Op-Ed

The president and his men: Liars, traitors, cowards and losers

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” — Hosea 8:7

Despite their failings, faults, and frailties, the United States Constitution’s framers possessed profound trepidations about limiting the president’s power, having experienced the British king’s autocratic control over the colonies.

The American Revolution, arguably a precursor to the modern Brexit, albeit in reverse, was embedded in the founders’ deep-seated desire to extricate themselves from British autocracy. The founders probably did not anticipate how quickly an existential threat to their new country could develop if it were driven by a misguided, corrupt, delusional, egotistical, narcissist, determined at all cost, to retain presidential power long after his tenure ended.

On January 6, 2020, domestic terrorists violently invaded the U.S. Capitol, “the people’s house”, after the prolonged pre- and post-election prompting of President Trump. This was the first time the Congress was breached in such a manner since 1814, during the War of 1812, when it was invaded and burned by the British.

We experienced first-hand and in real-time the Capitol intruders’ offensive chants to “hang Mike Pence” because the latter refused to acquiesce to the president’s false and unfounded claims of a stolen election.

We also heard the calls by some of the terrorists on live TV to assassinate the speaker of the House of Representatives and others if they could capture them. Fortunately, law enforcement protected the legislators and their staff during those tense hours of occupation, thwarting the insurgents’ sinister plans. As further details regarding the Capitol insurrection surface, we will be appalled, but not surprised, at their devious plan, choreographed at least in tone, by President Donald Trump.

Therefore, this week, we will consider this — can President Trump and those who invaded the Capitol be accurately described as liars, traitors, cowards, and losers?

The big lie

The invasion of the Capitol on January 6 was the culmination of a sustained Trump lie that he had won the 2020 presidential election.

Long before their attack, President Trump inspired the intruders with unfounded pronouncements that the general election was stolen from him – and them — on November 3, 2020. The president’s pusillanimous Republican sycophants aided, abetted, and perpetuated the Orwellian-style pronouncement. Even after the Capitol invasion, more than 100 Republican weaklings still sought to invalidate the Electoral College’s results that confirmed Joe Biden’s landslide election victory.

Sixty federal and state courts, many of which were presided over by Trump-appointed judges, summarily dismissed Trump’s futile efforts to overturn the results of the election in the battleground states. Even the Supreme Court, packed with three Trump appointees, one of which was rushed through the approval process in order to be in place for post-election cases, failed to rule in his favor.

Trump’s appeals to Republican officials in Georgia to find 11,780 Trump votes and to Georgia state representatives to reverse that state’s election also unsuccessfully failed to deliver on Trump’s desperately devious endeavors to give him the victory there.

As mandated in the constitution, Congress met on January 6 to validate the Electoral College results. After realizing that his efforts would not succeed in overturning the certified election results, and in front of millions of viewers worldwide, Trump intentionally incited his crazed cohorts, who he had summoned to Washington, DC, to invade Congress to halt the certification of the election results.

We have viewed video clips of the graphic incursions of the out-of-control terrorists as they invaded the Capitol, determined to kidnap and possibly kill Congressional representatives, including Speaker Pelosi and Vice President Pence.

Details are now emerging that the invading terrorists were facilitated by some sitting legislators who are Trump loyalists. In the days ahead, we will learn more about the devious plans of the terrorists and people in high places to foment chaos and confusion in the Capitol. It remains to be seen whether sitting legislators will be criminally prosecuted for their shocking participation in this conspiracy to incite insurrection.

It has become patently clear that Trump and his minions sought to perpetuate the big lie that he won the election, a lie that will forever ignominiously haunt his legacy of lies.

Trump will long be remembered as the personification of the nation’s liar-in-chief. The Washington Post has documented that during his four years as president, Trump uttered more than 30,000 misleading claims from his bully pulpit.

