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Sunday, May 6, 2018

It’s personal

What Donald Trump did to me
By Gerald E. Scorse, guest columnist to Progressive Charlestown

This is an accident report from a victim of the Trump presidency. It’s also a catharsis, an attempt to lift the clouds that hang heavy over my head. I’ve never been bothered by clouds before, but the times they are disheartening.

Courtesy of the undemocratic Electoral College, contrary to the wishes of most voters, a nation dedicated to equality is now being led by a multi-discriminating bigot. A man who once busied himself at bankrupting casinos is now bankrupting the national purpose. He’s undermining decades of progress toward the American ideal of equal opportunity—an equal shot for all colors, all faiths or no faith, every man, woman and child.

Add in the endless lying, the temper-tantrum tweets, the daily discrediting of the press, the constant examples of corruption and greed among high-level Administration officials (and likely low-level as well: who can resist when the getting is so good, when the presidential emoluments pile up to the sky.) There’s no practical way to shut it all out. It’s in my face, invading my space, day after day after day.

Small wonder that Harry Belafonte, on a PBS memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr., said the country is further off-course today than in the days of the Ku Klux Klan. As Belafonte likely sees it, at least back then the bigots rode at night and hid behind masks. Now they hide in plain sight behind phrases like “take our country back” and “immigration crisis”.

I scour the internet searching for hope, fastening on anything that offers even a shred.

Dr. King, no stranger to discouragement, turned bleakness itself into a silver lining: “But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.” It’s hard to imagine how it could get any darker, but I don’t see any stars.


There’s bittersweet balm in the chorus of voices that assail Trump and all that he represents. The voices are bi-partisan, spanning the political spectrum. So that you might feel the balm as well, let’s look at a small sampling.

The conservative Bret Stephens likened the wave of GOP Congressional resignations to ships “leaving a sinking rat,” the rat being you know who. Many of the retirees, said Stephens, “once believed that Donald Trump alone possessed the kind of political virility needed to vanquish Hillary Clinton….Only belatedly have they figured out that the virility comes with a case of syphilis.” The piece also called Trump a “nativist bigot who, through a bad fluke, captured the White House.” (So that’s how we got here: “a bad fluke.”)

The blogger Erick Erickson, well to the Right, posted a tirade by a non-retiring GOP Congressman who, according to Erickson, regularly appears on TV defending the president. Here’s what he really thinks: “I wish the (profanity) would just go away. We're going to lose the House, lose the Senate, and lose a bunch of states because of him. All his supporters will blame us…but he hasn't led. He wakes up in the morning, sh*ts all over Twitter, sh*ts all over us, sh*ts all over his staff, then hits golf balls. (Profanity) him.”

Liberals of course are just as scathing. Dave Leonhardt, for example, describes Trump as “profoundly unfit to be a president — a congenital liar and racist…”

But nothing changes: day after day, detestable Donald threatens the American experiment and stains the national character. He leads the country not to new highs but to new lows, not upward toward the stars but downward toward the gutter.  

It has to end somehow, some way. The report from Special Counsel Mueller leads to Trump’s indictment and impeachment; or a Blue Wave in November returns at least one branch of Congress to Democratic control; or a second Blue Wave in 2020 finally finishes off the nightmare.

Could be; could also not be.

Spineless Republicans could refuse to act on the Special Counsel’s report. November’s Blue Wave could fall short. Come 2020, Trump could again lose the popular vote but retain the presidency.

By now you can see the fix I’m in, and how nobody can know when it will end. Until then I’m staying alive with alternative medicines, political and personal. I donate. I GOTV (Get Out The Vote). I hug my wife, my sons and my grandsons. I drink my red wine.

Not long ago, raising a glass to better days, my wife delivered her diagnosis: I suffer from a classic case of “temporary emotional dislocation”. No argument here, I’m just hoping hard for very temporary.

Gerald E. Scorse usually writes on taxes.