Trump vs. America

The president is substantively and symbolically chopping away at everything America holds dear. 

By Peter Fenn, Opinion Contributor | Jan. 4, 2018, at 2:40 p.m.

Trump vs. America 

I just saw the great movie, “The Post,” about the decision to publish the Pentagon Papers’ history of the Vietnam War. It was also very much about the war between the Nixon White House and The Washington Post and Nixon’s attempt to control a free press. I worked on the Daniel Ellsberg trial and remember those days and the court battles that lead to the Nixon downfall.

Well, here we go again. Donald Trump’s lawyers are not only trying to get a cease-and-desist order against Steve Bannon but today are attempting to stop the publishing of Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” This would also include release of excerpts and summaries of its contents.

Are they crazy over there at the White House? Sadly, most are coming to the inescapable conclusion that the answer is clearly “yes.” Trump is acting like a petulant, petty head of Trump, Inc. whose only response is to attack and sue. He is reverting to his previous role, where disgraced Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s consigliere and Trump adviser, the noted pugilist Roy Cohn, taught him “the art of the deal.” As Trump said, “All I can tell you is he’s vicious to others in his protection of me, he’s a genius.” Now, Trump seems to think that as president he can employ the same tactics by his new set of lawyers to make his problems go away.

Instead he is making things worse, much worse. This is a White House caught in constant melt-down. This makes the Nixon White House look like a well-oiled machine, from the Pentagon Papers to Watergate. Trump is rapidly destroying not only himself and the presidency as we know it, but undermining the free press and our constitution.


This is serious business now. This is beyond tweets and an unhinged president. This is beyond rants and temper-tantrums. This goes way beyond adult daycare. We have a president who believes there are no consequences to his actions.

Whether it is moving us closer to war with North Korea, or preventing people from voting, or shutting down environmental protection, or funneling more money to the wealthiest of Americans with a budget busting tax cut, this is a president who substantively and symbolically is taking America down.

The evidence is building, even for those who may favor many of Trump’s policies, that something may have to be done to put the country back on track. Whether it is the Mueller investigation, the congressional committees’ probe of links with Russia, the constant lying by the president and his aides, the unraveling of a bizarre and destructive mind, things are coming to a head.

It is not too far-fetched to believe that all the court battles, the investigations, the questions of mental capacity will lead to his cabinet, his vice president and Congress determining that the 25th Amendment should be employed. Trump is on the slippery slope to being forced from office. At the very least, he is looking down the barrel of devastating loses in the 2018 elections, Republicans leaving his sinking ship and reasonable people coming to the inescapable conclusion that the gig is up and Trump must go. Four years is far too long for this presidency.