A Shopping List for Mr. Trump

Buoyed by what appears like an inevitable road to the presidential nomination for the Republican Party, Mr. Trump has indicated his desire to fix not only the country but the world’s problems. Such a lofty objective deserves no less than a consideration of some problem areas where Mr. Trump could make a significant contribution.

Mr. Trump could start by giving women the respect they deserve and to whom he has not, so far, shown. He should clear up the serious accusations for rape against him, in what seems to me so far like an insurmountable task, given the existing videos that show him talking about grabbing women by the…and bragging that women cannot resist an important and famous person like him. Add to that the decision against him in the E. Jean Carroll trial in which he was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation, not the kind of credit anybody would like to have in their resumé.

He could also help diminish the enormous chasm that he has created between those who support an authoritarian and ruthless government, and those who believe that democratic rules should guide government’s policies. This seems like a hopeless task, given that he has already indicated that after he is elected president he would become a dictator for one day, enough to enact policies convenient for him and his family and punish those that dare to confront him, as he has shown when he was president.

Mr. Trump has consistently denied the danger of climate change and, by avoiding to enact policies that would protect people from its harmful effects, is responsible for millions of people been affected by them. For a long time, he called climate change a “hoax” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Making use of his fertile imagination, Mr. Trump asserted that the ocean will rise in the next 300 years by 1/8 of an inch. However, according to estimates from the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sea level is currently rising at 1/8 of an inch per year. What Trump asserted would happen in 300 years is actually happening, annually. This is what one can call a slight miscalculation…Always a joker, during a speech to a conservative group in 2022 he said that “the oceans may rise, over the next 300 years, 1/100 of an inch, giving you slightly more seafront property.”

Mr. Trump has presided over what was the biggest threat to government and democracy in the history of the country. To assure the American people that he wouldn’t be behind a similar action, Mr. Trump should clearly commit himself to accept the rule of law, and dispel any evidence that he would pardon several of the protesters in the January 6 insurrection, despite indications to the contrary.

Trump’s legal team has filed dozens of meritless lawsuits alleging election fraud which were rejected by federal and state judges. When these actions were unsuccessful, Trump equally unsuccessfully tried to coerce then-Vice President Mike Pence to unlawfully override the Electoral College process and block Biden’s victory in Congress. As if these unlawful actions were not enough, Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to disrupt proceedings while the electoral votes were being counted.

In addition, throughout the 2020 campaign, Trump spread disinformation about the voting process, falsely claimed victory on an election that he had clearly lost, and pressured election officials in critical battleground states to fraudulently get rid of thousands of votes for President Joe Biden.

Trump’s legal team has filed dozens of meritless lawsuits alleging election fraud which were rejected by federal and state judges. When these actions were unsuccessful, Trump equally unsuccessfully tried to coerce then-Vice President Mike Pence to unlawfully override the Electoral College process and block Biden’s victory in Congress. As if these unlawful actions were not enough, Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to disrupt proceedings while the electoral votes were being counted.

This is the only time that a president of the U.S., after having sworn to respect the Constitution, actively worked to subvert it and incite a revolt that left at least 150 law enforcement officers hurt, including five who died from injuries as a result of the attack. Hundreds of civilians were also attacked by the mob and in the days and weeks after the riot. It is difficult to conceive of a more brazen way to abuse the principles of the Constitution.

In addition to these incitements against the constitutional order, Donald Trump has used divisive, offensive and inflammatory rhetoric to spread lies, misinformation, attack opponents, be derogatory to minorities, immigrants, and the disabled as no president has done in the history of the country. Nobody has abused the power of the office as Donald Trump has done. To address all these facts would go a long way to project a better image than the one he has done so far. The future of the country as a nation of laws is at stake.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”