Traitors

Make no mistake about it. The chaotic conspirators who invaded the Capitol on January 6 are traitors. No more, no less. Many of them have been arrested and hopefully will be jailed with long prison terms for their involvement in the Capitol incursion. House and Senate members who led the charge to decertify the Electoral College results are also traitors to democracy and the United States Constitution.

Hopefully, they all will be held to account for their participation in this conspiracy. Hopefully, House members and senators, including Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, will be expelled from Congress for their treasonous involvement in this conspiracy.

Cowards

Those Republicans who attempted to overturn the election are also cowards. The nearly 140 Republican House members who voted to oppose the certification of the Electoral College results are cowards who were blindly beholden to Trump. Their loyalty was to Trump instead of to their oath of office to uphold the United States Constitution.

They were more concerned about keeping their jobs by cow-towing to Trump and his perceived influence over their political future than doing their job. Hopefully, they too will be held to account for their cowardice.

Losers

It is now abundantly clear that there were many losers in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump is perhaps the most significant personal loser, having lost the election in a landslide. He is also a loser because of his persistent refusal to accept the election results. Trump’s enablers are also losers for their misplaced, spineless loyalty to a deranged, unhinged president.

The United States democracy is a significant loser because the presidential election results were not handled properly and traditionally in order to provide the anticipated normally peaceful transition of power. By their actions, America has now lost its moral authority to dictate to the world regarding the importance of democratic principles.

The cowardly congressional legislators who aided and abetted the big lie are also massive losers. They have lost their legitimacy to govern and their credibility.

Trump is also a historically disgraced president, having been impeached in the House for a second time, a fate that has never occurred in the republic’s history. How disgraceful.

On a purely personal note, Trump has damaged beyond repair his commercial Trump brand, which has drastically depreciated in value as corporate America rapidly distances itself.

Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook have canceled his online subscriptions, hopefully forever, rendering him mute to his nearly 80 million followers. Large retailers have withdrawn their financial support for Trump. Stripe, a financial-technology company, has stopped processing credit card payment donations to the Trump Campaign website, cutting off an enormous revenue stream.

The Professional Golf Association has canceled its 2022 PGA Championship tournament next year at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey golf course, an event that would have been worth millions to the Trump brand. Trump’s significant bankers, Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank, to whom he owes hundreds of millions of dollars, have indicated that they will no longer do business with him.

Finally, because he was obsessed with overturning the presidential election, Trump must be held accountable for his complete negligence of and his total distraction from the most significant health crisis confronting the United States in 100 years.

The American people are losers because a distracted President Trump has dismally failed to adequately address the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in nearly 400,000 deaths in the United States – 125,000 since the 2020 presidential election.

The deplorable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines was exacerbated by the distraction of a president unconcerned about adequately addressing the pandemic’s adverse ramifications by delivering urgently needed vaccines. He was far more concerned about stealing a second, totally underserved, presidential term.

Trump’s legacy

Although the long national nightmare of Donald J. Trump rapidly approaches its end this coming Wednesday, the catastrophic damage that he has done will linger long after he leaves office.

Trump’s desecration of the American presidency will take a long time to be mended, as will the trust and confidence of many of America’s closest allies. The institutions that he repeatedly disparaged will take a long time to repair. The catastrophic damage that Trump has inflicted upon the United States will last long after he leaves office.

Right-thinking people can only hope that, following the impending Senate trial for his second impeachment by the House of Representatives, Donald Trump will be banned from holding public office ever again.

It is also to be hoped that his legislative, Cabinet and other enablers will also be removed and banned from occupying public office ever again. They have egregiously debased their standing as honorable and should be branded as dishonorable for all time.

In the decades ahead, presidential historians will record Donald Trump as absolutely the worst and most disgraceful American president in the nation’s 234-year history. He and his ignominious minions will long be remembered as liars, traitors, cowards, and losers, as Trump is fond of observing, “the likes of which this world has never seen”.

To paraphrase the Bible book of Hosea, Donald J. Trump will be remembered as a president who sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind.

• Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis and Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to pgalanis@gmail.com.

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