As someone who works all night long and sleeps well into the day, I am fortunate to receive dawn’s first visit–the lovely lavender-blue with the trees stark against it. I notice in fact, that lately I have pulled the tangled poplar stands on the creek bank behind our house into my poems, a kind of rallying of the troops over not feeling safe since the night that Vladimir Putin was successful in putting Donald Trump into the driver’s seat of the low rider Cadillac with fins–this startling inordinary, ineffective machine that has become our country.
I fervently hope that Lindsay Graham and Mitch McConnell meant what they said in calling for a bi-partisan 911 level commission to investigate what seventeen different intelligence agencies within our government have made unequivocal–Putin masterminded and directed the hacks that discredited Clinton and put Trump in power.
Meanwhile, Trump has said that he doesn’t believe what will soon be his own CIA, the very intelligence communities that he will command if the electors conform to the red state blue state paradigm.
It seems to me that in fact we must, each of us, as citizens, contact our electors with all due haste. For my countrymen and women and to the Esteemed Electors, I have one, only one question in my view, that we should ask ourselves at this juncture.
Was at any point and is Donald Trump qualified to be our president?
Consider what has taken place since the election. On the one hand, he has toned down the inflammatory rhetoric of the campaign, the chants of lock her up, drain the swamp, repeal obamacare, round them up and ship them out– all the extremist rant any self-respecting white supremacist could ask for, so that all such people came out in droves and threw the lever for Trump.
On the other hand, he has revealed himself to be terrifyingly oblivious to both presidential etiquette and ethics, beginning, out of the gate, to act as if he were already commandeering the country. It is one thing to put together a transition team and to begin to form a cabinet, and another to do the other things he has done and that pertain to my question.
Every morning around six a.m., and whenever the mood strikes him, he disseminates “tweets” to some 40 million “followers.” He tweeted his objections to those protesting his election: “Unfair!”, yet again revealing his crass impulsivity and disregard for the First Amendment, when the dignified and mature thing to do was to keep quiet, perhaps even give serious thought to what the protests might mean and what people might need from him.
He began to amass a cabinet, naming someone with the reputation for instability and irresponsible behavior as his National Security Advisor–General Michael Flynn. Flynn and his son continued their aberrant pastime of putting out fake news, in this instance that Hillary Rodham Clinton was selling children into sex slavery out of a pizza parlor in Washington.
He determined that he is not bound by conflict of interest laws or the appearance of nepotism/ pay to play in promoting his Washington Hotel, announcing that his children would constitute his “blind trust.”
He embarked on a “victory tour,” later calling it a “Gratitude Tour” announcing to the multitudes that he had won the electoral vote “by a landslide.”
Meanwhile, it became abundantly clear that Hillary Clinton surpassed his popular vote by several million Americans, and counting.
Trump continued to amass gaffes. He took a congratulatory call, or participated in the arrangement of that call, from the President of Taiwan when he must surely have known that the U.S. has an unwritten rule to conduct business with only one China.
Despite public pressure and anxiety, he has not rid himself of the white supremacist Steve Bannon. The hodge podge, the congregation of odd fellows of the cabinet strains credulity: Flynn, Bannon, Reince Preibus as Chief of Staff, a host of people with no experience in the jobs he has appointed them to. Billionaires from Wall Street and four generals to date, and counting.
Two nights ago, every pundit on every channel announced that the CIA and other agencies had determined that Vladimir Putin himself ordered the hack into DNC files for the express purpose of so impugning Hillary Clinton that many Americans, tired of the very word e-mail, would vote for Trump.
The details of Putin’s involvement are coming out in various news stories. All Democrats and many Republicans have cried foul and started speaking to the necessity of moving beyond partisanship to defend our country.
What would a man of integrity in Trump’s position do? When he began to be made aware of the interference by the Russians what did he do?
He capitalized on every bit of soiled laundry forwarded to Julian Assange by Putin. In his rallies and in glee and rejoicing, he had the kneejerk response that Putin undoubtedly wanted him to .
