Where is the Press?

Let’s recap, shall we?

In the course of less than a week, the “president” has insulted allies like Canada and France, he has demanded that Russia be re-admitted to the G-7 with no conditions whatsoever because he thought his buddy Vladimir Putin would like that. He then proceeded to place the most brutal and murderous dictator on the planet on equal footing with what was once the beacon of freedom and justice around the world. He then told said dictator he was “honored” to meet with him and he signed an agreement that most likely contained no more than a “promise” on the part of said murderous dictator that he would “someday” get rid of his nuclear program; something he, his father and his grandfather all promised at various points and obviously reneged, or we wouldn’t be here now.

There is something else about Trump that should bother everyone, and that is the Orange Toddler’s propensity for blaming others for everything. When he advocated for Russia to be readmitted into the G-8, he actually seemed to blame President Obama for their expulsion. Since Russia was expelled for illegally annexing Crimea and committing acts of war against Ukraine, it sounded very much like he thought Obama had goaded Putin into attacking Ukraine and taking Crimea by force.

He does that a lot. When he was confronted over the current practice of separating children from their families when they arrive at the border “illegally,” Donny actually blamed “a Democratic Law” for the practice. Except that there is no such law; it is a policy instituted by Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, who has always seemed to think all brown people are here illegally. He certainly hasn’t been shy about accepting references to the United States as a “white country,” even if he hasn’t always had the intestinal fortitude to say it outright himself.

All of this is true. Trump excoriated President Obama for his “incessant vacations and golf trips, while Donny himself plays golf nearly every weekend. Worse, he always plays golf at one of the golf properties that he still owns because he put nothing in blind trust. In other words, every time he plays golf, he and his entourage, including foreign leaders, staff and Secret Service, all pay for the rooms, meals and travel necessary to get there and back, and it all goes into the coffers of the Trump Organization.

In addition, his children all have jobs in the White House for which they are not qualified. While they may not take a salary, they do seem to profit from their association with the presidency. They have made deals in a number of countries in which the United States does official business. Are these deals on the level? They might be, but no one is actually looking into them, as far as we can tell, so we may never know. Just a few weeks ago, the Trump Organization received a $500 million loan so they could build a resort in Indonesia. At roughly the same time, Trump promised to help create jobs in China and lamented the loss of jobs at ZTE, a Chinese phone manufacturer that has been sanctioned for building and selling phones that spy on Americans.

is all of this innocent? It may be. However, the law and the Constitution are very clear when it comes to even the appearance of favoring a foreign country’s interests over that of American interests. Trump’s violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution are becoming the stuff of legend, as is his propensity for favoring dictators over the leaders of democratic, freedom-loving nations. I mean, since when does an American president embrace a dictator responsible for thousands of murders, while flipping off the leaders of France and Canada?

And why is the press treating any of this as if it’s normal? Journalists seem to be falling all over themselves to treat Trump and Kim as if something historic is happening, without actually including the context. Should a president embrace dictators? I wouldn’t say no, but we sure as hell shouldn’t be giving them the dignity and respect given to Kim by Donald Trump. And we should NEVER talk to them without addressing their record on human rights.

It’s funny; back when President Obama even mentioned that he might meet with a dictator, it was as if the GOP was prepared to impeach him right then and there. Remember “Obama’s Apology Tour”? And Obama never met with a dictator and gave him a huge propaganda win in their own country.

Through most of his actions on “foreign policy,” Donny has shown himself to be irretrievably stupid and naive. That’s not bad enough, though; he has also essentially reshaped the world order to place Russia and China (two countries who have lent him tons of money and have perhaps laundered money for him, as an aside) at the center, instead of the United States and Europe.

Yet, we hear about very little of this in context. Oh, sure, the stories are out there, but you have to dig, and we shouldn’t have to dig. In any other administration, there would be widespread talk of impeachment or worse, and there would be tons of investigative reports to chew on. The Russia-Trump Collusion Story alone should have triggered thousands of independent journalistic investigations by now. I mean, a major party candidate’s campaign and that major party all worked with Russia to fix the last election, and everyone in the press is essentially waiting for Robert Mueller to do his work first. All of the above are stories that are just sitting out there, waiting for a good journalist or a great journalistic team to get to the bottom of them, yet, no one touches them. A Pulitzer is sitting there waiting for someone to get to the bottom of this stuff, yet no one does it. The money trail from the US Treasury into the Trump Organization alone should make for a hell of an investigative piece, and who knows where that could lead? At the very least, stories like these would shine a light on just how crooked the Trump regime is, but it could make impeachment such an obvious choice that even the Republicans in Congress would start the process.

In any case, the greatest protection the citizens have comes from our press. When they don’t do their job, the country panics. And the populace worries unnecessarily. It’s time for journalists to do their jobs.

Also published on Medium.

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