Save Our Children

| November 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

My wife and I will survive the consequences of Donald Trump’s presidency. Our three children, possibly, our grandchildren, will not.

If you think that’s just our circumstance, unrelated to yours, you are mistaken in your judgment.

I will come back to this, but first:

Trump is president. He wasn’t my candidate, possibly, not yours. But among readers of the Sentinel there are those who voted for Trump (they’ve expressed their support to publisher Ducey-Brooks and me). Those who did vote for him, out of frustration and anger with Washington, can be forgiven, because those of us who voted for Hillary, were also frustrated, also angry. But we were convinced that whatever Mrs. Clinton’s failings as a candidate, she had a few, they were inconsequential in comparison to the Republican nominee; deeply flawed as he is in character, bereft of either ethical or moral constraints — and, in consequence, deeply flawed as a candidate for the nation’s highest office.

But we’re almost a year past his election (November 8), nine months past his inauguration (January 20), and those of us who opposed him have had our deepest fears and darkest forebodings confirmed.

Actually, that’s not quite correct.

Even in our fear and foreboding, there’s no conceivable way we could have anticipated this man’s conduct in office.

Those who voted for him and are disappointed, or regret their vote, grace is extended, as many of us regret votes we have cast along the way (Bob Filner would be foremost among mine). Those who voted for Trump and continue to condone his behavior in office, I am doubtful there’s anything any reasonable, responsible, informed, thoughtful, intelligent person can say to convince you, your vote was in grievous error; saved only by the fact California is a blue state and voted overwhelmingly for Mrs. Clinton, giving her the biggest margin of victory since FDR in ’36; while Mr. Trump’s vote was the lowest of any presidential candidate since ’24 (no doubt he would say that’s “fake news”).

But, my criticism of Mr. Trump is well established. And I allow those of us on the “left” are wasting our time, if our goal is to persuade Trump’s hard core voters to change their minds.

Because if David Brooks, Russ Douthat, Michael Gerson, Jeff Jacoby, Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Parker, Jennifer Rubin, Joe Scarborough, and George Will — George Will, for God’s sake — cannot effect mind change among Trump’s hard core, by what measure of rational thinking should any Democrat, Independent or moderate Republican, men and women who believe in issues of social justice, as one example, think our fact based arguments have a chance?

True believers, like the 909 who followed Jim Jones to death in the jungles of Guyana, are capable of the most irrational thinking and acts. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but nothing seems to shake Trump’s hard core — nothing.

No matter what he says; no matter whom he insults (John McCain, a true American hero, is a frequent target of Trump’s denigrating remarks). No matter how many times he changes his mind. No matter how many lies he tells (how do we know when Trump is lying? When he moves his lips). No matter how many politicians he threatens. No matter how often he excoriates media or threatens to shut them down (NBC). No matter how great his failure to evidence empathy for those of our fellow citizens who experienced great and staggering loss — Houston, Florida, Virgin Islands, Santa Rosa, Puerto Rico (shot-putting paper towels doesn’t evidence “empathy”).

I would love to know what hard core Trumpians think of their president’s politicizing Gold Star families, the results of a blatant lie he told about President Obama at a recent White House Press conference. Or what would they say to the Marine Corps colonel who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic service in Vietnam, and yet told MSNBC’s Brian Williams that such politicization by the president of a sacred ceremony honoring our war dead, was “despicable.”

Recently, Dr. Michael Gartner, who contributed an essay to a new book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” said of the 45th president that he suffers from “malignant narcissism”; a disease defined by Eric Fromm as “quintessence evil.”

Dr. Gartner also said the idea that General Kelly, General Mathis, or Secretary of States Tillerson, are cable of “restraining” Trump, “a fantasy.”

And then he added, on the president’s dangerous war of words with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, “The odds of him (Trump) not pushing the (nuclear) button are extremely low.”

Is that a tad much? Perhaps, but 24,000 of Dr. Gartner‘ s mental health colleagues signed a petition saying they believe the president is “mentally unbalanced.”

Jon Meachum, the brilliant presidential biographer, in a discussion on The Morning Joe Show following Trump’s lie about Obama, said, “In a Republic, we are only as good as the sum of our parts. And a significant part of the country is enabling this president to behave this way.”

By which he means the 34 percent of those polled who continue to back the president; by which he means the 79 percent of Republicans who still think Trump is taking America in the “right direction.”

Does anything shake their faith? Anything? And if not, then maybe the Jim Jones Jonestown/Kool aid analogy, isn’t that much of a stretch.

But, here I am, 912 words into this month’s column, having repeatedly violated my counsel to let conservatives criticize this president, as they have standing, where the rest of us — “left,” “liberal,” “progressive,” or “political populists” — have none.

But the idea behind my “Save Our Children” is that all of us with children and grandchildren share a concern about their futures, knowing the chances of their having a future comparable to the one our parents gifted us with, now appears problematical.

But while I despair of where we are, of the many dangers inherent in a Trump presidency, we The People are not out of options, as there are choices to make —and those choices should be centered in what’s best for our children.

If I am running for Congress as a Democrat or Independent, America’s children are the focus of my campaign — everything else is secondary.

I am seeking our best minds to help craft my message; a message not based on polls but scholarly studies that are morally based, as to how we create the best possible futures for our children, independent of class or color — because saving our children, insuring their futures, needs to be the highest priority of any candidate running for public office — whatever his or her party.

Of course, I’m not running, but I am pressing those of my friends who have he means to support candidates, and do, to push their candidates to adopt as their campaign theme — Save Our Children!

It is not a partisan theme. It arises from a deep love of county and out of a profound worry the America we have known and blessed to enjoy is in jeopardy, in ways once unimaginable — and it is our solemn duty to insure our children and grandchildren’s futures.

Mr. Churchill said, when you are going through hell, “keep going!”

We need to keep going.

George Mitrovich is a San Diego civic leader. He can be reached at, gmitro35@gmail.com.

 

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