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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/27/19

The Real Trump Scandal Was Never Collusion

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From Truthdig

President Trump's White House Scandals (Thus Far)
President Trump's White House Scandals (Thus Far)
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We may never know for sure whether Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to obtain Russia's help in the 2016 election, in return for, say, Trump's help in weakening NATO and not interfering against Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Trump and his propaganda machine at Fox News have repeatedly conjured up a "witch hunt" and maintained a drumbeat of "no collusion," which already has mired Robert Mueller's report in a fog of alt-interpretation and epistemological confusion.

What's "collusion?" What's illegal? Has Trump obstructed justice? Has he been vindicated? What did Mueller conclude, exactly? What did he mean?

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The real danger is that as attention inevitably turns to the 2020 campaign, controversy over the report will obscure the far more basic issues of Trump's competence and character.

An American president is not just the chief executive of the United States, and the office he (eventually she) holds is not just a bully pulpit to advance policy ideas. He is also a moral leader, and the office is a moral pulpit invested with meaning about the common good.

A president's most fundamental responsibility is to protect our system of government. Trump has weakened that system.

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As George Washington's biographer, Douglas Southall Freeman, explained, the first president believed he had been entrusted with something of immense intrinsic worth, and that his duty was to uphold it for its own sake and over the long term. He led by moral example.

Few of our subsequent presidents have come close to the example Washington set, but none to date has been as far from that standard as Trump.

In the 2016 presidential campaign, when accused of failing to pay his income taxes, Trump responded, "that makes me smart." His comment conveyed a message to millions of Americans: that paying taxes in full is not an obligation of citizenship.

Trump boasted about giving money to politicians so they would do whatever he wanted. "When they call, I give. And you know what, when I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me."

In other words, it's perfectly OK for business leaders to pay off politicians, regardless of the effect on our democracy.

Trump sent another message by refusing to reveal his tax returns during the campaign or even when he took office, or to put his businesses into a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest, and by his overt willingness to make money off his presidency by having foreign diplomats stay at his Washington hotel, and promoting his various golf clubs.

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These were not just ethical lapses. They directly undermined the common good by reducing the public's trust in the office of the president.

A president's most fundamental responsibility is to uphold and protect our system of government. Trump has weakened that system.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments


Eric Arnow

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Reich forgets that the US staged a coup against Ukraine's democratically elected President, supports neo Nazis to this day. But he says it is all about 'Russian aggression.' After two years of bullsh t, he defaults to the issues that should have raised but were deliberately overlooked. Reich is like a cult member described in Cox's article. Journalistically, his accusations against Russia are a disgrace. And OEN continues to publish him. How can OEN tolerate this? Why did I contribute?

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 at 8:49:27 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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Reply to Eric Arnow:   New Content

Perhaps more to the point: why do you remain here?

Submitted on Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 7:40:22 AM

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Carol Jackson

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The average citizen is weak from nausea at the corruption that has emanated from capital hill, and one can only hope, at this point in time, that in a twist of a famous Samuel Clemens Quip.. That "they are sorely overestimating the stupidity of the American voter."

Submitted on Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 4:07:16 AM

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pablo mayhew

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Bob...

How goes it? Reason I ask, the tone of your articles of late indicates a certain tenseness and sense of desperation. You all right, Bob? I sure hope so. When I consider how much respect I once held for you... Well, I want you to be okay, Bob, even if my faith in you proved to be just another hideous sinkhole in a world of lies. A stone-cold bummer that I still have trouble accepting, even now.

What is there to say, right? In for a penny, in for a pound.

How's everything at the CIA these days? Not quite the same since Trump won the presidency and 86ed that quisling cockroach Brennan, eh? I know, I know. Who could have possibly foreseen that Hillary was unpopular enough to lose a rigged election? Not your fault, Bob--not at all. That's for sure.

How are the Clintons, anyway? Everything set up for the mass globalist exodus to New Zealand? Pretty slick how you guys managed to repeal the kiwis' version of the Second Amendment with that blatant hoax of a mosque shooting. I happen to possess a copy of the so-called "massacre" video, Bob, and I must say that--after scrutinizing it thoroughly two times--I am deeply disappointed in you folks.

It was sloppy as hell, Bob--particularly, in conjunction with the other video I have acquired, which clearly shows crisis actors playing their parts in staging the charade--and all for the purpose of robbing New Zealanders of their right to legitimate self-defense.

I would advise that you need to step up your efforts to realize anything like that kind of "success" here in America, but I don't need to do that. It would be a waste of time, actually. Because you swine will never manage to get our weapons that way, Bob. Never in hell. The Great Awakening is gaining momentum; soon it will be in full insurmountable swing. And there's nothing you or your ilk can do about that now...except to continue making your sorry plight worse.

All right for now. Stay healthy, Bob. Give my best to the clowns when you see them again.



Peace.

Submitted on Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 6:49:27 PM

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