In his “I Have A Dream” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King looked forward to the day when his children would be judged “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Let’s apply that same standard, his character, to President Trump this election season.
His character is deeply flawed. He has a problem telling the truth. Three years prior to the 2016 election, he repeatedly lied about President Obama’s birth certificate. During his first campaign, his most repeated provocative line was “Mexico will pay for the wall,” which he knew was not true. The first official act of his administration on inauguration day was to lie about the crowd size as if it was important. That led to a pattern of lies unprecedented in modern presidential history. In checking four search engines, my inquiry resulted in 18,000 to 20,000 untruths since he’s been in office. Check for yourself.
During his 2015 primary, we heard his name-calling of Republican opponents. After the election, the name-calling only intensified. We suspend children in school who engage in name-calling and identify it as “bullying.” We won’t allow our children to act this way.
Another display of character deficit occurred in July 2016 when he publicly ridiculed a disabled reporter who had criticized him. That was personal to me. I have a sister-in-law who has cerebral palsy, is wheelchair bound, and has a speech impediment. As a certified disability advocate, she was devastated by Trump’s insensitivity and disrespect. She was so incensed that she insisted I take her to the election office to change her political affiliation after being a lifelong Republican. What kind of person makes fun of a person with a disability?
The president has also shown profound public disrespect to military heroes like Sen. John McCain and Gold Star families. Mr. Trump is on record calling the late Senator “a loser.” During the 2016 campaign he said he “didn’t like soldiers who were captured” and recently was embroiled in yet another controversy, this time about disparaging remarks about Vietnam veterans and WWI soldiers buried in France in private remarks he made to aides.
As a proud U.S. Navy veteran, I don’t feel like a “sucker”.
What kind of person separates children from their families and locks them in cages? Separation anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder. It is a “developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, academic, or other important areas of functioning.” The onset is before age 18 years and early onset occurs before age 6 years. Children as young as 2 were locked up. More than 2,300 children, including 400 under the age of 4, have been separated from their families. Former First Lady Laura Bush called the practices “cruel” and “immoral.” This is the most revealing example of flawed character and lasting damaging public policy in our current president.
Space limitations prevent me from writing about where he thinks he can “grab” women, reportedly paying off prostitutes a few weeks before the election, being the most divisive president in the country’s history, trying to ban Muslims, a $25 million fraud settlement for Trump University, and a $2 million charity fraud!
In more than 50 years of living and working in the area, this is my first time to publicly address the fitness of any candidate. For me to remain silent would be complicit. As a Christian minister, my conscience compels me to publicly oppose Mr. Trump and support Mr. Biden for many more reasons than space will permit. Vote for Mr. Trump for president? I can’t even recommend him as a role model to the children and families I have served as a Christian minister and mental health therapist, much less to Republican and Democrat friends.
John Reid is former pastor, former denominational leader, and retired Mental Health Clinician. He lives in Ochre Hill.