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Democracy on fire with President Trump striking the match

Roger Caldwell | 5/25/2017, 11:42 a.m.
Democracy is being challenged in America, and it appears the rule of law does not apply to President Trump and ...
Donald Trump Twitter/@realDonaldTrump

Democracy is being challenged in America, and it appears the rule of law does not apply to President Trump and his administration.

Every day brings a new attack on American democracy and its institutions, and it centers around the president’s policies, his tweets and his cronies. The Republican leadership refuses to admit there is smoke swirling around Trump’s latest revelations. According to the media, the president obstructed justice by asking James Comey, former head of the FBI, to end an ongoing investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia.

Everyone in the media or in politics has an opinion, but there are leaks that Comey wrote memos after every encounter or meeting with Trump, and different members within the FBI have a record of these memos. This information is not just smoke, but the beginning of a real fire.

Trump was under the impression that both Republicans and Democrats would applaud his decision to fire Comey, but his assessment was wrong. Instead of approving his decision, the president’s deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, appointed a special counsel to determine if there was collusion between the president, his associates and Russians.

As the fire heats up, former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been given the authority to continue the investigation started by Comey, which Trump is calling a “witch hunt.” Rosenstein gave the president and his staff and hours’ notice before he gave an official press release to the media and legislators concerning his appointment of a special counsel.

Under current law, the special counsel has the authority to hire an independent staff, which is not supervised by the Justice Department. It has subpoena powers, investigates criminal matters and anyone can be called to testify. It is time for Trump and his top level staff members to hire outside legal counsel.

Senator John McCain said, “The only thing I can say is I think we’ve seen this movie before. I think it’s reaching the point where it’s of Watergate-size and scale.”

Many Democrats at this point in Trump’s early administration are calling for impeachment, but I think it is far too early. Obstruction and collusion has not been proved in any investigation, and Mueller’s investigation is just getting started.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a psychological condition in which “the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetences.” Trump’s inability to focus makes it hard for him to learn and master facts. It is very hard for him to control what comes out of his mouth, because he forgets his own talking points.

Anyone working for Trump in a high-level position must stay ready to be thrown under the bus. He is perpetually confused because he cannot remember lies he’s told just two hours earlier.

Many times when he gives an interview, there is no fire, but when he finishes, he has started a small brush fire. At this point, more than 80 percent of Republicans still support Trump, but this number is only 30 percent of the country. And many are finding it hard to support him because they have no idea what new drama will be initiated by his early morning tweets.

American Democracy is on fire, and the damage Trump, the Republicans and his administration has caused will take years to correct. This administration is in desperate need for government positions to be filled. Instead of hiring a strong team, Trump and his administration is dismantling key federal agencies such as the EPA and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

More than 60 percent of Americans are angry with the way Trump is running the country, and it is time to turn up the heat. This summer, join a progressive political organization, register new voters and mobilize your community to become engaged. Democrats must take back the Senate in 2018 and get more Democrats in Congress.