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Sad and absurd

Surfing radio stations I happened upon Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word,” and two lines jumped out at me: “It’s sad, so sad. And it’s getting more and more absurd.” 

These 11 words perfectly capture the Trump presidency and likely caught my attention, as I had just read an article wherein Rep. Michele Bachman, R-Minnesota, stated that Trump “is highly biblical. … We will in all likelihood never see a more godly, biblical president in our lifetime.” One would be hard pressed to find a more “absurd” statement.

To begin, Trump has been divorced twice, which is no big deal in contemporary America. But isn’t divorce forbidden by biblical scripture? And what about his many sexual affairs? How does that square with biblical teachings?

Then there’s his neverending sin of lying. According to Proverbs 19:9, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.” If so, Trump will surely perish, as the Washington Post notes that as of April 28, he has made 10,000 false or misleading statements since taking office — an average of 12 a day. In one three-day period (April 25 to 27 of this year) he told 171 untruths, an average of 57 a day. Trump doesn’t deny that he lies, having told White House correspondent Jonathan Karl in November 2018, “When I can, I tell the truth.”

He has lied on a regular basis about where his father was born, stating: “My father is German, was German born.” While Trump’s grandfather came to this country from Germany, his father Fred Trump was born in New York City (the Bronx). In yet another “birther” lie, during the presidential campaign of 2016 Trump said his grandfather was born in Sweden. 

Think about this for a second: If an individual will blatantly lie about something completely non-threatening and easily checked via public records, what value and responsibility does he/she place on telling the truth? For Trump, the answer is simple — none. 

Perhaps the “most godly, biblical president in our lifetime” is receiving scripture from on high the rest of us are not privy to. “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and He brought her to Donald and told him: Go forth with this woman and grab her by the non-biblical anatomy.”

Only slightly less absurd than Trump the biblical president is Trump the man who brags he has “a natural instinct for science.” The president has repeatedly stated, “The whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake science.” In a 2017 tweet, Trump stated, “There is no climate crisis; there’s weather and climate all around the world.” (This “absurd” sentence is worth a second read and a deep sigh of sadness.) In 2012, Trump stated that climate change was a “total and expensive hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese government to steal American jobs, a statement at odds with a NASA report noting that 97% of published climate scientists believe human activities such as burning fossil fuels have caused climate change. 

A recent Department of Defense report of 79 military bases in this country concluded “the effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to DOD missions, operational plans and installations.” About two-thirds of these bases are vulnerable now or will be in the future to flooding, and more than half are at risk from drought and susceptible to wildfires and mudslides in the aftermath of those fires. 

Our Albert Einstein in the White House has also stated that flu shots don’t work, exercise is unhealthy, vaccines cause autism, and the noise from windmills causes cancer. These pronouncements could be dismissed as merely the inane blathering of an “ignoramus” (as conservative columnist George Will calls Trump) if they didn’t have consequences for individuals and the planet. (After bad-mouthing vaccinations for years, the president recently called Americans to get the measles vaccine as this malady is increasing in a number of states.)

Trump has also stated that fracking poses “ZERO health risks.” Writing in the conservative, pro-big-business Forbes magazine, Judy Stone states that a review of over 700 studies examining the health risks of fracking found more than 80 percent of these reports “document risks or actual harms” of this extraction method. A study by the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University found that fracking was associated with increased hospitalization for cardiac and neurological problems. Stone notes that fracking chemicals are especially “harmful to pregnant women and their developing babies.”

Trump and science: “It’s sad, so sad. And it’s getting more and more absurd.” How long before he tells us the earth is flat and the sun revolves around our planet?

Syndicated columnist Mark Shields notes that Donald Trump and Robert Mueller are at opposite ends of the public service and patriotism spectrum. Like Trump, Mueller (a registered Republican) was born into a family of wealth and privilege. He attended Princeton University and New York University, earning an M.A. at the latter in international relations. Upon graduation he enlisted in the Marine Corps, where he served with distinction in Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendations, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. 

Donald Trump has lived a life of self-indulgence and self-promotion, the sole purpose of his existence being the accumulation of wealth and a crass display of that wealth. Trump’s biography is devoid of service to country and compassion. Ultra-conservative former Fox News commentator and retired U.S. Army intelligence officer Ralph Peters has captured the essence of Trump, stating the president is “a draft dodger and appears to be a physical coward with a big mouth” who is “obscene … shameful … disgraceful.”

We can only hope that men and women in the mold of Robert Mueller prevail and deliver us from the evil and insanity that is Donald Trump, as well as from the pathetic acquiescence of party — above all, Republicans in the Senate and House, who know what a despicable human being he is yet slavishly support him. 

George J. Bryjak lives in Bloomingdale, retired after 24 years of teaching sociology at the University of San Diego.

Sources:

Bump, P. (April 3, 2019) “Trump claims that wind farms cause cancer for very Trumpian reasons,” The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com 

Capaccio, J. (Jan. 18, 2019) “Defense Department Warns About Climate Change Impacts to Armed Forces Bases,” Time, www.time.com 

Cilliza, C. (April 16, 2019) “Michele Bachman claimed that Donald Trump is ‘highly biblical,'” CNN, www.cnn.com 

Cilliza, C. (April 29, 2019) “Donald Trump has now said more than 10,000 untrue things as president. And that’s not the big story,” CNN, www.cnn.com

Hutzler, A. (Nov. 1, 2018) “Donald Trump admits he only tells the truth ‘when I can,'” Newsweek, www.newsweek.com 

Milbank, D. (April 18, 2019) “Trump is a knight errant looking for his windmill,” Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com 

“Brooks and Shield” (April 26, 2019) PBS News Hour, www.pbs.org 

“Ralph Peters Trashes Trump: ‘Draft Dodger, Physical Coward” (March 19, 2019) Newsmax, www.newsmax.com 

Stone, J. (July 23,  2017) “Fracking is dangerous to your health — here’s why,” Forbes, www.forbes.com 

“Robert Mueller — Biography” (accessed 2019) Biography, www.biography.com 

“Trump lies about his father’s brithplace (again), claims Fred Trump was born in Germany” (April 2, 2019) The Contemptor, http//contemptor.com

Vasquez, M. (April 26, 2019) “Trump now says parents must vaccinate children in face of measles outbreak,” CNN, www.cnn.com

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