A letter titled “Vote for Trump?” in March 17’s paper argued that, for all his faults, President Trump should be reelected. As a scholar of the American presidency — I have published four books on it — I dissent. The writer’s first paragraph made the point that this president “shoots off his mouth,” mercilessly attacks opponents and reacts impulsively to situations. That is the tip of the Trump corruption iceberg.
Should we reelect a president:
• Whose words cannot be trusted?
• Who exploits his White House service to enhance his own wealth (e.g. his resort in Florida, hotel in Washington)?
• Who employs his own family in the White House, while gutting the government agencies that keep us safe?
• Whose corrupt business practices are fully documented and whose intimate associates have been convicted of crimes?
• Who, instead of supporting free speech, attacks the press as “an enemy of the people” (an old Soviet Communist phrase)?
• Who panders to evangelicals but is obviously not a man of faith, routinely indulging in profane public language?
• Whose personal morals are so repulsive we cannot use him as a role model for our children?
• Who, rather than being antisocialist, loves dictators and acts like one himself?
• Who is flat-out incompetent and emotionally unstable?
If we justify Trump’s behavior on a few pet issues, we risk becoming like the hypocrites that Jesus so scathingly denounced in Matthew 23:24; people who “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.”
David A. Nichols