Donald Trump, The President America Needed

by Thea Halo

Donald Trump has performed, and is continuing to perform, an important service for the American people. In the past, some might have complained that government wasn’t working as fast, or as efficiently as we’d like. Perhaps there was government partisanship on certain issues. But the Donald has shown us in no uncertain terms that our government is broken, and it has been broken for a very long time. It is so dysfunctional that Congress couldn’t even subpoena someone and compel that person to testify. He/she could simply blow Congress off as if it’s someone’s drunken uncle begging for money for his fifth pint of the day. Giving someone the finger has never been quite so dramatic… or revealing. Giving 435 members of Congress the finger is impressive. On the issue of Trump’s High Crimes and Misdemeanors, Congress seemed as useful as a toothache on a first date, especially when we have a majority Republican Senate (or should we call them Repugnican Senators) that didn’t even allow witnesses during the trial phase. In fact, we had the leader of the pack, Mitch McConnell, stating in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity:

“Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House counsel. There’ll be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”1

So how can we view the swearing in of the Senate for the Impeachment trial as anything but a joke? As both jurors and as legislators they take the following oath:

”I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of __, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.” 

Before Donald Trump was elected, he publicly claimed “I Could Stand In the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” He was elected anyway, and, over the last four years in office, he has proven that he’s probably right. More recently, his lawyers, who argued against releasing his tax returns, claimed that Trump “could not be criminally investigated while in office.”2 In fact, they argued: “The President could ‘shoot someone on Fifth Avenue’ and not be charged in office.”3 And through it all, almost all of his Repugnican lapdogs stuck by their kingpin. Fortunately, the Supreme Court ruled otherwise. In fact, the president is not above the law. The Supreme Court’s Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. affirmed: “In our judicial system, ‘the public has a right to every man’s evidence. Since the earliest days of the Republic, ‘every man’ has included the President of the United States.”4

During the question and answer phase of the Impeachment trial, Alan Dershowitz made the ‘inane’ argument: ‘If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected [is] in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.’5 Really? Where have these people shoved their brains? He didn’t even seem embarrassed to allow that drivel to fall from his mouth. And he didn’t seem to care that his reputation, already badly tarnished with allegations of involvement with Epstein’s under aged victims among other allegations, would be irretrievably ruined by that idiocy. Dershowitz even had the audacity to claim that his job is to defend the Constitution. Nancy Pelosi suggested that Dershowitz and the rest of Trump’s legal team should be disbarred.6 Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump does not have complete immunity. Did we really have to go to the Supreme Court to find that out? We were supposed to do away with kings in this country. How did the argument of complete immunity even come up?

Even more troubling, Trump’s behavior, and that of his lackeys, simply adds to Trump’s power and popularity with many in his base. Does his base see any of his alleged improprieties of asking foreign leaders for quid pro quo favors to defeat his potential political rival, or paying off prostitutes and grabbing women by their P…y, as aberrant behavior for a president? Apparently not. I’d venture to guess that they still see Trump as ‘draining the swamp’ while standing nose high in green, murky, swamp slime. “Everyone makes mistakes” is one excuse from the Trumpies. One supporter claimed he likes Trump because he speaks in plain language that he could understand. Apparently, for many, that’s the true measure of a great president. Do they care about the content of the language, or the integrity of their government officials? Apparently not. Inasmuch, Trump again does us a great service in helping us understand what many citizens hold most dear in their leaders. I vaguely remember that George W. Bush’s popularity among some of his supporters was due to a notion that one could comfortably have a beer with him. Joking about not finding Iraq’s nuclear weapons under the table even seemed to make the death and destruction Bush rained down on Iraq and her people palatable… even amusing. Why didn’t someone shout to his supporters: Then by all means, go and have a beer with him. But please, please, please don’t vote for him as our president!!!

