By Ruth Gadebusch
After days, months waiting, a Republican has finally criticized our president! As I have observed the actions of this man I have long questioned where the responsible adults in the party were. No one in the majority party had spoken out until this latest tête-à-tête with Vladimir Putin occurred. Such is long overdue. It is high time to put nation before party. Better yet will be if action follows.
As outrageous behavior and irresponsible comments have followed one after another, many have wondered just what it would take for any within the power structure to rein in this man of questionable moral character and an unrestrained voice. The Democrats have tried desperately but without the power while the other party leadership actually applauded him no matter how off the wall, how offensive, his pronouncements became.
His misbehavior has finally caught up with him. He really outdid himself this time with his assault on the British prime minister followed by his capitulation to the Russian president. Still, much of his base supported him.
Perhaps much of it does belong in Hillary Clinton’s designation as “deplorables” in not being worldly wise. But what about the well-educated people cheering him on despite some rather peculiar edicts. People who should know better.
Most especially my concern lies with the Congress, which seemingly abandoned its role of balance in our tripartite government. After all, the nation was established to escape dictatorial leaders. Yet this one man has acted largely as the one and only all too often. Alas, his cozying up to Russia and Mr. Putin has finally reached some of the responsible party leadership.
Despite overwhelming evidence, this man has denied all manner of interference from adversaries while chastising our longstanding allies. He has ignored most standards expected between cooperating nations to the point that we now live in a topsy-turvy world.
Instead of the nation considered the light of the planet, we have been rapidly descending into darkness, the nation that no one dared count on for doing the right thing. I do not refer to normal differences of opinion but matters of grave concern necessary for sharing a peaceful world.
This president is not known for deep thinking, the truth or respect for established principles, yet he was meeting in Helsinki alone with another known for brutality, ambition and disregard of principles. Just the thought was worrisome, and he did not raise the level.
His actions hit the mark on almost every concern as he denigrated our own loyal government workers and praised the man as little acquainted with truth as he. What a situation! He listened to no one, accepted advice from none of the wiser heads and fulfilled Mr. Putin’s every desire. The good news is that he was so out of line that even a number of the Republican leadership at long last could take it no more; so blatant that even they had to take issue.
It would be difficult enough if his antics were embarrassing only for the nation, but it is much worse. Our friends are insulted and frightened while our enemies are overjoyed at this step too far. I am a believer that every cloud has its silver lining, but we certainly had to go through a lot before we got to the silver lining of forcing those who should have been acting months ago to bestir themselves.
Perhaps we should send him to Russia where his buddy could welcome him with a gift of citizenship. Oops! Before we rejoice, we had best note that the sycophant of a vice president is still excusing all the obnoxious, disgusting behavior.
It has also become increasingly difficult for me to remember that we salute the office, not the officer. This man’s demeanor is such that even any rare good idea is presented in such a manner as to be lost in the swamp.
Often, those seemingly inadequate for a job grow with the experience but not so this man. It has been downhill all the way. Just when we think it can get no worse he tops himself, achieving the distinction of spurring his heretofore supporters in Congress and elsewhere to speak out.
Anyone with a smidgen of respect and love for the country recognizes he is not worthy of the job. We need leadership¾sooner, not later. It will not come from this person. It is up to our elected Congress. The time is now. We must keep their feet to the fire. It is beyond the fate of the nation. It is the fate of the world.
Ruth Gadebusch has served as a Naval officer, a trustee of the Fresno Unified School District and the vice-chairperson of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and is an emeritus member of the Center for Civic Education.