The first words Donald J. Trump uttered publicly as President-elect, after praising Hillary Clinton, were these:
Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.
It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.
For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people. . .
. . . I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.
From what I, and every other person with eyes and ears in America, have seen, none of this is to be taken seriously. Trump’s presidency will be all about Trump, and allegiance will be demanded of anyone working for him, to himself, personally.
In America, we do not pledge allegiance to a man. In 2008, when President Obama was sworn in to the swooning of the press, conservatives complained that he would be unrestrained in his zeal for “hope and change.” Now Trump has come, and many conservatives act worse than the leftist media they condemned for worshipping Obama.
Trump is no more presidential a mere 11 days before his inauguration than he was 15 months ago. Nothing has changed; Trump is still fighting everyone that merely looks sideways at him, or brings up his past transgressions, which he never seems to move beyond.
Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never "mocked" a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him…….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017
He’s still pushing the theme that the media is dishonest and cannot be trusted. He does this every single day.
Dishonest media says Mexico won't be paying for the wall if they pay a little later so the wall can be built more quickly. Media is fake!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017
It goes beyond keeping the media or anyone else accountable to truth-telling. It’s dangerous because the constant attacks erode the foundation of the Fourth Estate’s press protections enshrined in the First Amendment. In America, the press has a constitutional right to be biased, and to be wrong about public figures, especially the POTUS. Trump doesn’t believe in this.
Look at Russia and how RT played such an outsized role in the IC report on election tinkering. RT is state-owned media. Will Trump go that far? I wouldn’t put it past him.
But that’s not even the most troubling part of Trump’s cult of personality. His insistence on personal loyalty above all, even when he’s completely wrong, is the stuff of despotism. And now Trump wants to install son-in-law Jared Kushner as part of his administration (and possibly daughter Ivanka, unofficially at least).
Lawyers have etched out a plan for President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to serve in the new administration, according to a report.
Mike Allen said in his inaugural Axios AM e-letter early Monday that Kushner will serve as senior adviser. Kushner is reportedly now searching for staff members.
Nepotism has no place in the White House staff (FLOTUS notwithstanding). The reason for this cannot be overstated. Personal (family) loyalty to a man cannot override loyalty to our country.
I actually have little problem with Kushner, personally. He’s smart, analytical, and a great friend of Israel. His opinions are much more balanced than many of Trump’s “alt-right” leaning advisers. I don’t care that he’s a liberal. I also think Ivanka has good instincts and is a moderating influence on her father. But that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve had little effect on the elder Trump’s antics during the campaign, and since the election.
During the coming confirmation hearings where Senate Democrats will be sure to grill Trump’s picks, hoping for at least one scalp, Republicans as well as Democrats should at least privately ask all the nominees to state unequivocally that their loyalty will be to the United States and not to the man, Donald Trump. It’s not just for show. A man who is willing to surround himself with those who place their relationship with him above their country deserves to have his senior cabinet picks grilled on their own motivations.
Every single member of Trump’s cabinet should be willing to be fired rather than forced to agree with the boss. Honestly, I think they’d all pass with flying colors. Rex Tillerson has no loyalty to Trump. I can’t imagine Gen. James Mattis, Sen. Jeff Sessions, or Gen. Michael Flynn placing Trump above America.
However, I don’t think Jared Kushner or Ivanka Trump could claim that and be truthful. Trump is their three children’s grandpa. I’m not even sure Kellyanne Conway or Steve Bannon could say that their personal loyalty to Trump is separable from their allegiance to our country.
From what I see on Twitter every day, Trump’s acolytes continue to act like a school of moonfish. Not one swims against the group. The slightest criticism of their Dear Leader sets off a paroxysm of denouncement and denigration. The Trump cult would rather nobody be left to hold their god accountable. Do they see how dangerous that is when we’re talking about the President of the United States?
Obama has left America more divided that perhaps any time since the Civil War. His constant demagoguery, blaming of the conservative press (Rush Limbaugh), and encouragement of fringe political groups to push far beyond the polity’s consensus, has done little to bring unity on any issue.
Trump has a golden opportunity to reverse this trend, but he won’t. His ego is far too big, and that’s a terrible shame.