I’m dreaming of a fallen Trump

Like all lapsed Catholics, I still have a guilt complex: guilt drilled into me from priests and nuns and Christian Brothers, guilt from committing a mortal sin, ranging from thinking impure thoughts to telling lies in confession. It was a long time ago.
These days the greatest guilt of all comes from a recurring nightmare – pushing Donald Trump at a TV station in Washington after he accused me of producing fake news. Suddenly I am being manhandled by two Secret Service guards. I wonder what Sister Mary Therese, adviser to the altar boys, would think if she heard what I had done. My wife wakes me up: “Are you okay?” she asks.
Yes, I reply, but I had to laugh, remembering the Confiteor I said in Latin during the mass – a confession to God that I had “sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” I always used to add in my private prayers – when I said them decades ago – “Sacred Heart of Jesus give me hatred of sin.” When I saw in the dream the president was laughing at me, I had hatred of this not-so-mortal sin.
That’s my fictional nightmare. The real one has been happening since November 9, 2016 — the day Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. They are now called the Divided States by many people on both sides of the political spectrum. Much of the division belongs to Trump. (Photo above by Susan Walsh/AP)
It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post about the President — August 1, 2017, to be exact – another reason I was feeling guilty. I had given up trying to convince people how dangerous the most powerful man in the world really is. Then I read an excellent article in The Washington Post by Daniel Dale who has been tracking the lies of the President. Dale is the Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star so he can probably avoid having his press credentials suspended – Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders would hardly ever call on a Canadian at a White House press conference.
I give Daniel Dale the Jim Acosta Hero Award for his amazing compilation of the President’s lies. He says his mission is to fact check every word Trump has uttered, and has established a reputation on Twitter to spy a Trump lie within seconds of him telling one. How does he do it quickly? Dale says he has no special talent: “My secret is that Trump tells the same lies over and over.”
I remember his first big lie: claiming that the crowd at his 2017 inauguration at the Capitol was the biggest in history when photographs showed the Obama audience in 2009 was clearly the largest. Trump’s lies have continued ever since. In his fifth day in office, he told ABC America’s David Muir there was widespread voter fraud in his election, which is why he lost the popular votes by three million. A lie. During the mid-terms, Trump called a Florida County elections supervisor a “disgrace,” claiming she had added votes after the Senate race was called for Republican Governor Dick Scott on election night. Another lie.
I could go on and on chronicling Trump’s lies, like Daniel Dale, but actblue.com, a fundraising organisation aimed at helping Democrats, advocacy groups and non-profits, sends out an email called The Resistance, cataloguing the president’s “latest treacheries.” Among them, Trump’s comments at a campaign rally this year: “Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the Fake News … Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
But Dale sums up what’s really happening in the White House: “ … Trump is getting worse and worse. In 2017, he averaged three false claims per day. In 2018, it is about nine per day. In the month leading up to the midterms: a staggering 26 per day. By my count, he’s now at 3,749 false claims since his inauguration. The Post, which tracks both false and misleading claims, has tallied up to 6,420.”
Well, you can imagine how Trump supporters would react to a reporter who collects presidential lies and prints them in newspapers and tweets them. Daniel Dale gets vitriolic messages from Trump voters but he also gets them from well-meaning sceptics: “Why waste your time, people ask, when facts obviously don’t matter anymore?” He disagrees, saying “there’s a substantial constituency for accurate information about the claims of a president who is … seen as untrustworthy by two-thirds of voters.”

That hit home for me. I suddenly realised that by ignoring Donald Trump and his lies and lack of empathy and rudeness and toxic tweets, I was giving in to a president who is not trusted by two thirds of Americans according to a recent CNN-SSR poll Okay, you say, who can believe a CNN-Survey and Market Research firm poll? I can.
Daniel Dale interviewed a Trump voter last year from rural Pennsylvania, Bruce Brown, who got much of his information from Fox News. But soon after the article was published, Brown found Dale’s long list of Trump’s false claims. Instead of berating the journalist for fake news, Brown replied: “Wow . . . I kind of knew he wasn’t truthful much of the time, but not to the degree of hundreds of lies in such a short period of time. Thanks for opening my eyes.”
Eyes around the world were opened after Trump’s disgraceful response to the horrific murder of the Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi Arabian hit squad in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The CIA concluded with “high confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the killing of Khashoggi, who was choked to death, and his dismembered body taken away by the 15-man hit team.
What was Trump’s reaction to the CIA conclusion? He said: “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event.” But Trump made a crude addition, ending with an exclamation point: “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
The Washington Post Editorial Board had this to say about the president: “Mr. Trump sidestepped a CIA finding that the crown prince was behind the killing; casually slandered Mr. Khashoggi, who was one of the Arab world’s most distinguished journalists; and repeated gross falsehoods and exaggerations about the benefits of the U.S. alliance with the kingdom. Mr. Trump has betrayed American values in service to what already was a bad bet on the 33-year-old prince.”
Writing this piece has been a catharsis. I didn’t want to push the president, but that dream keeps coming back. I think it’s mainly because he makes me angry with his arrogance, bullying, lack of empathy, self-centred view of the world, misogyny, dishonesty, untrustworthiness and hatred of the media, to name only a few of his traits and tweets I can’t stand. (And Donald Trump, don’t worry. I would never push the President of the United States. Except in my dreams!)
But I feel better now, and hope to survive until November 2020, when a strong Democratic candidate (not Hillary Clinton) will defeat Donald Trump in the presidential election. He will not be impeached because the Republican Senate will not allow it. The 25th Amendment to the Constitution allows a president to declare he or she is unable to discharge the power and duties of his or her office. That is also unlikely to happen, and let’s face it, he’s already unable to discharge the power and duties of his office with any competence, class, ethics or honour. But that hasn’t stopped him from being president.
I think many Americans will be sick and tired of Donald Trump and all he stands for in two years, and that includes his base. He’s rude and crude and a liar, and some Trump voters might come to their senses, as Bruce Brown did last year.
The last word should go to Washington Post opinion writer Carter Eskew, who opines on the end of Trump: “When Donald Trump’s political autopsy is written, the exact time of death will be uncertain, but it will be fixed sometime around the 2018 midterm elections when enough of the country decided that it had had enough. Cause of death, somewhat unexpectedly, will not be a single event, not his racist reaction to Charlottesville, or his siding with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence branches, or his obstruction of justice, or his threatening to cut off federal aid for the burned-out citizens of California’s fires, or any of his other misdeeds, but rather the accumulation of all of them. In medical terminology, the cause will be ‘death by misadventure.’ … In other words, he came too close to the edge too many times and finally fell.”

4 thoughts on “I’m dreaming of a fallen Trump

  1. Hi, Tom
    I think that tribal politics is an invention of the Democratic Party.
    That’s the party that relates to women’s, gay, black, Native American issues. As far as I can see, Trump’s programs have benefited almost all Americans.
    I felt that it was Divine Intervention
    that kept Hilary away from the White House.
    Just two guys from Southwest Philadelphia seeing the world through different lenses.

    • Hi Lou,
      Thanks for your comment. I have nothing against Trump supporters except I don’t agree with them most of the time. But Trump’s arrogance and lies and bullying make me angry at him as I mentioned in the post. I agree Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate, whether she would have made a better president we’ll never know. I like your line about Divine Intervention.
      Just two guys from Southwest Philly expressing their views without vitriol. That’s what America is all about. If only Trump could understand that and take a lesson in empathy.
      Always great to hear from you.
      Tom

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