By Ralph Nader
Trump has gotten away with almost everything throughout his bankruptcy-driven business career and his corrupt, cruel, and costly political years in the White House. Things changed on November 3, when he was retired by the voters.
Refusing to concede, however, so as to prolong his crazed fantasies, Trump is distracting the mass media from his looting of the Executive Branch departments to the advantage of big business bosses and his failing family enterprises. Expect this to continue until January 20, 2021. (See my op-ed titled: “If Trump loses, expect him to exact revenge on his way out” Boston Globe, August 10, 2020).
Trump and his cronies will get away with their crime sprees unless Joe Biden has a Justice Department team that will follow the law and prosecute any government official who broke the law. In 2009, Barack Obama let law-breaking Wall Streeters and the Bush/Cheney war criminals become successful fugitives from justice.
Trump has inflicted lasting damage to our social morality and to the rule of law. Unfortunately, the destructive and uncontrollable momentum unleashed by Trump will not be easily reversed.
Trump’s unabashed verbal and physical abuses of women were widely publicized. Consider the repulsive example Trump sets for young boys and young men who see the president getting away with menacing machismo.
Trump boasts about paying very little income taxes. With declining corporate tax compliance in the country, exacerbated by his starving of the IRS enforcement budgets. Many of Trump’s supporters think his tax avoidance and evasions are cool and believe his actions are a model for emulation.
Trump’s relentless and baseless charges alleging massive election fraud are inflammatory and dangerous. Trump’s lies seriously undermine the public’s confidence in our vote-counting system, not just by his supporters, but by foes and friends abroad.
Trump’s erosion and subversion of the laws and the Constitution have lowered the bar for future presidents and their regimes. Chronic Presidential violations of the law preceded Trump (the Obama, Bush, and Clinton Administrations and other previous administrations before them), but Donald Trump took this Executive Branch’s lawlessness to new depths – both in open sight and under a cloak of government secrecy. Corruption, obstruction of justice, self-dealing, and mass giveaways to corporate crooks is a way of life at the lying Trump White House.
It is difficult to overestimate the continuing harm to our beleaguered democracy and its people, should Trump and his cohorts not be brought to justice. (See our new book, Wrecking America: How Trump’s Lawbreaking and Lies Betray All)
Trump’s assault on facts and truth is multiplied by his non-stop tweets to 70 million people and a dittohead media. Previous Presidents had a tiny bully-pulpit by comparison. Trump projects an image of getting away with stiffing everyone – his workers, consumers, and creditors, as a failed gambling czar, and the Congress, the IRS, and government investigators as President.
When the leader of the country, headlining the daily mass and social media throughout each day presents such a many-sided decadence and criminality, it can only accelerate a decaying culture and goad his supporters into believing that they too can get away with anything. Remember Trump said, “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”
A country-wide rebound, toward a wholesome, respectful, and steadfast America is more than the responsibility of just the political representatives who replace the Trumpsters. Ultimately, it must come from aroused civic communities that have historically saved and advanced our country.