Having watched a good share of the two weeks of televised open hearings in the House impeachment inquiry, I'm well-qualified to draw some reasoned conclusions about our national politics.
(1) Trump is the worst president in our nation's history. Not just recent history. Our entire history.
(2) Trump doesn't care about what's best for our country. He only cares about what's best for himself.
(3) Congressional Republicans have sold out their ethical values in exchange for Trump not tweeting bad stuff about them.
(4) Anyone who still supports Trump is guilty of aiding and abetting his unethical behavior.
To me, that fourth point is the most disturbing.
I expect Trump and his Washington D.C. cronies to act like the self-serving jerks that they are. What surprises me is how relatively steady his support has been, even as Trump's personal and policy failings have become more apparent.
A Washington Post story this month contained charts of Trump's approval rating over time among all adults, Democrats, independents, and Republicans.
The story says:
Overall, Trump’s approval hasn’t changed all that much on our polling since he’s been president. He has never been above 42 percent approval and never under 36 percent. Right now, he’s at 38 percent approval, on the lower side of things.
Well, Trump's approval should be on the lower side of things.
Extremely solid evidence shows that our country's Liar-in-Chief used his position to bolster his re-election chances by seeking the involvement of a foreign power in a made-up investigation of a chief opponent, Joe Biden, holding vital military assistance to Ukraine hostage for 55 days until a whistle-blower revealed Trump's sordid scheme.
Here's Trump's approval rating among Republicans.
Yes, it's good to see that now only about 75% of Republicans approve of Trump, down from almost 90% at previous points in his presidency. It's just hard to understand how three out of four Republicans can approve of someone who puts his own personal interest above the national interest.
And equally bad is Trump's incessant and willful lying. We've never had a president with such a disregard for the truth. When Trump is caught in a lie, he feels no shame. Instead, he doubles down, repeating the lie.
Today Trump spouted at least 18 false claims in a 53 minute Fox & Friends interview. Probably more, since CNN says they are still fact-checking what he said. Here's a few examples.
Thus it is impossible to believe anything that comes out of Trump's mouth, unless it is backed up by solid facts, which usually it isn't. This puts the United States in a horrible position, both domestically and in our foreign affairs. When the President can't be trusted, negotiations and agreements become very difficult.
Yet three out of four Republicans aren't bothered enough by Trump's failure to abide by minimal standards of ethical behavior to say they disapprove of him.
Locally, this needs to be kept in mind when voting in city and state elections next year. Salem will be electing a mayor and four city councilors. Candidates for those offices should be asked, "Do you approve of Donald Trump?" In my opinion, any candidate who says "Yes" or refuses to answer the question doesn't deserve your vote.
Today Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent wrote a piece called, "Trump's GOP defenders cannot be shamed. It's time to try this instead." This is his instead.
Sargent appeared to be speaking mainly about Trump's defenders in Congress, but his point also applies to every person in the country who continues to support the unethical swamp of the Trump presidency.
Here's how Democrats and independents view Trump. Most disapprove of him, which is some good news that hopefully will translate into Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election.