Then there are the Evangelicals and their defenders. Dennis Prager, a non-Evangelical conservative radio talk show host writes in both the National Review and Town Hall, “this Jew would like to defend Evangelicals and other Christians who support President Donald Trump.”7 Apparently, although Prager sites four questions to be answered, his defense can be boiled down to two issues, anti-abortion and Israel. He asks:

“Who should pro-choice voters support: a pro-life activist of fine character or a pro-choice activist of dubious character?”

“Whom should pro-Israel voters support: an anti-Israel activist of fine character or a pro-Israel activist of dubious character?”

On point number one, Prager apparently got a little confused. I assume he meant just the opposite of what that quote implies. However, here again, Trump has done us a great service, by demonstrating how little a huge segment of our society gives a flying you know what about integrity, honesty, morality, the Constitution, and the rule of law when it comes to their celebrity king, and their own issues. Apparently, according to Prager, anti-abortion legislation and Israel, not the US Constitution or US interests, are worth anything else Trump throws at us.

We are the media generation. We’ve grown up admiring celebrities. Ronald Reagan was president for crying out loud. But at least Reagan helped bring down the Berlin wall, and made detente with a Russian leader to shut down the cold war.

What has Trump done other than renege on treaties; praise dictators and murderous strong men, openly ask foreign governments to interfere in our elections; allegedly try to bribe an ally to get dirt on his political opponent, using US allocated funds as the bribe; betray our Kurdish allies* by withdrawing US troops from Syria, while knowing Turkey would try to annihilate them; insult our allies; use the most vile policies against migrants and even their youngest children at our borders, and leaving around 500 children with no means of being reunited with parents. Some might consider this torture. Trump has also created drama with foreign leaders to make himself look tough with policies that sometimes hurt US interests; assassinate an Iranian official without congressional oversight, which risked the lives of our troops and might have gotten us closer to war with Iran—which some believe might have been his purpose—and, in general, use the office of the presidency to further his financial gains? The betrayal of the Kurds,* the treatment of immigrant children, and his handling of the Corona virus pandemic will especially resonate through history.

Trump’s response to the Corona virus is akin to the following scenario:

Suppose Trump drove his pick-up truck …(just kidding). Suppose Trump had his security guards drive him into the wilderness for an outing. While there, still sitting safely in the car, he spots a pack of wolves chasing down and devouring a man and woman on the trail in front of him. Soon a group of hikers come along. Trump waves at them and wishes them a good day. The hikers return the greeting and keep walking. After a short time, some of the hikers come running out of the forest screaming for help. Trump rolls down his window and asks if they met up with the pack of wolves eating the unfortunate couple? They shout “why didn’t you warn us if you knew there was a pack of dangerous wolves in front of us?” Trump tells them, “it’s such a lovely day. You seemed happy to enjoy it, and I didn’t want to spoil it for you. You might have panicked. Anyway, I see some of you made it back alive. You should thank me.”

Would Trump’s supporters be as sanguine about that scenario? Because that’s exactly what Trump did, except we should replace ‘lovely day’ with “good economy/stock market”.

Trump now even warns supporters that if Biden wins, he’ll listen to scientists. Good lord almighty!! Not that!!! Don’t listen to scientist just because the world’s Corona virus cases have now surpassed 42 Million, and the US death toll is 227,399 and climbing during this second wave. Over 8 million Americans have been infected after listening to Donald Trump’s “not to worry” idiocy. Right on cue, Trump trashed Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, calling him and other experts ‘idiots’. Trump recently told his crowd at a campaign rally in Nevada. “If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression, instead of, we’re like a rocket ship. Take a look at the numbers.”8

So let’s take a look at the numbers of a nation that did listen to the scientists. In contrast to Trump’s approach to the Coronavirus, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has successfully stamped out the virus in her country and brought the economy back to life in record time. New Zealand had only 1,934 cases with 25 deaths.

