Events, both recent and past, involving President Trump’s patented brand of “tough guy” politics and blatant disregard for the facts have soured my opinion of him tremendously. Here are a few occasions on which the president, in my opinion, has failed in his duty to the American people.
The scandal involving NOAA and Hurricane Dorian is the quintessential example of President Trump’s refusal to accept that he is incorrect, or has made a mistake. The effort by the President to falsify evidence concerning the path of the hurricane caused false panic; however, the implications of this action go beyond misleading information. There is reason to believe that President Trump attempted to utilize the power of his office to coerce NOAA into changing their forecasts, an abuse of power that serves to inflate the ego of a man who is more concerned with being right than with the welfare of his constituents.
It is also my belief that President Trump does not fully respect the sanctity of the Constitution. Recently, President Trump referred to the Emoluments Clause as “phony,” responding to backlash by the media and politicians over the controversial decision to host the G7 Summit at one of the President’s resorts. This was compounded by President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo involving military aid to Ukraine. Many of President Trump’s supporters are of the opinion that the President’s use of the phrase “do us a favor” harkens back to his career in the competitive market of New York real estate. The simple fact is that there is a certain decorum that presidents must observe, and it is the responsibility of President Trump to utilize the considerable resources at his disposal to educate himself on foreign policy.
The chief concern that I have concerning President Trump is his war on the media, which has become a daily battle that is displayed for the world to see. The phrase “fake news,” which President Trump claims to have invented, is not only damaging to the perception of the media by its viewers, but also a direct attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution. As citizens, we, the people, are entitled to voice our opinions without fear of retribution. This right is fundamental to our democracy, as well as a distinction between our democratic republic and authoritarian regimes that do not tolerate dissidence. In fact, the United States of America was built on the principle that it is the responsibility of its citizens to hold the government accountable in its conduct, and to overthrow that very government should it fail to serve its citizens. Therefore, when the President of the US states on a daily basis that the news, which encapsulates the right to freedom of speech, is fraudulent and is “the true enemy of the people,” it only serves to set the precedent that anything that does not correspond with the President’s views must be struck down. When the right to speak out is violated, all of our rights are thrust into jeopardy.
Now, with the proceedings of the impeachment inquiry, things in Washington are more heated than ever. As Lincoln once said, “a house divided against itself, cannot stand.” Regardless of whether President Trump is impeached, the past 3 years have marred the United States as a nation, Americans as a people, and diminished the respect that our country commands from the rest of the world. It is my hope that, like the fire that burns the forest to the ground, the division and upheaval will run its natural course, and will serve as a new beginning for the future of our country. After all, we must be united to fight the challenges ahead, as they are significant, and we cannot do this whilst fighting each other.
Michael Jan Schiumo