For millions of Americans, Donald Trump is unwatchable. People can’t stand the sight or sound of him because they see through him. They can’t trust him, so his words offer no value. Years ago, they learned that Trump’s spool of lies has no ceiling and never ends, so any attempt to watch him requires a chyron correcting his ticker tape of tales.
Listening to a Trump speech is like accidentally answering a spam call: it’s not going anywhere safe, and it’s never going to end well. According to Trump, everything he does is the best ever, nobody could have done it like him, we’re never grateful enough, and it’s going to get even better. He’s responsible for everything good; Obama is to blame for everything wrong. Evidence is for fools; feedback is for the weak. He has often said that he doesn’t look back, and he has no regrets. We don’t need Sherlock Holmes to validate his claim–not even the Will Ferrell version.
When Trump speaks, it’s never thoughtful, reflective, or humble. He could never speak comfortably about someone’s loss because he doesn’t care. He can’t even fake caring. He only mourns the possible loss of his reputation as he sees it. When he hypnotically reads a speech, it’s obviously the first time he has seen it. He deciphers meaning as he reads. Since every speech is new to him, he occasionally pauses to ad-lib, but the comments are awkward and unmask his ignorance. But he’s always impressed with himself–his baseless pride glimmers in every smirk and snarl.
Trump has no sense of history or decency. He embodies everything unbecoming a person, takes everyone for a fool, thinks nothing of stealing from a charity or taxpayers, and turns his scandals and incompetence into others’ failures. He’s incapable of humor, as we uncomfortably witnessed at the Al Smith dinner when he roasted Hillary Clinton with pure vitriol. He could never grasp that it’s endearing to make fun of himself. It’s too risky. His ego prevents it.
Trump melts when anyone challenges him. A competent president would welcome any question from the media. But Trump lacks proficiency in even the basic responsibilities of his role and fears responding to anything other than adulation. Even when media inquiries are predictable, Trump’s answers rarely contain an answer. When he does provide an answer, it’s typically rudderless or appalling. Not only do his responses lack relevant information, but he frequently espouses incorrect information or lies.
For most Americans, there has never been a time when they’ve appreciated or admired Trump or looked to him for inspiration. He’s incapable of real empathy, exercises the worst judgment, and his instincts would imprison him if not for his money, job title, and fame. If the Supreme Court forces him to unmask his tax returns, the extent of his corruption may be laid bare. The lengths he has gone to conceal them and his marauding past suggest he has probably broken tax laws, earned a fraction of what he claims, and has compromising financial relationships.
For decades, we’ve listened to Republicans lecture Americans about the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution, patriotism, family values, religion, the rule of law, and fiscal responsibility. If Trump were a Democrat, they would use him as a non-example of every trait they claim to embody. No president in American history has shown more contempt for our laws, norms, religion, and constitution. Trump has fed Republicans’ credibility through a wood chipper. They sacrificed their party, careers, and souls at his pernicious altar for a few Supreme Court seats and tax cuts and deregulations for the mega-rich who finance their campaigns.
And now comes the 2020 campaign. King Trump, M.D., the bleacher-in-chief, claims that he created the greatest economy since troglodytes traded stones. But it’s a ruse. He ran up trillion-dollar annual budget deficits to advance his reckless agenda. He funneled billions to the military-industrial complex while ignoring the most pressing problems of our time, including dealing responsibly with healthcare and climate change. He failed to shore up social security and medicare, and to address our crumbling infrastructure needs adequately. He took every shortcut for short-term gains, propping up the profits of the world’s biggest polluters through unprecedented deregulation that puts everyone’s health and safety at risk. Trump focuses on unemployment but not quality jobs or wages–endlessly obsessed with the stock market, but not main street. The coronavirus exposed the real economy under Trump: nearly half of the country couldn’t survive a month without a paycheck, revealing that employment doesn’t translate into financial stability.
Credible evidence exists that Trump raped a 13-year-old girl. Given the history of 24 public sexual assault and rape allegations against him, it’s likely he’s a serial rapist. But because his actions are so racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, religion-pandering, and fat-cat coddling, he rounds up enough worshipers, gun-flashers, MAGA martyrs, pardoned criminals, clones, insane conspiracy theorists, low-information droids, Russian meddlers, and beneficiaries to form a zealous cult base to keep him afloat. They’re ready to fire up their torches for another four years of gaslighting, crimes, constitution-stripping, and immigrant-blaming.
Americans have one chance on November 3, 2020, to end this long national nightmare. Another term with this sociopath at the Twitter helm could fatally unravel American democracy. Without concern for his re-election, there’s no norm or law he won’t break. People will live with endless regret that they didn’t volunteer, donate, and vote to block him from retaining power. He won the last time, and he can win again if people don’t get involved. This election is not the time to lament the fact that FDR isn’t on the ballot. The only thing we have to fear is Donald Trump himself.