Trump’s Behavioral Qualities Bring Fierce Opposition From Many In Both Parties

By Donald A. Collins | 11 September 2020
Church and State

(Image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

We now have exactly 53 days beginning on September 11th until Election Day, but the matter of the preference of either candidate about many policy issues has become muted by the morality issue.

Furthermore, one can argue whether or not the incumbent should take one course or another, but the matter of his competence in handling the Coronavirus pandemic is now no longer a question.

Perhaps it was the publication of Bob Woodard’s book “Rage” which seemed to many including me to be the final straw but the piling up of negative opinion from both political sides has been simply overwhelming.

We all recall Woodward’s influence on Nixon’s exit, but now he defends himself for not revealing Trump’s January and February knowledge of the danger of Coronavirus by saying in the The Associated Press 9/10 piece entitled “Woodward defends decision to withhold Trump’s virus comments” which its author Hillel Italie says that Woodward,

facing widespread criticism for only now revealing President Donald Trump’s early concerns about the severity of the coronavirus, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he needed time to be sure that Trump’s private comments from February were accurate.

In Woodward’s upcoming book on Trump, “Rage,” the president is quoted saying the virus was highly contagious and “deadly stuff” at a time he was publicly dismissing it as no worse than the flu. Woodward, the celebrated Washington Post journalist and best-selling author, spoke with Trump more than a dozen times for his book.

“He tells me this, and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, that’s interesting, but is it true?’ Trump says things that don’t check out, right?” Woodward told the AP during a telephone interview. Using a famous phrase from the Watergate era, when Woodward’s reporting for the Post helped lead to President Richard Nixon’s resignation, Woodward said his mission was to determine, “What did he know and when did he know it?”

You can read the entire article here.

Even the Wall Street Journal now must realize editorially that it is looking foolish to continue unabated its Trump stump. Hence this piece on its Opinion Page.

I refer you to the 9/10 editorial page column by Walter Olsen entitled “Never Trump, Now More Than Ever” who notes “When the crisis came as a pandemic, a different president, conscious of his limitations, might have stepped back to let Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx do the talking. But Mr. Trump has bluffed his way through life claiming to know more than the experts. He needs to be the groom at every wedding and the infant at every christening.”

Olsen closes by saying,

Remember the “character counts” conservatives? The classicists who went back beyond the Federalist Papers to the Greeks and Romans to ground conservatism in civitas and virtue? Who thought deeply about the dangers to the republic from a man on horseback, a demagogic flatterer of the people, who preaches “I alone can fix it”?

“But he fights.” He is a litigious man who has openly boasted of using losing lawsuits to harm his critics. Yes, a president needs some combative spirit, but it should be discerning—especially when aimed at fellow Americans—and give way in due season to a spirit of reconciliation.

We don’t know when the next crisis will come. It might be a close election in which Mr. Trump needs to accept the decision of the judiciary. We might need national unity. Instead, this man’s tweets are the ground glass in the national milkshake.

A high degree of social trust is needed both for a dynamic economy and for the rule of law. But as legal scholar Orin Kerr puts it, “the president’s signature move is to attack the legitimacy of everyone and every institution who is not in lockstep with him.”

Some offer the “Flight 93 election” theory, in which every four years we face a last-chance, bet-the-country abyss. I don’t buy it. Our country has a system of rotation in office. The other party gets its turn, and the country survives. It will survive Donald Trump, too. But the country should not have to face four more years of him.

Yes, 53 days during which time we will have the famous debates which were so crucial in 1960 when Kennedy beat Nixon. But neither of these men then were the incumbent who has to speak for his lying behavior or his multiple other moral failings.

So we need a new shuffle of the deck and while Biden is not highly touted by many he represents a return to proven competence and certainly a higher moral standing.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
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