“New Zealand’s finance minister, Grant Robertson, said the government’s plan to go “hard and early” against the virus had been a success. “We have one of the most open economies in the world because we set out a plan and stuck to it. We have eliminated our second wave, as others are still grappling to get this virus under control.”9

That’s in sharp contrast to Trump’s response to the Corona virus, which his supporters seemed to accept without much ado, even with the extraordinary number of deaths and infections. In fact, “the U.S. has the highest COVID-19 case count and death toll of any country in the world.”10 

What a legacy!!! And still much of his base stands firm, with only a few hushed squeaks from a few GOP Senators.

Now we have a new problem, i.e. Trump’s selection of a very young lifetime appointee to the highest court in the land… an appointee who got soft ball questions and praise from the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and who refused to give straightforward answers to relevant questions put to her by Democrats that would allow us to know for sure what we all already suspect… that she is far right in her thinking and appears to be an ideologue with an agenda, rather than an impartial arbiter of the law.

As to Trump’s denial of climate change? Why would anyone believe that such an egocentric, maniacal blowhard such as Donald Trump would want the world to exist after he’s gone? Yet, apparently, here again our Congress seems to have no say in deciding whether the US withdraws from the Paris Climate Accord. This one man was allowed to decide the fate of one of the most important issues that is affecting the entire world. During the wildfires in California in mid-September, when Trump was reminded about the effects of climate change, Trump retorted: “It will start getting cooler. Just you watch.”11 Apparently Trump thinks the warming climate means its summer, and as soon as winter comes we’ll be fine.

I don’t suggest that all of Trump’s supporters are ‘deplorables,’ as the deplorable Hillary Clinton seemed to suggest. If, indeed, she was suggesting that they are all poor, under educated racists, she is wrong. I know some who voted for Trump who are well educated, well-off individuals. However, with these, the well-off aspect of the support may play a major role. The stock market was souring, and tax breaks for the rich are nothing to sneeze at. So what’s not to like?

And perhaps some of the other less fortunate admirers are hoping some of that elusive wealth will rub off on them through osmosis. Good luck with that! All they’re good for is paying higher taxes than Trump, who paid nothing for years and only $750 for 2016 and 2017.12 And evidence shows that Trump paid more to China in taxes than in the US13 and claimed millions in losses. Consequently, “the [US] government … gave back all of the federal income tax he’d paid from 2005 to 2008, along with interest,” amounting to $72.9 million.14 And yet many parrot Trump’s talking points as if they were gospel, instead of the rantings of an Islamophobic, racist, mean spirited, conman who simply uses language and sound bites he knows some of those powerless supporters understand and embrace.

What a relief it must be to have someone so powerful not only allowing one’s prejudices, but encouraging them with dog whistles of his own. Shouting “lock her up!” directed at a governor who had just narrowly escaped an attempt to kidnap her and do her harm by Trump’s supporters, should be the last straw for our congress. Yet all we hear is the deafening sound of silence. Where are the National Guard to haul his ass away and throw him in jail for inciting violence against a government official? Trump’s behavior is certainly a violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2385. Advocating the overthrow of Government, which includes the government of any state is a violation of that law. A partial reading of the law is as follows:

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

So where is our Congress with the handcuffs? What is Congress good for? And why is it possible without congressional oversight for one or two people in office to start wars, assassinate foreign officials, and grant foreign territorial transfers in countries that don’t belong to the US government? It’s as if the US President is some sort of ancient monarch, or a Mafia boss divvying up territories for future or past payment for his personal account? Even the ancient Romans demanded the Emperor get consent from the Senate when starting wars. So how can one man start wars and decide the fate of tens of thousands of former allies, by leaving them to Turkey, a country with the world’s 9th largest army, and one that still won’t admit to the Genocide of more than three million Christians: Greek, Assyrians, and Armenians during and after WWI? And how is he allowed to break treaties and reverse every initiative of the last president, because of what appears to be personal insecurity and spite? Where is congress? And where is their allegiance to the American people?

