Op-Ed: Things We Learned From The Trump Presidency

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Politics Aside, He Is A Truly Terrible Person

(Author’s Note: This is the 14th in a series of occasional political columns that I’ll  be writing for CommPRO.biz  until Inauguration Day, January 20. Previously, I wrote 17 political columns leading up to Election Day. FYI: My first public relations job was with a political firm, where I worked on local, statewide and presidential campaigns. In this column I write about Trump’s personality and lack of character and the appalling reaction to the president’s autocratic actions by the Republicans in Congress.)

Arthur Solomon

In a few days from today, on Wednesday, January 20, Donald John Trump’s depraved presidency will come to an end at noon and president-elect Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States.

Future generations will have to wait until presidential historians write books about the years of the Trump Administration, between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021,(unless he steps down sooner) to understand why he was beloved by many citizens but loathed by so many more. 

But for those of us who have lived and observed Trump, the first draft of what historians will say about his administration has been written and told by journalists on a daily basis. Despite the claims by Trump and his followers that what is reported is “Fake News,” the “Fake News” is Trump’s claim that it is “Fake News.” We have witnessed it daily as it happened, on TV, and it has been preserved on tape for both you and historians of the future to see.

In his “Julius Caesar,” William Shakespeare wrote, “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.” In Trump’s case, there will be very little good to be interred and much evil that lives on after him.

There are so many negative and illegal things that we have learned about Trump that it would take more than an entire wing of the Library of Congress to catalogue them. (Alcatraz might be more appropriate for a Trump Library.)

Until January 6, when he egged on his supporters to storm Congress during their counting of the Electoral College votes, I thought that the more than 22,000 proven lies he has told would provide the most important basic research for Trump biographers. Now, his leading an insurrection will surely be their main theme.

Instead of rewriting what happened, present and past, I’ll just list several of the most important and obvious lessons to be remembered about Trump and his administration.

The lessons:

The two most important ones were: 

  • That despite his supporters insisting that Trump is a reality game showman, he was much more. He was the producer of an insurrection, and,
  • He couldn’t have done it alone.

Also,

  • His own self-interest was always his number one priority.
  • He had no respect for democratic traditions.
  • He ruled by fear.
  • He is a crook.
  • He could not take criticism.
  • He believes that he is the smartest individual on earth.
  • He is incapable of not lying.

(An October 10, 2017 Bloomberg Opinion article by Timothy L. O’Brien, said of Trump: “He believes that he is the smartest individual on earth…”: “President Donald Trump has challenged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to a duel, suggesting that he and his beleaguered adviser match scores from their respective IQ tests to see who’s smarter.”

“Trump’s always been the world’s leading gladiator when it comes to IQ smackdowns,” the article continued.  “In 2016, he challenged London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, to compare IQ tests after Khan dismissed Trump’s take on Islam as “ignorant.”

Trump has also boasted that he has a higher IQ than George W. Bush, Barack Obama, George Will, Karl Rove and the entire staff of the Washington Post. Lest he missed anyone, Trump has also issued blanket warnings to those who might question his intellectual chops, as he did in this Twitter post from 2013: “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.”)

In one of his famous “fireside chats,” another president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, said,” I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.” If Trump had the intelligence to think like FDR, the country wouldn’t be in the mess it is now in.

As you might have noticed, this list did not include his political decisions. The list emphasized Trump’s personal traits, which reveal him for what he is, a truly frightful excuse for a human being, who was aided by other terrible human beings, headed by many Fox News commentators, like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, all of whom have blood on their hands for their defending Trump’s handling of Covid-19, as does the president and others in his administration like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who have defended the president’s lies. 

But most appalling was the reaction to the president’s autocratic actions by the Republicans in Congress; more than 99% of them marched in lock step with Trump during the past four years. Even after protesters, egged on by Trump and other speakers like Giuliani and Trump. Jr., stormed Congress, resulting in five deaths as of this writing on January 9, only a handful of GOP members stood up for democracy. The great majority, about 150 members of the House, refused to condemn the president for his actions and nearly two- thirds of them, 139 members, joined by eight GOP senators, refused to certify Biden’s election.

To this day, the overwhelming number of Republicans in Congress, who were mute for the past four years, still refused to condemn the president. And that’s a red flag warning for people who believe in democracy.

As he was leaving Constitution Hall in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin responded “A republic, if you can keep it.”

The fascist elements in the Republican Party, together with Trump’s autocratic tendencies, prove that Franklin was correct when he said, “If you can keep it.”

As those of you who have read my past columns about Trump over the years know, I have long believed that his actions (many of which resembled those of Hitler’s as he destroyed Germany’s democratic Weimer Republic) was evidence of his autocratic beliefs and was a danger to our republic. 

For years, most “respectable” news outlets and public figures would not use the word “lie” to describe Trump’s fibs. I called him a liar before they did, because a lie is a lie no matter who utters one.

For years, comparing Trump’s tactics to those of how Hitler destroyed Germany’s democratic Weimer Republic was not to be written or talked about. The comparison was evident and should have been written and talked about from the early days of Trumpism. Now, after the storming of the Capitol the comparison is written and spoken about, years after I wrote about it. 

History reveals that many Germans did not believe that Hitler would do what he said he would do. They were proven wrong.

Recent events show that many Americans did not believe that Trump would do what he said he would do. They were proven wrong.

I wish I was proven wrong.


The Unspoken PR Tenet: Bad News Is Good News for Our Business By Arthur SolomonAbout the Author: Arthur Solomon, a former journalist, was a senior VP/senior counselor at Burson-Marsteller, and was responsible for restructuring, managing and playing key roles in some of the most significant national and international sports and non-sports programs. He also traveled internationally as a media adviser to high-ranking government officials. He now is a frequent contributor to public relations publications, consults on public relations projects and is on the Seoul Peace Prize nominating committee. He can be reached at arthursolomon4pr (at) juno.com or artsolomon4pr@optimum.net.