Barack Obama, our sitting president, however, ordered a detailed report on the hacking be made to him a.s.a.p.
In the background at this moment, are the issues of whether the adult children, the Trumpettes, should hang around the White House to support their frazzled father. In the background, for another day, is the issue of divestiture and the emoluments clause in the Constitution.
In the foreground: we have four more days before the electoral college casts its votes, in the face of these facts:
Trump likes Putin and Putin likes Trump. Trump has hired in an Exxon CEO who recently made a multi-billion dollar oil deal with Russia to resurrect the image of the failing Russian oil company.
There is no question that not only have we been confronted by the surreal fact of Russia’s interference in our election, but that James Comey’s letters cost Clinton her momentum, nine days out from the election; he and others in the FBI brandished the confusion over Huma Abadeen’s laptop to all of us, giving many people pause.
In fact, efforts to derail Clinton have moved at lightning speed, so that we are out of time to bring an end to the Forrest Gump of all presidential runs.
Now it has become evident that Trump knew about Putin’s involvement, in essence conspiring to get himself elected. We need but find a shred of proof for this to book the room for impeachment hearings.
In the meantime, our salvation rests with the “esteemed Electors,” many of whom have pledged to vote the will of their states, to honor the fact that Trump got to 270 well before Clinton and yet, that she won the popular vote by nearly 3 million.
I answer my own question with a resounding No. Donald Trump cannot be trusted because he is an untrustworthy individual. It is one thing to be Joe Everyman speaking his mind, and another, to reject the molten lead of the CIA revelation that Putin, with Trump’s knowledge, has been the master puppeteer all this time.
It is not acceptable for Donald Trump to condemn our intelligence agencies for doing their jobs well. It is not acceptable for him to spitefully tweet and malign a union boss from the Carrier Corporation who confronted him for lying about how many jobs Mike Pence kept in the US for millions in tax breaks.
It is not acceptable for a U.S. President to pick fights on Twitter and make a mockery out of the sanctity of the Office.
Originally the Constitution required a two-prong test of the Electoral College– whether the candidate was qualified and whether he won the election, i.e. the popular vote.
Donald Trump has revealed himself to be everything but qualified–to be impulsive, childish, unable to take criticism. He has been rolling in the mud with his fellow pigs and in bed with white supremicists, turning a blind eye to himself, unable to look at himself in the mirror and say, “Donald, you know that you have led America astray, and that you have absolutely nothing to offer the Presidency or the Nation. Step down. Admit the truth.”
This will never happen, in my view. Trump smells power and prestige on the wind, and he thinks that he, above all others, deserves a steaming plate-full of all of it. And, aided and abetted by Vladimir Putin, his moment is nearly at hand.
Esteemed Electors, we the People beg of you to vote your consciences next week– you were entrusted by our Founders with the sagacity and agency to stand between the people and a despot, the subjects and the King.
The general election has been tainted by a foreign power by Russians capable of infiltrating privileged communication between a campaign chairman and a candidate, between a party chairwoman and her colleagues, breaching U.S. sovereignty for its own agenda. Out of vendetta, and in something so egregious it is perilously close to an act of war.
Under these circumstances, Electors must consider that to do what is best for the country is also to defeat the dastardly and unprecedented intrusion upon us of Russia’s ex KGB strongman, of whom Trump speaks well, whose appointees eat at his table.
In tandem with these misdeeds, Donald Trump has made it known this week that he doesn’t trust or believe the very intelligence gathered to protect him and to alert the homeland of a threat. By virtue of his openly stated distrust of the CIA and company alone, he has rendered himself unfit to lead us all.
To cast your vote for him, even if you have pledged to your state to do so, a pledge rendered invalid by the events of the hour, is to sanction the infiltration and hijacking of our election and to ignore the truth about Donald J Trump–that he is untrustworthy, deceitful, unqualified to lead.
Please lead us out of the quicksand where the foundation of our country–the U.S. Constitution– is crumbling.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has won the popular vote and is eminently qualified for the job. As Americans with the ability to save our country, summon the will, and cast all of your votes for her—please.