Trump’s blind supporters also include Republican Senators. Shouldn’t we assume they are also well-off and well educated, even if their choices at times are homophobic and racist and, in many cases, deplorable?

For the rest of society who struggle to put food on the table and who don’t have sufficient, or any healthcare coverage to allow them to concentrate on anything other than mere survival, the message is clear. Stop ruining the prestige of our major cities by being poor and sleeping on the street! Yes. Our Ill-lustrous president said the homeless were ruining the prestige of our major cities by being homeless. Trump even attempted to slash food stamps during the pandemic for 700,000 Americans, but was thankfully smacked down by a federal judge.15 Perhaps it was one of the judges Trump failed to place on the bench. So let’s hope Trump’s $4 million personal debt reported by the NY Times, isn’t what rubs off on his supporters in higher taxes for the already overly taxed, and his destruction of the Affordable Care Act doesn’t add them to Trump’s deplorable homeless lying in the street when their homes are taken away for failing to pay their medical expenses. There are clips as early as January 2017 of Trump claiming he has a better health care plan, and he has repeated his claim every year since. Apparently Trump’s plan will usually be ready in two weeks.16 Where is it? And why destroy one plan before his ‘superior’ plan is ready to be put in place? And let’s not forget Trump’s threat to Social Security and Medicare. Is it that Trump only loves dictators and despots? Does Trump simply despise the poor and struggling middle classes? Will his supporters ever wake up before they realize their lives are going down the drain?

It’s no surprise that Rudy Giuliani is Trump’s personal lawyer. When Rudy was mayor of NY, perhaps those who didn’t know him called him America’s Mayor, but some who did know him as Mayor of New York, called him ‘Mayor Mussolini’. The Rudy had a propensity for threatening the homeless with jail if they didn’t move out of downtown Manhattan to the Bronx or some other out of sight, out of mind location. No wonder Trump seems to have an affinity for ‘Mayor Mussolini’. I’m rather surprised that some of these Repugnicans, especially Trump, didn’t run on a platform of “Let them eat cake!” Perhaps that will be Trump’s last minute 2020 campaign slogan if he doesn’t get put in jail before then.

On second thought, that wouldn’t stop him. In fact, it didn’t stop a convicted murderer, who was serving a life sentence for two murders, from running for a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota.17 And, of course, let’s not forget that Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted on seven felony counts of corruption, yet Stevens also ran for reelection.18 The only drawback for Trump would be his inability to vote for himself once convicted. But even that restriction has changed in some states. Perhaps he should make an executive order pronto to remedy that restriction, just in case.

Even when Trump designated his own resort in Florida as the next location for the G7, a clear violation of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution, Republicans hesitated to act. As Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) put it, the decision was “another outrageous example of the President using his office to funnel money from American taxpayers and foreign sources into his own pockets.”19 Walter Shaub, the former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, put it succinctly: “There is no definition of corruption that would not cover the president participating in a contract awarded to himself. So, if this is not corrupt, nothing is corrupt.” Shaub claimed that the decision was “so overtly corrupt that it can’t be viewed as anything but a loyalty test for Senators….If they are corrupt enough to look the other way, Trump will know he can do anything. In that case, he will do everything.”20 Yet, before Trump wisely scraped his intentions, Republicans announced they were ready to use Trump’s resort for their campaign event.

So where in the constitution does it say that members of Congress swear they will do all in their power to protect their own jobs, in this case by protecting what many believe is a popular ‘corrupt’ president, even if it means violating their oaths of office? Where in the constitution is it written that government was to be ruled by the highest bidder? Where in the constitution is it written that the president can rule the armed services without oversight; can break treaties; can enrich himself with his outside interests while in office; can forbid those in his administration to testify before congress; can incite violence against the press and anyone else he deems an enemy; can dismiss and smear loyal government diplomats who might not acquiesce to his plan of alleged corruption; to lock up babies and small children taken from their desperate parents at the border, and force them to live in filth; and to bomb sovereign nations, assassinate foreign officials and arm foreign militants without Congressional oversight?

