Most of us have learned to avoid unsafe neighborhoods and to steer clear of unhealthy personalities. However, most of us are also political innocents. We indulge in magical thinking. People that we would not want in our lives may be acceptable as decision-makers affecting our lives and our children. Does this make sense?
By now almost everyone on both sides of the aisle recognizes that Trump is not suited to the office that he occupies. For some, this is a hard pill to swallow. Does this sound familiar? Bullying behavior, boorish, poisonous rhetoric, insults and humiliates others, constant self-aggrandisement, disrespectful of women, petulant, vindictive, keeper of grudges, divisive, volatile, uninformed, grandiose, demonizes “the other” and hardens our attitudes towards immigrants, willing to destroy the careers of respected public servants, not prone to look inward, will not apologize, requires loyalty oaths, doesn’t tell the truth. This is not only embarrassing and disappointing, but it also damages our national psyche and the image of our country abroad.
The Washington Post is maintaining a Fact Checker searchable database. It tracks every false or misleading claim since Trump’s inauguration. It is close to 5,000 at this point. What would your favorite President think about this?
So what do we do? Mid-term elections usually reflect voter feelings about the president and Congress. Trump is not on the ballot. His behavior has to be tolerated. Many of us get emails that are meant to remind us to stay loyal to our preferred party. However, we need to take personal responsibility to recognize when our preferred party or candidates are going the wrong way for our country. Now is the time to say that while we may not agree about many things, we recognize that we need candidates that will not behave as the president does and will fight back against such behavior. This is one reason, among many, why Republican Senator McCain was respected and appreciated on both sides of the aisle and around the country. The same for Senator Corker of Tennessee, Senator Flake of Arizona and countless others. We need individuals who are qualified, prepared, of the right temperament and have answers, based on experience, to some of our most pressing problems. We need decision-makers we can trust so that we can go on with our lives. And we voters need to promise each other that we will not inflict Trump-like candidates on the rest of the country just because that candidate says that he or she will do something that we like. We are better than that.
Chuck Parrish is a Tukwila resident.