A week or so ago I published a photo of Donald Trump on which someone had Photo-shopped a set of male testicles to replace his chin. It was obviously gross and offensive and I’m sure the artist meant it to be. When I chose if from other such photos I meant it to be offensive, for the simple reason that most everything Trump has or does is offensive. He is a person who thrives on being offensive.
A Facebook friend challenged the photo as being totally disrespectful and I replied that, yes it was and rightfully so. I argued that respect is something earned and never owed. She countered that she was brought up as a small town country girl and taught to respect her elders. Well most of us were brought up to respect our elders and to respect authority. In teaching government I was always instructed to respect the office if not the person in the office. Throughout my career, I both followed that tenet and preached it to my students. Over twenty years into retirement and faced with a breed of politician atypical to America, I’ve changed my views about dispensing respect like it was trick or treat candy. You just can’t threaten a trick anymore, you actually have to roll over, bark twice, sniff my ass, and hold out your paw to earn a dab of respect.
My first question to the Facebook friend was how they can offer respect to a man, Donald Trump, who freely gave another man, Howard Stern, permission to call his daughter a “piece of ass?” Her response was to say, we’ve all done things we’re ashamed of. Well, yeas, we have, but shame comes in degrees and we’re not all seeking the presidency of the United States of America.
I’m not one of those people who believe in unfettered forgiveness. There’s a lot of things a person can do that are so horrible they can’t be forgotten or forgiven and Donald Trump’s rise to a political position is rife with them.
- Both he and his father practiced policies of racial discrimination against blacks. Even paying fines for violations of Federal law.
- There is a documented history of association with organized crime throughout the history of the Trump Organization.
- His charitable foundation was misused and abused and forced to shut its doors by the State of New York.
- His fraudulent Trump University was found guilty of fraud and forced to pay a $25 million dollar fine.
- He didn’t invent birtherism but he signed up as if he did.
- He has bragged about the number of sexual liaisons he’s engaged in. To the point of saying his having to avoid SDS was akin to serving in Vietnam.
- He was engaged in a lengthy adulterous affair while his wife was giving birth to and nurturing a newborn son.
- He began is rise to the presidency with an opening speech claiming that most Mexicans were drug dealers and rapists.
- He has used hate and fear to turn Americans against each other and to challenge the citizenship and worth of any American whose origins are not Northern European. Just this past week he made the claim that all Democrats “hate” Jews.
- He has used women as mere playthings and admitted his wealth, fame, power, and position permits him to do with them what he desires. Even to the point of claiming a right to “grab pussy.”
The above list, as brief and inconclusive as it is, only speaks to the reasons to deny Trump respect before he won the White House.
Much of what has happened after the election has been of a political nature and subject to debate. It may not have as much to do with respect as with ideological differences. But those things aside, there has continued to be an ever-growing reason to not respect him or his office.
On any number of occasions, Trump has shown an almost total disrespect and lack of knowledge about Constitutional government. He clearly appears to believe that the government is his to do with as he wishes rather than what the Constitution permits or the people require.
The office of president is a Constitutional creation and it is difficult to respect the occupant if the occupant doesn’t respect the document that created the office.
There’s nothing new about politicians telling the people things that are less than true. But frequently the people understand that the lies are little white lies designed to protect them or to protect a matter of national security. Trump has given new meaning to the lying politician. The Washington Post and its fact-finders have reported that since Trump took office on January 20, 2017, he has lied or mislead the people in excess of 9,000 times. They have also reported that since January 1, 2019, Trump has averaged 15 lies per day. How do we teach our children to respect the myth of Honest Abe and the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, while tolerating and insisting on respect for the total dishonesty of Donald Trump? For the first time in my knowledge of American History, we have a certifiable, provable, compulsive liar in the White House.