The world and God watch as the United States does immoral things. What will you do to change things?
July 6, 2018
Dardinal Cupich photo

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, has joined in the outcry of separating children from parents at the border.

Depending on how you voted (or refrained from voting) on November 8, 2016, dealing with the Trump presidency is the most unnerving thing since an older generation of Americans hid under their classroom desks during the Cold War school safety drills of the 1950s and ’60s. How do you find the energy to rise from your bed each morning and digest the torrent and the torment of news that comes from the actions of this White House, a Republican gerrymandered Congress, and a Republican manipulated Supreme Court?

At Gazette Chicago, we believe there are four groups of Americans reacting to the instability and damaging effects of this Presidency. And not all are reacting in the same vein.

The loyal supporters. If you fall within the fervent 35% of Americans who steadfastly align themselves within the “Trump base,” then you blindly back this President and his actions, no matter how hurtful or hateful they may be. You are probably reveling in all that has happened over the past 17 months. Heaven forbid, but you might even be doing a “happy dance” over what has occurred in recent weeks with ICE agents ripping infants and children from their parents arms at the border; the politically-bent decisions of the Supreme Court to uphold a blatantly racist Muslim travel ban; a spineless refusal to protect the rights of women and the LGBTQ community; and a decree stemming from the Janus decision to decimate public sector unions.

Trump’s chicanery of traveling around the country like he is still on the campaign trail, throwing red meat to his base, might be something you revel in seeing. You either looked the other way, or worse yet, condoned when Trump declared that in the rise of White Supremacists and the tragedy in Charlottesville, there was “blame on both sides.” You believe that the news media is pushing out “fake news” but can’t see that you are being blinded by the agenda of Rupert Murdoch and the talking heads at FOX and One America News Network. They are shills for Trump and you are falling for his blatant and almost daily attacks on the likes of the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC.

The voting bloc with buyers’ remorse. How do you feel now after you fell hook, line, and sinker for Trump’s empty campaign promises that he was going to “drain the swamp” of Wall Street influencers, level the playing field when it comes to international trade, and kick-start the economy to new heights? This Trump cabinet is made up of the swamp monsters whom you thought “danced with the devil with the red dress on” (i.e., Hillary Clinton) and continually look for ways to starve public education, stymie the creation of fair housing, start ridiculous trade wars that are only hurting our workers, dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and eradicate just about every environmental protection law on the books.

Oh sure, everybody “got a little something” in their paychecks starting in January when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was rammed through by a desperate President and his minions, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. This unholy trio needed to show Republican supporters they could get a significant piece of legislation passed during the first year of the Trump presidency; they were having trouble doing so, even though they controlled both the Senate and the House. You buy the Trump line that the Democrats are the obstructionists when it has been the GOP doing this for years and this era of control of all the branches of government proves that they don’t know how to govern.

Sure, you received a paltry tax cut lasting the next seven years, which, in the infamous and tone deaf words of Ryan, could pay for your annual Costco card membership. Meanwhile, Apple got a whopping $18 billion tax cut. You know what those Silicon Valley executives did with that money? Oh no, sorry, they didn’t create thousands of new jobs. They stuffed the money in their pockets by buying back their shares on Wall Street so that they could sell them later and make even more profit. Think about that the next time you peer into your iPhone.

The naysayers who stayed home on Election Day or voted in protest for the Green Party or the Libertarians. This one is simple—elections have consequences. Your belief that “my vote doesn’t count” helped usher in what will go down as the worst and most damaging Presidency in the history of the United States. Or, because of your frustration of not getting Bernie Sanders nominated on the Democratic ticket you cast a protest vote for Jill Stein or wacky Gary Johnson. (By the way, Gazette Chicago endorsed Sanders in the Democratic primary, but we got over it and cast our support for Clinton in the general election). So much for your throw-away vote.

