Citizens have the right to be opinionated, disrespect authority: The Constitution says so
Ms. Hawkins (in her letter to the editor in the Maryland Independent, July 21) may have missed several discussions in her American History class. We, the citizens of the United States and our press regularly revile every president we have ever had, starting with George Washington. We have always been opinionated and often disrespectful of authority, if not downright hostile. It’s part of the First Amendment freedom of being an American.
We don’t have to go back 100 years to find examples. FDR and Truman were frequently bashed. Jimmy Carter, George Bush and Bill Clinton were roasted.
Ms. Hawkins demands that it is time we respected Mr. Trump and his presidency and stop bashing him. But it was Mr. Trump and his followers who led the charge against Mr. Obama (We’ve seen the birth certificate. What is hiding in Mr. Trumps tax returns?). It seems fairness and civility go only in one direction for the followers of Mr. Trump.
Republicans now control the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court. They have a massive media presence to protect them and tell their stor y. They have endless funding from American super-rich and their lobbyists. The Democrats have no real power. None. The Republicans are in absolute control, and if they don’t get anything done, or if they get it wrong, it is on them. All the blame shifting in the world will not change that basic fact.
I choose not to dispute Ms. Hawkin’s list of Mr. Trump’s accomplishments. Time will tell. I will note that the jobs at the Carrier plant in Indiana he saved early in his Presidency have been “unsaved.” And so it goes throughout so many of his “actions.” Things are not always what they appear to be, despite aggressive spinning.
What we do get, however, is the rolling destruction of many of our institutions and ways of conducting government. I won’t dispute that we may have needed some drastic changes, but the continuing disregard for precedent, principles and long-standing practices that have served us well is not a conservative approach.
Nor is the utter disdain for morality. As a Christian, I have trouble with adulterers, fornicators, abusers, thieves, liars and other commandment breakers as rulers. I realize that God is the judge, but I do not understand the idol worship of Mr. Trump by some in the Christian community. When the wicked rule, the people mourn.
A free and democratic society must be based on respect for others, a willingness to see their point of view, and the ability to find reasonable compromise. Divisiveness, hatred and intolerance will not build a great nation. I believe that God will humble the proud and unrepentant, and those who worship money and power will be laid low.
Mr. Trump’s first responsibility is to protect the people of the United States and its Constitution, not to enrich himself or assist our enemies. I am troubled by reasonable evidence — derived from the mouths of Mr. Trump’s family — that the Trump financial empire has been, for some time, bolstered by Russian money ultimately controlled by the Russian government. I am absolutely certain that Mr. Putin and his billionaire oligarchs do not have our best interests in mind. I do not understand the efforts of Mr. Trump, his family and his associates to please every wish of Mr. Putin, and to hinder every effort to get at the truth of Russian involvement in our political processes. America comes first.