The most compelling stories often are those that feature a deeply unlikable villain against whom the forces of good must rally, and when the ink dries on this chapter in American history, the record will show that Donald Trump was that villain. His vulgarity knows no bounds, his incompetence and unfitness for the office he holds are unprecedented, and his utter lack of anything even vaguely resembling the empathy, gravitas, dignity or humility a man in his position should possess makes him an easy and highly deserving target of our collective rage and resistance. As awful as he is, however, Donald Trump is not the sum total of that against which we now must fight; he is merely the most glaring symptom of a larger malignancy. To wit:
Last Thursday, I spent the day in Washington, D.C., shadowing a colleague (a.k.a. my sister) on the Hill while she met with aides at the offices of several Democratic and Republican Senators. It was my second-ever trip to our nation’s capital, and my first since becoming an overly obsessed political junkie … so, naturally, I was a bit awed by my surroundings.
Last week, in the immediate aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern history, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) went on television and defended civilian ownership of the AR-15, a military-style assault rifle that the Las Vegas shooter used to kill 59 people and injure more than 500. Cole—one of many Republican Congressmen who, not coincidentally, has received thousands of dollars from the National Rifle Association—argued that the weapon is not dangerous “when used appropriately.”
During U.S. Army basic training, I was taught the appropriate use of the M-16, the military’s fully automatic version of the semi-automatic AR-15. I distinctly recall the description that the other trainees and I received of what the bullets our weapons fired were capable of doing to the human body.
Recently, I tweeted this:
— Jon Zal (@OfficialJonZal) September 25, 2017
I have more to say about it than a tweet will allow. Here goes.
I took that photo back in August of 1995 from the bow of the Staten Island Ferry during my first-ever visit to Manhattan. Despite having grown up just a couple hundred miles away, I somehow managed to not go there until I was 25. I guess I just assumed that it couldn’t be much different than Boston, so why bother?
Remember when I wrote the following words back in February?
Donald Trump’s presidency is going to end badly. In just three short weeks, he has made Nixon, the most disgraced president of the modern age, look like an Eagle Scout. Do not doubt for a second that there is a long and ugly fall in Mr. Trump’s future.
Now, I am not the type of person to say “I told you so,” but … oh, who am I kidding?
Earlier today, Donald Trump tweeted this:
The average #MAGA voter, I’m sure, welcomed this latest missive from Dear Leader with a hearty “Hell yeah!” … but, according to the article included in the “so-called” president’s tweet, the people who are feeling particularly optimistic about Trump’s America are not your average #MAGA voters:
Let’s be clear: The American Health Care Act — the legislative turd that Paul Ryan desperately wants you to believe is a thoughtful and compassionate fix for America’s healthcare system — is actually an all-out assault on the most vulnerable among us, and its primary purpose is the same as almost all legislation championed by the Republican party: To make rich people richer.