How are all of you feeling now about a President who lied, while sitting in the White House, to the survivors of the Parkland High School Valentine’s Day shooting, and the parents of the children gunned down at Sandy Hook elementary school, that he was going to do something about the gun violence haunting America? He called the people who represent the NRA “great people” whom he could work with to usher in sensible legislation to stem the blood flowing in our schools and on our city streets. Then, just weeks later, he spoke before those same NRA members at their convention in Dallas, TX, and staunchly said he was on their side and the best plan was to “harden” our schools by putting pistols on the hips of our teachers.

The plain and simple truth is that this President lied on national television that night in the White House. But then again, you knew that, didn’t you? In fact, the Washington Post’s fact checker team reported on May 31 that in his first 466 days since he took the oath of office, President Trump lied 3,001 times. To borrow one of his favorite words, this is just “sad.” He took an oath with his right hand on a Bible, and then he went out and lied to us thousands of times. By the way, that number just keeps rising. This is the President you helped to elect by staying home or voting in protest.

The Resisters. You saw this train wreck coming. You knew that former FBI Director Jim Comey’s letter about alleged Hillary Clinton emails that the FBI thought pertinent to the investigation of her private email server was a horrible decision just days before the election and violated the Hatch Act that says that government agencies shouldn’t meddle in elections. You saw the red flag when Trump wouldn’t reveal his tax returns.

You were disgusted by his comments on the infamous Access Hollywood tape when he bragged about how he could get away with sexually harassing women. You were appalled that while on the campaign trail he made fun of a reporter with special needs and tried to discredit and disgrace the Muslim parents of an American war hero hailing from the United Arab Emirates.

You were, and remain, seething that McConnell blocked Merrick Garland from Senate confirmation after President Barack Obama nominated him after the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia. You know that the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch is both tainted and stolen. And, that he solidifies the 5-4 voting bloc that caused a torrent of damaging decisions in June that will be felt for generations in this country.

Note:  For more on the history of how the Republican Party has manipulated the Supreme Court over the past 70-plus years, go to our website at www.gazettechicago.com and see the article that follows this editorial.

So where do we go from here? All of us. We don’t know what to say to the Trump base. So far, nothing has moved them to draw themselves away from a racist, misogynistic, habitually lying, egomaniac, ill-prepared, and insensitive President. We never, ever, would have thought in our 36 years of publishing, that we would use such words to describe a sitting President of the United States. But, here we are. If you Trump supporters cannot see the hatred and darkness of this presidency, then we have no more words for you.

To the folks with buyers’ remorse and those who stayed home or voted in protest, we ask you to please look at this situation carefully and do so with a reflective heart and mind. See the danger in the many ways this Trump administration is striving to dismantle our democracy. We are there folks—it is right before our eyes after 17 months of turbulence. Trump’s ill-advised and poorly planned visit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un led to nothing. He lavished praise on a leader who holds more than 100,000 of his countrymen captive and has murdered countless others. We have no guarantee that Kim Jong-un will dismantle his nuclear warheads, but rest assured, our President told us to “sleep well at night.” Sorry, we can’t do that these days.

As Gazette Chicago went to press, Trump announced plans to visit with his old pal Vladimir Putin on July 16 in Finland. Wonder what they will talk about? The Russian transgressions into the Ukraine and Crimea? How Russian trolls influenced the November 2016 election? The horrible situation in Syria and throughout the Middle East? The Robert Mueller investigation? Ugh, this is just nauseating.

Those in the Resistance, and all those who see the dangers here—keep fighting. Please read the letter below from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago. In the passionate words of the Cardinal, “there is nothing remotely Christian, American, or morally defensible about a policy that takes children away from their parents and warehouses them in cages.” It is appalling. It is inhumane. It is what some other countries might do—but not us, not the United States of America, yet, here we are. We have an Attorney General in Jeff Sessions hell-bent on separating families at the border and a President who seems to revel in this horrific and despicable act. They blame the Democrats for this tragedy, yet it was change in policy, not law, by this Administration, that created this terrible situation and at this writing, with no plan in place to reunite the more than 2,300 children taken from their parents.

Cardinal Cupich also writes, “Whatever this nation of immigrants does for the least of these brothers and sisters of ours will define us for decades to come, in the world’s eyes, and in God’s.” God is watching us and we believe that He is weeping. What are you going to do to make things better?