©Wendell Griffen, 2017
Justice Is A Verb!
August 23, 2017
Perhaps the most memorable line from the Apollo 13 motion picture was “Houston, we have a problem,” spoken by actor Tom Hanks who portrayed Jim Lovell, commander of the ill-fated space mission. It’s time that we in the United States admit our problem.
On November 8, 2016, voters elected someone who is intellectually, emotionally, socially, and culturally incompetent as our leader. We should confess our error. Stop expecting Mr. Trump to “grow” into his job as President of the United States. Stop accepting excuses for his failings.
We should, instead, bravely admit what the rest of the world knew months ago. We screwed up by electing Donald Trump, the most incompetent person in recent memory – if not in all US political history – to lead the world’s most sophisticated nation. Let’s admit this truth now and begin to correct our colossal error.
One need only recall the events of the past two weeks and Trump’s dismal job performance surrounding and in the aftermath of the tragic situation that occurred in
Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump’s intellectual, emotional, social, and cultural incompetence has been apparent. He is pathologically deceitful. He does not know history. He has demonstrated no empathy or insight about the damage caused by what he says and does.
It does not matter that Trump remains supported by his partisan base within the Republican Party. Trump’s job is to lead a multi-cultural nation, not headline a partisan movement. His moral and political obligation for the first six months of his presidency was to present and advance a national agenda, bring the divided nation together around it, work with other elected officials, and staff his administration with competent people to manage it.
Trump failed to staff competently and adequately. Witness the many positions in the executive branch that remain unfilled seven months after he took office. Witness the firings and resignations of some of the people in his administration since he took office.
Trump has alienated his administration from the Congress and from the Courts, the other two branches of US government.
Trump has insulted, openly frustrated, and mismanaged US military leaders. He has offended US allies. His bickering and bellicose threats with the leader of North Korea have made the world less safe. Our allies do not trust Trump for help in managing any serious global issue. Our adversaries do not respect Trump’s ability to manage any challenge to global peace.
Donald Trump is not a danger to our nation and world because of ISIS, North Korea, globalization, global warming and climate change, or the latest manifestation of white supremacy. Trump is a danger to our nation and world because people in the United States elected the most incompetent politician among us to the most difficult political office in the world.
Now we must decide what to do about the mess we’ve made.
First, we must quit enabling Trump, making excuses for him, telling ourselves and others that he needs time to acclimate himself to his work, and saying he isn’t accustomed to the workings of government. Trump is in the Oval Office. We put him there. We should stop making excuses for his failings and tell ourselves – and Trump – that he is incompetent.
Second, Congress must step up and fulfill its constitutional function as a separate and co-equal branch of government. That is what federal judges have done from the outset of the Trump presidency – to his great displeasure – by refusing to uphold Trump’s attempts to ban Muslims from immigrating to the United States. Members of Congress and the Senate appear to have finally realized they are not Trump’s hirelings, although the Arkansas congressional delegation appears to be an exception.
Third, thought leaders must condemn and resist Trump’s unjust leadership. Donald Trump’s insensitive response to the tragic situation in Charlottesville should be condemned by politicians, pundits, and preachers, at family tables, and in other social settings.
We should question, challenge, expose, and reject Trump’s sinister and senseless initiatives and actions. Trump went to Phoenix, Arizona for a rally to promote his 2020 re-election campaign on August 22, ten days after Heather Heyer was murdered and 19 other people were wounded when a white supremacy sympathizer allegedly drove a car into them in Charlottesville. At the rally, Trump did not call on the audience to pray for Charlottesville. He did not call on the audience to remember Heather Heyer’s grief-stricken family and the people injured by the attack.
Trump did not behave like a national healer, but like someone who took personal offense about being criticized for his lack of compassion and moral awareness. He lied about what he said after Charlottesville. He lied about how news outlets reported his remarks. Then he openly revealed his intention to issue a presidential pardon to former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the 21st Century manifestation of the kind of racial bigotry shown by Eugene “Bull” Connor in Birmingham, Alabama against discrimination protestors during the Sixties.
We should tell Donald Trump to resign! We should not wait for him to be impeached. We should not wait for Robert Mueller to issue indictments against Trump, members of his family, or others involved with his unscrupulous conduct.
We need to tell Trump and one another that our situation will only worsen while he remains in office. We put him there. For the sake of our democracy and global peace, we must make Donald Trump go.