Topping today’s list of “boy, I wish had said this.”
Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.
Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds.
The editorial board does not lightly indict a duly elected president. During Mr. Trump’s term, we have called out his racism and his xenophobia. We have critiqued his vandalism of the postwar consensus, a system of alliances and relationships around the globe that cost a great many lives to establish and maintain. We have, again and again, deplored his divisive rhetoric and his malicious attacks on fellow Americans. Yet when the Senate refused to convict the president for obvious abuses of power and obstruction, we counseled his political opponents to focus their outrage on defeating him at the ballot box.
Nov. 3 can be a turning point. This is an election about the country’s future, and what path its citizens wish to choose.
These are the opening four paragraphs of the New York Times editorial this Sunday, in which the headline says: “End Our National Crisis. The Case Against Donald Trump.”
I’ve covered presidents from John F. Kenney through Donald Trump and can conclude, with no reservation, that he is the most corrupt, corrosive, dishonest leader in American history. The only area in which he excels is that of a con artist who has the power to mesmerize a paranoid, uninformed cadre of racists, haters, homophobes, and opportunists.
He has looted the American taxpayers with expensive trips virtually every weekend to his hotels, resorts, and golf clubs, where they charge hiked-up prices for rooms, meals, and other items used by the Secret Service teams that guard him and his family. The treasury also has to pay even for his own personal suites at his properties.
Forget draining the swamp; the president slapped his name on it and began charging admission. Two trips, one by his sons — Eric to the Dominican Republic and one by Eric and Don Jr. to Dubai – ran taxpayers nearly $250,000 for Secret Service expenses such as airfare, lodging, and ground transportation. The purpose of their trips? To check on The Trump Organizations condo projects.
Secret Service costs of well over a million dollars came from 530 nights at Mar-a-Lago and 950 nights at the president’s club in Bedminster, N.J. in just his first term.
Writes Michelle Cottle of the Times:
Even Americans who don’t support Mr. Trump are filling his coffers. Each time the president, a family member or certain top administration officials visit a Trump property, taxpayers foot the bill for the security details that must tag along.
On a 2019 trip to Ireland, Vice President Mike Pence stayed at a Trump resort located on the far side of the country from where his official meetings were being held. (In addition to whatever taxpayers spent on lodging, the additional ground transportation cost nearly $600,000.)
An examination of the newspaper what obtained copies of the tax returns that Trump has refused to release as president shows he is a failed businessman who has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years on his debt-leveraged properties and faces a lump sum payment of more than $400 million on just one of those debts in the next four years. His returns show he doesn’t have anywhere the cash reserves to pay, which is why he is trying furiously to sell his debt-ridden and money-losing Washington hotel and other properties.
In his first campaign for office, Trump decried what he called the “swamp” of lobbyists and special interests that control Washington and promised to “drain the swamp.” Instead, he has solicited the business of such swamp creatures of those special interests to use his Washington “Trump International Hotel” and other properties for events that often cost millions of dollars.
“Forget draining the swamp,” Cottle writes. “The president slapped his name on it and began charging admission.”