The political situation in America was worsening before Donald Trump ever decided to run. It was the mudslide of polarisation and drawing lines in the sand, leading to him being even a semblance of a viable choice. But the political climate now facing the United States is growing darker and heading down a far more slippery slope under his “leadership.”
Like many anti-Trump people I know personally, I was waiting for him to prove us wrong, to prove our fears were unjustified and he would drop the act of the pompous, sexist, orange cheeto to become someone who put the real needs of Americans before his own selfish gain.
When the ‘alternative facts’ statements were first made by Kellyanne Conway, I cringed, thinking ‘there’s no way this could catch on’. I waited for Trump voters to begin to address these blatant lies, calling the administration out for one of the things they claimed they detested so much about previous administrations and Hillary Clinton.
Wasn’t Hillary a liar? Didn’t she ‘bend the truth’ to fit her own needs?
The call outs never came.
Then, Trump identified some of the most established publications as purveyors of ‘fake news’ because they were critical of him, raising Breitbart, a publication known for its extreme bias as a genuine news outlet. Rather than question him, his supporters cheered.
Online, any publication raising any kind of question in opposition to the president (and in some cases, like a Jewish publication that actually supported Trump and was merely seeking clarification) are labelled as fake news and treated as hostile enemies needing to be obliterated.
As people began to protest and speak out and continue to do so, Trump supporters scream about how the critics need to accept he is president and respect the position. They ignore that just years earlier, many of them continued to question Barack Obama’s legitimacy and others among made incredibly racist protests and refused to accept him as their president.
Trump himself took the birther scandal to new heights and continued to try to find ways to de-legitimize Obama’s role.
It seems, in fact, that anything Republicans, Trump, and his supporters criticised the Obama administration and Obama himself about, they will defend Trump vehemently for. Take, for example, his weekend visits to properties owned by the Trump company, which recent reports show have already cost taxpayers $10 million in travel expenses in two months, as compared to Obama’s $12 million per year – an amount many on the current President’s side screamed and cried about.
Or, the fact Hillary had a private email server with which she actively used – chanting ‘lock her up!’ for betraying the American people by even having such a thing in the first place. When it came out that Vice-President Pence was doing the same, supporters defended him, some going so far as to saying them not being allowed to use their own servers was stupid. All the while, still posting about how Trump should be locking Hillary up for the betrayal.
Since before the inauguration, and increasing drastically since he officially stepped into the role, Trump has stated lie after lie, allowing his people to fold it neatly into the label of ‘alternative
facts’ to excuse it.
Although most professionals in the mental health field have been known to shy away from providing their opinions on important public officials, over the past few weeks a number of psychologists have begun to speak up. All said Trump shows many characteristics of mental illness – some diagnosing him with malignant narcissism.
Trump’s need to be on top, need to be number one, need to be the best, can be seen in everything he does and says. He was barely settled into the oval office before he started out on the campaign trail for 2020.
We’re talking about a man who used Twitter to terrorise a teenage girl because she asked him a challenging question; someone who immediately assumes anyone who is not in support of everything he does as an enemy.
The purpose of the administration and White House staff isn’t just to support the president’s every whim, and yet he has publicly declared that is now a requirement to work there. One must not challenge his plans, even if they bring up valid points and legality concerns.
Even if none of this concerns you, if none causes you to raise your eyebrow and think ‘Hmm, maybe he’s not fit for president’, then his most recent allegations should.
The current president is so paranoid that he took to Twitter to accuse Obama of wiretapping and spying on him at Trump Tower. Despite his claims to have evidence, he asked Congress to launch an investigation, refusing to hand over his evidence.
When he was finally asked on a news segment what brought his attention to this supposed situation, the entire foundation of his case, out of the mouth of Trump himself, was that someone in an interview used the word ‘wiretap’ and talked about how the government has utilised this method before.
That’s it. The word was used and the government has done it, therefore Obama must have been doing it to him.
As of Monday, the FBI and NSA had confirmed there is no evidence the former administration was spying on Trump. Furthermore, the NSA has explained in great detail that no president could order an agency to spy on a U.S. citizen without going through an intensive court process that requires proof of reasonable concern.
Despite all of this, people are still throwing themselves at Trump’s feet, treating him like an incorruptible, perfect saviour, refusing to acknowledge some of the more frightening actions he continues to take.
They’re refusing to recognise the increase in violent hate crimes, in hateful rhetoric, refusing to even consider that maybe, just maybe, this man is mentally unfit to rule a country and have his fingers so close to the nuclear codes.
Is it time to be worried yet? Yeah, I’d say so.
This column appeared in the March 23, 2017 edition of The Orangeville Citizen.