Where I Stand Blue wave response to least-liked president

November 14, 2018

That Donald Trump is a vile man is hardly open to dispute. For years, like any egomaniac, he has he yearned to talk about himself incessantly. And like any egomaniac, he doesn’t really care what he says as long as it’s about him.

Thus, he has himself told us about many, if not all, of the vile things he has done — and appears proud of. He has told us he’s a sexual predator and feels free to walk up to women, start kissing them, and even grab them by the genitals. He has told us through radio interviews with “shock jock” Howard Stern, that he would sneak into the dressing rooms at the beauty contests he was sponsoring to spy on teenage contestants in various stages of undress.

And like all bullies, he brags about how tough and courageous he is, but turns out to be a coward when faced with reality. Remember how he told us how he would have run into the high school in Parkland, Florida, when its students and teachers were under attack by a gunman, even if he himself were unarmed? But in 2008, he told Howard Stern about a dinner at Mar-a-Lago when “this guy falls off (a stage) right on his face, hits his head, and I thought he died. And you know what I did? I said, ‘oh my God, that’s disgusting,’ and I turned away.” Trump explained it wasn’t because of his horror at the man gravely injuring himself; it was, he conceded, his horror at the pristine marble floors at Mar-a- Lago being dyed red with the man’s blood.

A group of marines from the back of the room came running forward, attended to the man getting blood all over their uniforms and carried him out after forming a human stretcher. “I was saying, ’get that blood cleaned up! It’s disgusting!” Trump concluded, “next day, I forgot to call the man to see if he’s okay.” He noted, “all that blood. It’s just not my thing.”

In a 1997 interview with Stern, Trump talked about his several draft deferments during the Vietnam war and said he felt “lucky” not to have picked up an STD because having sex in the 1980s was dangerous and scary, like Vietnam. “It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.” Well, you get the idea. The man who professes his undying commitment and affection for the military says that even though he dodged the draft at age 22 by having had bone spurs in his feet diagnosed, thinks he did the equivalent of fighting in Vietnam by having sex with women whom he thought might have given him a sexually transmitted disease.

One could go on with his 6,400 lies since becoming president, his paying hush money to at least two paramours — perhaps in violation of campaign finance laws — his racism, vitriolic xenophobia, and his incessant divisive rhetoric and demonstrable incompetence. Put them all together and little wonder that 170 members of the American Political Science Association’s section on Presidents and Executive Politics, a body that every two years or so ranks America’s presidents in order of greatness, already have rated Trump as the absolute worst of America’s 44 presidents. (There have been 45 presidencies but 44 different men holding the office because Grover Cleveland was elected twice in noncontiguous terms). The group ranked Obama eighth overall.

Lincoln, Washington, FDR, and TR were the top four. The group was divided into self-described Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Democrats rated Obama at number six and Trump at 44, while Independents had Obama at number 12. Trump barely got out of the Independents’ basement by being ranked number 43.

Among Republicans, Obama was 16 and Trump, 40. I’d say he’s earned it. But Trump did give the Democrats the blue wave they were hoping for with analysts projecting a net gain of 37 seats in the House, despite the GOP’s extensive gerrymandering of the country.

And millions more Americans voted for Democrats than for Republicans, suggesting they were rejecting Trump, given that Trump repeatedly made it clear during the campaign that a vote for a Republican candidate was a vote for him.

Now at last there will be a check on this would-be autocrat who has been taking a wrecking ball to our democracy.

Stephan Lesher is a retired journalist who lives in Southbury.

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