacked the Democratic headquarters, GOP leaders insist Trump’s victory wasn’t tarnished, because experts believe voting machines weren’t corrupted. Perhaps, but Russia’s actions aided by WikiLeaks certainly influenced voter mindsets, probably affecting the election’s outcome.
Since Comey wasn’t canned at the outset of Trump’s administration, and the Russian investigation was ongoing, it seemed pretty fishy Trump would suddenly fire the man, ostensibly as White House aides “explained,” on the strength of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s 3-page memo specifically referencing Comey’s reopening Clinton’s investigation.
That Trump did this in a cowardly manner, while Comey was in Los Angeles, learning of his dismissal on TV, and then in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt Trump denied Rosenstein caused his decision, stating he’d decided beforehand to get rid of Comey due to “this Russia thing,” only adds fuel to the fire.
Trump brazenly admitted his rationale was the Russian inquiry and his campaign’s ties to it, sidetracking that Comey told him three times he wasn’t under investigation, all the while looking ever more like a man who was.
Later, a Washington Post article reported his inappropriate revelation of an intelligence code word ― higher than Top Secret ― during a meeting with Russian Foreign Secretary Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, disclosing ISIS plots forwarded by Israel, which jeopardized intelligence operatives on the scene and eroded a key ally’s trust.
Trump’s been roundly criticized for this shocker, not only by usual folks, like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, but also by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker.
Yet security advisor, H. R. McMaster came to Trump’s aid, saying no sources and methods were revealed, therefore the story was false, except the Post’s story said nothing about “sources and methods,” just that very, very secret information was discussed. Information an extraordinarily good intelligence service such as the KGB could easily use to figure out specifics left out by Trump.
Then, yesterday, we learned of a Comey memo, memorializing that Trump asked him to leave Michael Flynn alone.
Our unelected, selected president is becoming even more of a buffoon than Alec Baldwin’s portrayal on Saturday Night Live. What makes it worse is our unelected, selected president, who received almost 3,000,000 fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, not only has nuclear codes but is damaging our health plans, immigration policies, the environment, relations with our allies, and cozying up to antagonists and enemies, saying he’d be “honored” to meet with the monster who runs North Korea. Yet while people vilify him and poll numbers early in his presidency show he has less than 40% support, our political leaders aren’t shouting to change the way we choose our president.
France has it right. They elect presidents by a vote of the people. They don’t give regions disproportionate power, with large under-populated areas like Alaska and Wyoming getting a greater per capita influence than states with many more votes. And did you know, even worse than the Electoral College, in rare instances when the Electoral College has no majority, presidents are chosen by the House of Representatives, with each state getting one vote. Alaska and California get one vote in that situation.
What kind of democracy is this?
Just about no one’s doing anything about it except the scant-reported National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which ten states plus D.C. have ratified, giving their 165 electoral votes to the national popular vote winner, but it doesn’t take effect until states totaling 270 agree.
Why do national leaders and commentators, in their frustration over Trump, continue reporting, “Well, the people elected him,” except they didn’t! When someone brings up Hillary’s vote total, they say “It doesn’t matter.” Why doesn’t someone add, “Change the system?”
If ever there was a time to combat resistance to those wedded to the “founding fathers,” as if they were golden, as if they didn’t endorse slavery, denying women and non-property holders (even whites) the vote, Trump’s behavior and actions should make it simple.
Impeachment and conviction wouldn’t be enough. Then we’d have the more reactionary Mike Pence. No, the people knew what the issues were and voted for Hillary Clinton. Yet almost 3,000,000 more citizens must suffer national policies affecting so many of them, beholden to the desires of fewer Americans.
Let’s get it right. Communicate with national and state leaders to legislate henceforth the people shall directly elect our president.
Michael Russnow’s website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com
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