In an upcoming book (“Donald Trump v. The United States”), Trump’s former chief of staff (the adult-in-the-room four-star Marine Gen. John Kelly, who served nearly 50 years in our military) talked about his time at the White House.

In the book, as related by “AXIO,” Kelly shared Trump often behaved like a dictator and often had to be restrained and told what he could not legally do. Kelly, it was also reported, was quoted in the book, “saying ‘no’ to Trump was like French-kissing a chainsaw.”

This is “Trump’s America” where everything is upside-down. Political protest and unrest Trump points to, telling us this is what a Biden presidency will look like; did Trump forget he has been president for almost a full term and this is his creation? We are a nation on the precipice; deciding between love and hate, compromise and togetherness or force and bully behavior.

This week’s column is ceded to David Estey of Belfast, a retired IRS regional manager of public affairs for five mid-Atlantic states and Washington, D.C.


Republican Convention, Night 4

By David Estey

In an earlier post, I likened the Trumps to a wannabe royal family. After last night’s unethical/illegal White House pageantry, shameful display of false adoration, piled-on lies and hysterical warnings of lawless cities if Biden wins, I had a slightly different impression. At the end of the evening, lined up before 1,500 supporters sitting close together without masks, serenaded by an opera star with massive fireworks in the background spelling out the candidates’ names, the Trumps seemed like an eerily-handsome, otherworldly family of vampires poised to suck the soul and lifeblood out of our republic.

There was the Slavic Melania with high cheekbones and almond eyes, the Trump girls with golden hair and porcelain skin, Kimberly Guilfoyle with her menacing beauty, the older boys with slicked-back hair (not withstanding their scruffy beards that are inexplicably the rage now), young Barron with his extraordinary height and totally-blank face, Jared Kushner with his ghoulish paleness, and finally the Don with his longish hair, count-like long coat and (usually) the long and blood-red tie. Then there’s Mike Pence as the fallen priest who makes sure they are all back in their coffins before the light of day.

Ivanka introduced her father, as she did four years before; this time she positioned herself as heir apparent to the throne. She kept repeating that four years ago she called for federal day-care funds and several other family benefits and that now we have them, noting she has been loyally serving her father (almost like a co-president) ― and that she’s “still there.” She was right about one thing, “Washington didn’t change my father, my father changed Washington.”

The evening, leading up to Trump’s acceptance speech, was more of the same ― lies, distortions and pandering tales of Trump’s concern for wrongfully sentenced criminals, American hostages and other citizens needing a presidential hand-up, with more emphasis on discrediting Biden, asserting we won’t be safe from armed criminals in Biden’s America. The arrogant neocon Tom Cotton argued Biden has been wrong on all major foreign policy issues “the last 50 years.”

No one was more disturbing, hysterical and wild-eyed than Rudy Giuliani. He loudly and forcefully claimed crime was running rampant in “Democrat cities like New York” (presumably after he straightened it out on his mayoral watch) and unruly mobs and looters would be coming to your small town under a permissive, socialist Biden administration.  Of course, the unrest he points to is happening on Trump’s watch and no one acknowledged, let alone proposed solutions for the underlying social causes ― or had sympathetic words for victims of racial violence.

At the end of this is a link to a fact check of Trump’s 170-minute acceptance speech, but here are a few observations. He discredited Biden’s entire 47 years of public service saying he did more for the country in 3 ½ years. He used his favorite method of projecting his faults on Biden and Biden’s virtues on himself, saying he was defeating the pandemic by “following science, facts and data.” He said Biden wanted to “dismantle and destroy our country,” when he has systematically taken apart agencies, institutions and values, including, most importantly, the rule of law.

He made no admission of his monumental screw-up of the pandemic response, or the disastrous ruin of our economy that resulted. Instead he brazenly bragged about supposed early action to stem the spread, massive aid to states, greater testing than any other country, fast-tracked vaccine development by year’s end or sooner, and reopening schools and businesses.

He lied about boosting the economy and jobs more than any other president, rebuilding the military with $2.5 trillion, cutting drug costs and health-insurance premiums, and other accomplishments that did not happen or were well underway under the Obama/Biden administration.

He bragged about keeping campaign promises, like working only for the American people and draining the Washington swamp, when the evidence is clear he has the most corrupt, self-serving administration in history.

The other major point he and many before him wanted to drive home is that he represents law and order and that our own (white?) neighborhoods and the America we love will be overrun with lawlessness and socialism if Biden wins.

Our job, in the next 66 days, is to do everything we can to correct the narrative on Trump’s record and explain the merits of Biden’s platform. Republicans have no platform ― except what Trump may decide to do. He stammered out, when asked in an interview yesterday, “whatever we’ve been doing and some other things.”

I don’t think anyone believes Trump’s character assassination of Joe Biden, versus his own virtues, so no need to focus on that. But we will have to do everything we can to get out the vote and keep a sharp eye out for all efforts to suppress or screw it up. We also need to watch for efforts to discredit the outcome or not accept the results.