I’ll say one thing in favor of Trump. He hasn’t started any new wars… although he’s not done yet. Let’s just hope he means what he says for once when he rightly claims that it shows more strength to not resort to war against Iran. That does not mean he’s a peacenik. Trump has accelerated Obama’s legacy of the long distance killing of thousands of people in multiple countries by drone strikes.21 Civilians who get caught in the fire be damned.

During the president’s NBC appearance on October 15, there was one bright spot when NBC moderator Savannah Guthrie questioned President Donald Trump about tweeting Qanon conspiracy theories. When Trump claimed he was only retweeting someone else’s tweet, Guthrie retorted: “You’re the president. You’re not just someone’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever!”22 If only Trump could remember that. But unfortunately, as his niece Mary L. Trump revealed in her book: ‘Too Much and Never Enough’, it seems Trump is also someone’s crazy uncle.

While it’s true that the American public doesn’t always get it right, our leaders are paid to get it right, but too often they too get it woefully wrong. And they get it wrong, not because they’re too stupid to know better. Trump’s presidency, perhaps more than any other, shows us in no uncertain terms, how deliberately dysfunctional, and even corrupt our government has become. When Republican Senator Lindsey Graham refuses to even read the transcript presented to Congress to see if indeed Trump is guilty as charged concerning a quid pro quo discussion with the Ukrainian president, you can be sure he doesn’t believe that his job description, and the job description of his fellow Republicans, is about truth and justice for the American people, or about the Constitution of the United States. It’s about their own hides and personal interests. reported that “Trump’s legal team gave thousands in contributions to Republican senators ahead of impeachment trial.” and that “Trump’s lawyers also gave thousands to Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and Ted Cruz before the trial began.”23 And Federal Election Commission records show that “President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign has repeatedly accepted donations from well-known white supremacists, extremists and bigots.”24

Someone once suggested that we should pay our politicians so much money they won’t be tempted to be corrupt. However, how often has anyone heard a rich man shout: “Please! Don’t give me any more money! I have more than enough already!” There are few so honorable.

No. It’s clear. That solution would not work. So here’s a novel idea. Perhaps our President and Congress should get no more than a priest might receive, plus room and board, or relative living expenses, because the job of running the country should be one that is akin to a higher calling… almost religious (no Mega Church leaders need apply). That should weed out those who are in it for the money. As it stands now, however, it’s difficult, if not impossible for most candidates to get the exposure they need without raising money for their campaigns. So perhaps legislation should be passed that allows qualifying candidates—those who have garnered enough signatures to warrant a run for office—to be sponsored by the US government, with equal funds going to each qualifying candidate regardless of political affiliation. For example, the government would pay to get each candidates to and from events held in public venues. The reasoning being, that such government expenditures would be in the public interest!

In addition—since campaigners would not be allowed to receive any funds from any entity other than the US government—in addition to the televised debates, each qualifying candidate would receive an allotted amount of time to state his or her platform on all relevant radio, TV, internet, and print news outlets if national, and in the relevant presses and stations when the election is local. This arrangement would be a mandatory public service by those outlets as a precondition for keeping their operating licenses. Candidates could also be given free air time on CSpan. In addition, anyone caught giving money or other unrelated services to a candidate for any reason should be promptly charged with, and arrested for, bribery and influence peddling. In the case of an organization or corporation, the head or CEO should be charged.

Because let’s not be afraid to say it loud and clear.


At least we should say to Trump: Thank you, Mr President, for making the dysfunction and corruption of our government crystal clear.

Here’s how the Swedes do government:

1. Mariam Khan and Libby Cathey, McConnell to work in 'total coordination' with White House on impeachment trial. ABC News, December 13, 2019.

