Age is supposed to bring acceptance if not understanding. Not for me. Not when it comes to Donald J. Trump, who offends me deeply at the personal level. Felon Michael Cohen drove that home in his word portrait of our president during the recent House Oversight Committee hearing.
I am no super patriot. I believe war is evidence of our failure as a species. But I am also quietly proud of my four-plus years in the Air Force during the Korean War; I learned a lot, I grew up, and I served my country.
That makes me a sucker, according to the draft-dodging Trump, who pled bone spurs (no medical records to support that claim), and confided in Cohen, “You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam.” Square that with his continued dishonoring of the recently passed Senator John McCain, an American hero of the highest rank, whose major fault (in Trump’s warped ethic) was being captured. It is hard to describe how raw that act of cynical cowardice rubs me.
Rawer still was Cohen’s testimony that Trump directed him to write threatening letters to high schools, colleges and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores. This from the self-proclaimed genius with the bigly brain who had the gall to call Barack Obama “a terrible student” and to challenge him to “show his records.” Trump said he would give $5,000,000 to charity if he did. (Or was it “take” that sum from a charity?)
Trump’s decades-long brag that he graduated at the top of his class at the Wharton School of Business has since been debunked; he didn’t even graduate with honors; precisely where he placed in his class of ’68 remains under lock and key, shielded from any “showing of the records.” Obama, on the other hand, graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. That’s a GPA above 3.75, as I recall.
Maybe I am taking this too seriously. As a retired academic who gave grades for twenty-some years, I perhaps put too high a value on them, but I do know they can be crucial to the careers of those who receive them. Whether or not you win that scholarship you need. Whether or not you get into the school you want...if you don’t have a rich Daddy to grease the ways. So let’s be honest with how we give them and use them, and expose the cheaters for what they are.
Mentioning Trump and charity in the same sentence begs a blue ribbon in the oxymoron class. Cohen confirmed yet another crime against common decency when he testified that Trump directed him to fund a plant (later reimbursed) who successfully bid up to $60,000 on a portrait of Trump himself.
Trump came out a triple winner: his visage fetched the highest amount spent at the fancy Hampton auction and thereby served his vanity; he got to keep the portrait of himself; and he tapped his own Trump Charitable Foundation (to which he had contributed nothing) to pay for it. Clever. And convenient. It sure beats robbing a couple hundred church poor boxes to get the money.
Words fail me. I can’t help but think back 25 years to the Clinton Blow Job Scandal when Republicans made much of how “character” counts so much in a leader. So effectively did they push that meme Vice President Gore held his boss at arm’s length while running for president, and duly lost...or so the Supreme Court tells us.
Apparently character matters not anymore to the GOP. Whatever happened to the party of Lincoln? To the party of the solid upper-middle class with its standards of decorum? To those once stand-up citizens fallen into the steamy depths of the new and enlarged Trump swamp? Bedmates now with Dear Leader, whose scandals bid fair to overtake the number of his lies.
Beyond contemptible. Try execrable.
Sorry. I had to get that off my chest.