Pride Goeth Before the Fall

Photograph Source: Simon Bowie – CC BY 2.0

The hammer of impeachment is finally falling on Donald Trump’s occupancy of the White House. For many, it’s taken far too long to get to the point where an obviously corrupt individual with a very long record of shady dealings, illicit financial transactions and bankruptcies now faces a process in which he has no control.

The House of Representatives and its speaker, Nancy Pelosi, have absolute constitutional authority to investigate and, when necessary, prosecute and seek to remove a corrupt president. And no amount of lies, insults or blathering from Trump about being above the law is likely to keep him from the ultimate fall brought on by his own actions.

It’s not hard to understand why those who voted for Trump did so, despite the majority of Americans voting against him. On the campaign trail he promised to make America great again — and who could be against that? He also promised to pull us out of our maze of foreign military engagements, protect Social Security and restore the nation’s manufacturing base that has largely been off-shored by corporations seeking cheaper labor, minimal or no environmental regulation, and lower taxes.

Unfortunately, those were all lies from a man who has denigrated the presidency with more than 13,000 documented lies already — and putting children in cages is certainly not making America great again. Despite the prideful chest pounding, the truth is too evident to be denied that not only do his promises remain unfulfilled, he’s doing the exact opposite of what he promised.

In his latest move, he’s willing to send 14,000 more soldiers to the morass of the Middle East as he pounds the drums of war against Iran. The return of manufacturing has turned out to be a hollow promise, too. Instead, what we have is a crippling trade war not only with economic competitors like China, but with many of our long-time allies such as Canada and France.

While denouncing his campaign opponent as “Crooked Hillary,” Trump has shown the nation what crooked really means. He’s the first president in modern times to not release his tax returns or divest himself of his business interests when he took office. Instead, he is funneling taxpayer dollars directly to those interests.

As for fiscal conservatism, once a trait to which Republicans were proud to lay claim, we now have the largest deficits in history as Trump literally spends the future into bankruptcy. Yet, when confronted on what will happen when generations yet come have to pick up the tab, he blithely responded that he “won’t be here.” And so it’s with prideful disdain that he has so far squandered more than $115 million taxpayer dollars on golf outings to his own resorts — putting public dollars directly into his own purse. It would take 270 years’ worth of presidential salaries to equal Trump’s current, but not final, golfing splurges.

And now, the guy who claimed the “world was laughing at us” during Obama’s presidency faces the reality — caught on tape — that Europe’s leaders actually are laughing at him. Despite Trump’s prideful claim to the opposite, he is not “us,” he’s the same spoiled child he’s always been; only now he’s stomping about on the world stage.

Trump’s day of reckoning, however, is nigh, beginning with 300 pages of damning evidence compiled by the House Intelligence Committee to support impeachment — and more to come from the Judiciary Committee. This is not Trump’s phony reality TV show, this is reality. And while he cannot tell Congress “you’re fired” — they can and should fire this loser.

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Daily Montanan, where this essay originally appeared.