It feels like a lifetime ago that my young son spoke disrespectfully of then President Bush. I corrected him and said that even though we strongly disagreed with some of Mr. Bush’s policies, we treat him with respect because we respect the presidency and we respect our nation. I was a fan of neither George W. Bush nor Ronald Reagan. I tended to fundamentally and philosophically disagree with both of them. Many of my friends and relatives felt that way about Barack Obama. Some of them were terribly unhappy throughout his eight-year presidency. It is easy to draw a parallel between these experiences. Obama, Bush, Reagan were all good and decent human beings, capable politicians and statesmen, and I actually believe that each of them tried to follow the dictates of his conscience about what was the best for our great Republic. I tried to teach my children to be respectful of the presidency whether or not we agreed with the current occupant. And certainly if George Bush were appearing near to my home and I had the chance to greet him, have a Coke with him, or take a selfie with him, I would eagerly do so. I disliked nearly all of his policies as president, but he is a part of our history, and–albeit grudgingly at times–I respect him.
Sadly, the present occupant of the Oval Office inspires no such respect, confidence or appreciation for me. He is an individual who, on every conceivable level (temperamentally, experientially, ethically, morally) has shown himself to be manifestly unfit to hold public office and to lead our nation. Yes, a popular minority/electoral majority of Americans–with ample help by Kremlin hackers–wanted change badly enough to vote for him, but he is so ill experienced, so poorly advised (by the cadre of corrupt billionaires with whom he has surrounded himself) so foul-tempered, so morally bankrupt, and so emotionally adolescent that he has accomplished virtually none of that change. He is so entirely estranged from the truth that he doesn’t even know when he is lying. To try and draw any comparison between him and Obama, or Bush, or Clinton, or Reagan represents the deeply dangerous false parallelism that got us into this mess. Remember when Jeb Bush and the entire Bush family, and Mitt Romney, and Chris Christie, and Paul Ryan, and Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, and Lindsay Graham, and countless other Republicans tried to warn us about what a hopeless con artist he was back during the primaries? They were right! The fact that most of them now lack the political backbone to stand up to him does not change who he is: a tax-evading, Russia-sympathizing, self-promoting, pussy-grabbing, treasonous, lying, cheating, dangerously-unfit tyrant who dishonors the values, heritage, and history of our great nation.
I cannot bear to hear one more person say “Well, I didn’t like Obama either.” That has absolutely nothing to do with dangerous mess we are in right now. The present pretender to the throne cannot be compared to any former American president, with the possible exception of Richard Nixon and even that parallel does a grave disservice to the 37th president. Trump is defiling the Oval Office, the White House, our history books, and the memory of the founders. So no, I will NOT “give him a chance” and I will not accept him as my president. Not now, not ever.
When I moved to Texas 35 years ago, I was horrified by the size and omnipresence of cockroaches. A well-meaning neighbor said, “Oh, you Yankees, roaches are always a big deal when you first move here, but you’ll get used to them.” I replied, with great strength of conviction, “I will get rid of them, but I will never get used to them.” The same thing goes for the present occupant of the White House, and for similar reasons.