WITT: The president is coming unhinged
Just when it might have been believed that President Donald Trump could not be more venal, more narcissistic, more confounded or more self-obsessed, he manages to outdo himself.
His recent marching foray from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church to hoist a Bible and proclaim his admiration for peaceful protesters and the rule of law was a vicious and demeaning show, a cacophony of hubris signifying nothing save his own consistent quest for recognition.
When asked by a reporter if the Bible being hoisted by him was his, his reply was “It’s a Bible.”
It was noted that his passage was along a path cleared of peaceful protesters by rubber bullets and tear gas. Is his fear of the people that great?
His display was so egregious that many theologians — who have struggled to maintain silence during the president’s tenure — could not avoid speaking out, decrying his actions.
It is telling that former President George W. Bush, who has publicly stated he wished to be a silent ex-president, could not contain his words.
During eight years Bush never spoke out against his successor, Barack Obama, despite their party differences.
To have an ex-president speak out against a sitting president of his own party is truly remarkable.
Even Pat Robertson, a rabid supporter of Trump, could not find the words to assuage the president’s actions.
His trip to St. John’s may have been his first during his time in office, and he did not go there to pray or to ask divine guidance, but to create a public scene.
Obama and his family were seen attending service there on numerous occasions.
Following this fiasco, it was expected that members of the Democrat party would express their outrage.
It was unexpected, however, that some members of Trump’s own party would also have uncomplimentary comments about the president’s actions.
It is perhaps not surprising that more Republicans have not made similar declarations.
While governors all across the country are contending with the double difficulties of a pandemic and the protests against racial hatred, this president refers to many of them as weak and encourages them to utilize their police authority against those protests, peaceful or not, even threatening to utilize the federal military if those governors don’t act more aggressively.
Such a suggestion is not even the first time Trump has threatened actions that are probably unconstitutional.
His grasp of the separation of powers codified within our Constitution is, at best, minimal. At worst, that grasp is becoming more tenuous each day.
Trump could not contain himself when Colin Kaepernick sank to his knee to protest racial prejudice, proclaiming, “Fire that son-of-a-bitch,” yet his reaction to a uniformed police officer kneeling on the neck of a black man and ultimately suffocating him to death drew only a mild rebuke during a press conference.
As each day passes, the president seems to become more unhinged. There is no other way to state it.
His term has been characterized by the departures of scores of sycophants and hangers-on who were, to him, incompetent, or not sufficiently obedient, and by many others who could no longer acquiesce to his inflammatory and irrational behavior.
The next five months should prove illuminating as he continues to lose control of his behavior, especially when he becomes bitter and abusive when haranguing amongst his devotees.
Chuck Witt is a retired architect and a lifelong resident of Winchester. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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