Bearing Witness to Trump Month 42 June 28-July 4

Just think what a difference real leadership would have made for America confronting the pandemic. If our president would have told us we had effectively been attacked by a hidden international force and the country was under siege if not an occupation that threatened our lives and livelihood. Then he could have prepared us that we were going to have to battle the enemy, a lethal virus, in the streets, in our homes, schools, and businesses. That president could have gone on to say that the good news is we did not have to draft millions of young men and women into the armed services. We did not have to ship our brothers, sons, fathers, sisters, and wives off to fight, become injured or disabled, or die in a foreign land. All we had to to overcome this adversary and win the war was to stay away from groups of people, practice social distancing and wear a damn mask, along with telling each other the truth. And that behavior would save tens of thousands of lives.

This was the primary sacrifice that was needed of Americans, and it was so small compared to that asked of previous generations who shame us and our whining in comparison. Yet, so-called patriots who wave the flag in protest and refuse to wear a mask, just like President Trump, say they demand their freedom and liberty from such oppressive measures. These are just phony patriots, like the President, and they are most definitely not conservatives. They want all the personal rights and privileges of living in the USA but none of the social responsibilities and obligations that come with it. Those are not conservative values, but conservatism has also been corrupted by another viral disease, Trumpism.

But no, our current President could not speak the truth to us nor could he tell us how simple and relatively minor the sacrifice would be for those who truly loved their country and neighbors. He was so reckless and vain he would not even wear a mask when out in public. Even former VP and Texan Dick Cheney said that wearing a mast was a manly act.  Nor would Trump cancel his campaign rallies or even a gathering of thousands on July 4 at Mount Rushmore or in a gala on the White House grounds the next day. For Trump himself cannot make any sacrifice for the common good as it is always all about him. And as a result, we have 3 million positive tests, over 130000 deaths, and the virus is surging in more than 40 states. Read more about the President’s mishandling of the pandemic at

President Trump this week continued to deny he was ever briefed on intelligence reports that the Russians had been paying the Taliban a bounty to kill Americans, and predictably called it a hoax. The White House is not denying that agencies concluded this was happening after an April 2019 attack on an American convoy which killed marines, but only that Trump had not officially, technically, orally, been briefed. Please. Either way, whether he was verbally briefed or only in written reports that went unread, it makes the current administration look totally inept if not a lap dog of the Russians. And now that he is aware, what has his reaction been to call out the Russians? Nothing. Zip. Nada. And given that the warnings came days before the U.S. and Taliban signed an agreement clearing the way for troops to leave Afghanistan, did the President hit the pause button to reconsider? Of course not. Another example that he hears only what he wants to hear and believes only what he wants to believe. And it seems the people around him only give him what they know won’t upset him or contradict the alternative reality he has fabricated.

Trump tweeted this week that “black lives matter” is a symbol of hate. Yes, he did that. He asserts that the victims of hate are actually the perpetrators, a tactic he often uses when he claims himself to be a victim. The Mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio, responded by calling Trump out that this thinking is the definition of racism.

As the Trump White House and his Fox News propagandists keep warning of left wing angry mobs, anarchists, fascists, and domestic terrorists rioting and looting neighborhoods, and promoting the glory of “white power”, some of his followers have taken him seriously. In St. Louis, a wealthy gun-toting couple stood on the front porch of their opulent mansion brandishing an AR-15 and pointing a handgun at passing BLM demonstrators peacefully marching down the street. The whole world was watching how sad, divided, and dysfunctional America has become under Trump. Little wonder why Europe and Canada have closed their borders to Americans and Mexico may actually want the wall to keep us out.

A Tribune News Service article listed out all the former aides, cabinet members, chief of staffs, and administration officials who have been fired or resigned and now have turned against the President or the President against them. It’s a long list that includes: John Bolton, James Mattis, John Kelly, Anthony Scaramucci, Rex Tillerson, Cliff Sims, H.R. McMaster, Jeff Sessions, David Shulkin, and Omarosa Manigault-Newman. There are dozens more who have left the administration as chronicled in this Bearing Witness blog over 42 months of the Trump term.

Trump kicked off the July 4th holiday, in the middle of an out-of-control pandemic, with a campaign-like rally at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. During his speech he said little about the deaths and devastation of the Coronavirus pandemic, but instead spent his time blaming others for launching a culture war, trying to erase our history, and unleash a wave of violent crime across America. Just more predictable dividing up of the nation in a time we so desperately need a leader who will unite, heal, and calm us. Of course the President and First Lady did not wear masks, and his irresponsible behavior encouraged most in the crowd to not do so either as they could not practice social distancing either. All this despite members of the staff and family who were to travel with the President having tested positive and being quarantined. After the event all so predictable Trump’s campaign circulated a phony picture of Mount Rushmore with Trump’s face carved into the stone as if he was one of our nation’s great presidents. The other presidents must have been in tears.

Upon returning to Washington, the President presides over a celebration of hundreds on the South Lawn of the White House where he continued his assault on “radical left” agitators and anarchists who want to tear down historical statues; that is monuments of rebels who succeeded from the U.S. and fought then lost a civil war against their own country. The history we should be most worried about is the history this president is making now that threatens creating another civil war.

The above news items have been taken from a number of international, national, regional, and local news media sources including print, digital, and broadcast. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.

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