2. Michael Gold, Trump Lawyers Argue He Cannot Be Criminally Investigated, The New York Times, Sept. 23, 2019

3. Emily Saul and Lia Eustachewich Trump has blanket immunity even if he shoots someone on Fifth Avenue, his lawyer says, New York Post, October 23, 2019.

4. Paul Waldman, The Supreme Court just declared Trump isn’t above the law. But he also got a reprieve. Washington Post, July 20, 2020.

5. Allen Smith, NBC News, 1/29/20.

6. Mike Lillis , Pelosi says Trump lawyers have 'disgraced' themselves, suggests disbarment, The Hill, 01/30/20.

7. Trump shocks again by encouraging China to investigate the Bidens, PBS News Hour, Oct 3, 2019. Also see: David A. Graham, Trump Just Did It Out in the Open, The Atlantic, October 3, 2019.

8. Ryan Grenoble, Trump Blames ‘Fauci And These Idiots’ For His Own Coronavirus Ineptitude, HuffPost, October 19, 2020.

9. Martin Farrer, New Zealand's Covid-19 response the best in the world, say global business leaders, The Guardian, October 7, 2020.

10. Curtis M. Wong, Biden Has 1-Word Response To Trump’s Insult That He’ll ‘Listen To The Scientists.’ Huffpost, October 19, 2020.

11. Amy Graff, Trump on climate change: 'It will get cooler," he says without evidence during Calif. visit. SFGate, September 14, 2020.

12. Giovanni Russonello, The Trump Tax Bombshell, The New York Times, Sept. 28, 2020.

13. Lily Kuo, Donald Trump paid nearly $200,000 in taxes to China, report claims, Huffpost, October 21, 2020.

14. Nicholas Reimann, Report: Trump Only Paid $750 In Taxes For 2016 And 2017, Forbes, September 27, 2020.

15. Spencer Hsu, Federal judge strikes down Trump plan to slash food stamps for 700,000 unemployed Americans The Washington Post, October 18, 2020. 

16. Sara Boboltz, Senators Demand Answers On Decision To Hold G-7 Summit At Trump Doral, Huffpost, 10/18/2019. 

17. Associated Press, New York Post. July 13, 2018.

18. Del Quentin Wilber, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, October 28, 2008. 

19. Sara Boboltz, Senators Demand Answers On Decision To Hold G-7 Summit At Trump Doral, Huffpost, 10/18/2019.

20. Lee Moran, Ex-Ethics Chief: If Trump Resort Hosting G-7 ‘Is Not Corrupt, Nothing Is’. Huffpost, 10/19/19.

21. Daniel Larison, Trump Escalates Killer Drone War and No One Seems to Care, The American Conservative, June 26, 2020. 

22. Kathryn Watson, Savannah Guthrie calls out Trump: "You're the president — you're not like someone's crazy uncle.” CBS News,  October 16, 2020 / 12:06 PM.

23. Igor Derysh, Trump Legal Team Donated Thousands to GOP Senators Ahead of Impeachment Trial, Salon January 29, 2020. Also see: Graig Graziosi, Trump legal team made donations to impeachment jurors, The Independent, 10/29/20.

24. Christopher Mathias, The White Supremacist And Extremist Donors To Trump’s 2020 Campaign, Huffpost 10/24/20.

* Although Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds should be condemned, the Kurds have much to answer for. The Kurds have a long history of attacks against their Assyrian neighbors in Northern Iraq, the burning of churches, and the theft of Assyrian homes and land. Earlier in history, during the Ottoman period, they were used to kill Assyrians and Armenians. 

Thea Halo is the author of Not Even My Name; a former news correspondent for WBAI in NYC; and a former member of both the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INOGS). Ms Halo’s historical papers are published in a number of Academic books: Genocide in the Ottoman Empire; Sayfo 1915: An Anthology of Essays on the Genocide of Assyrians/Arameans during the first World War; and an upcoming anthology on the Genocide of the Pontic Greeks (during the first World War in Ottoman Turkey). You can view one of her presentations at the Boston State House @