Never Trump!

Never Trump!

© David Burton 2023


     In 1888, James Bryce, an Oxford historian and member of Parliament who would later become Great Britain’s ambassador to the United States, published “The American Commonwealth,” a perceptive survey of US politics in the last half of the 19th century. In the book’s best-known chapter, Bryce attempted to explain why Americans so infrequently sent “great and striking men” to the White House.
     In a country that more than most was open to success through merit and in which there was no shortage of political ambition, he wrote, “it might be expected that the highest place would be won by a man of brilliant gifts.” And yet, with rare exceptions, the voters kept electing mediocrities. “Who now knows or cares to know anything about the personality of James K. Polk or Franklin Pierce?” asked Bryce. “The only thing remarkable about them is that being so unremarkable they should have climbed so high.”
     If that was true in the 1880s, it seems even more indisputable today, as two of the most uninspiring, second-rate presidents ever elected prepare to run again in 2024.
     When it comes to contemporary politics, Americans don’t see eye-to-eye on much. But they agree by large majorities that Joe Biden and Donald Trump should not be seeking another term as president.
     Trump faces credible primary opponents, both announced and likely to announce, including former South Carolina governor and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former vice president Mike Pence. Thus far, though, Trump leads nearly every survey of Republican primary voters, and he has been endorsed by dozens of incumbent GOP governors and members of Congress.
     So here we are: The election rematch America doesn’t want is shaping up to be the one it gets - Trump vs. Biden. Only 34% of Americans have a positive view of Donald Trump while only 38% view Biden favorably.
     However strong the case against re-electing Biden, the case against Trump — the only president who ever tried to overturn an election, the only one to be twice impeached, the only one to call for suspending the Constitution, and the only one to be indicted - and convicted - on criminal charges — is far stronger.[1]

     Trump’s outrageous behavior in egging on the 2020 Capitol riots was a total disgrace – if not a punishable crime! Liz Cheney ( R-Wy), the top Republican Representative on the House select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, said the ex- was "clearly unfit for future office [and] clearly can never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again." She went on to add that her Republican party had a "particular duty" to not only reject the events of Jan. 6, but "to make sure that Donald Trump is not our nominee, and that he's never anywhere close to the reins of power ever again."[2] Strong words, but ones that needed to be said!

     Donald Trump is an irredeemable narcissist! His narcissism makes it impossible for him to carry out the duties of the presidency in the way the Constitution requires. You don’t need to be a mental-health professional to see that something’s very seriously off with Trump - particularly after four years of watching his erratic and abnormal behavior in the White House. Questions about Trump’s psychological stability justifiably mounted throughout his presidency.
     Trump’s former chief of staff, John Kelly, is said to have described him as “unhinged,” and “off the rails,” and to have called the White House “Crazytown” because of Trump’s unbalanced state. Trump’s former deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, once reportedly discussed recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, the Constitution’s provision addressing presidential disability, including mental disability.
     The former president wasn’t simply volatile and erratic. He was, is and will always be incapable of consistently telling the truth. As one former official put it, Trump’s aides’ were “used to the president saying things that aren’t true.” Trump’s own former communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, on multiple occasions described Trump as a liar, once saying, “We … know he’s telling lies,” so, “if you want me to say he’s a liar, I’m happy to say he’s a liar.”
     Donald Trump clearly is narcissistic! His narcissism is important because it touches directly upon whether Trump has the capacity to put anyone’s interests - including the country’s and the Constitution’s - above his own. This narcissism comes out as a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements); preoccupies him with fantasies of unlimited success, and power; leads him to believes that he is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions); requires that he receive excessive admiration; gives him a false sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations); is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends); causes him to ask for empathy, i.e., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings or needs of others; results in him often being envious of others or believes that others are envious of him; and, results in Trump consistently exhibiting arrogant, haughty behavior and attitude.
     Trump’s narcissism drives him to want everyone to know that he’s “the super genius of all time,” one of “the smartest people anywhere in the world.” He claims to be an expert - the world’s greatest - in anything and everything.[3]

     Donald Trump is no longer hypothetically unfit to be president; he has been empirically proven to be unfit to be president. Most rational people are not going to vote for an unfit candidate. Having to chose between what they perceive as two unfit candidates, they will vote for the Democratic candidate and they won’t think of it as electing a Democrat. They will rightly think of it as rejecting a political system that forces them to choose between two unfit candidates. The point is that Trump cannot win a national election. That is why many Democrats are working so hard to lure Republicans into nominating him.[4]

     Yes, there’s really not much left to be said about how unfit Trump is for office. The man is running for president again in 2024 and much like a cockroach, he keeps on kicking. Getting impeached twice hasn’t stopped him; getting accused of inciting an insurrection hasn’t stopped him; trying to overthrow an election hasn’t stopped him; and getting indicted and arrested on 34 counts of criminal tax fraud hasn’t tamed the flame in his heart. The guy has stamina, we’ll give him that. Keep in mind, this guy was once our president.[5]

     Mary Trump is a clinical psychologist, bestselling author and the niece of Donald Trump. She warned everyone about the threat her uncle poses to our republic well before his attempted coup and the January 6 attack. She repeated those warnings in April of 2023 week on Salon Talks.
     Her bestseller book, Too Much and Never Enough, spilled many family secrets and made her uncle very unhappy. She understands what Donald Trump is capable of, especially after he was finally charged with crimes. She warned that "as the stakes get higher for him, they get higher for us because … there is no bottom and there is nothing at which he will stop to get his way."
     With respect to his being indicted, Donald Trump could never have possibly imagined being indicted - and then convicted - on 34 felony counts. Why would he? Past is prologue. He's never been held accountable for anything. He's gotten away with so much wrongdoing and so much alleged criminality that there was literally no reason for him to think that anything would ever catch up with him.
     Why would anybody buy into his false bravado about how he would face the fact that he was suffering the deep humiliation of being arrested, being fingerprinted, and all those other things that happened.
     For more than two years after the Jan. 6 attack. the Justice Department did not charge Donald Trump. "Every day he is allowed to roam free, he gets more dangerous." At the mid-point of 2023, Trump was far and away the front-runner for the GOP nomination, but on some level he perfectly personified up the new twenty-first century Republican Party – now a political party that embraced violence, white supremacy, cruelty, bigotry and hate, and was trying to impose their religion as law. Even though Trump himself was not religious, he made this possible by appointing three Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade.
     On religious grounds, Donald Trump didn't change the Republican Party; he just exposed what many in the Republican Party believed. he gave them permission to be their worst selves. They have shown us exactly who they are and the lengths they will go to impose their Christian nationalism, their white supremacy and their tyranny over the minority.
     There's a CBS poll from 2022 that found 51% of Republicans viewed Jan. 6 not as terrorism, but as an act of patriotism. Now, the danger increases because the longer these lies go unchallenged, the more it becomes part of their narrative. People start to believe the Big Lie. People start to believe that the insurrectionists were actually true patriots because Biden stole the election. Trump’s crimes against this country, against the Constitution and against the American people aren't even mentioned when these people are talking about Trump and his style on the campaign trail.
     Every day that Donald Trump is allowed to roam free, he gets more dangerous. While he's never been "hinged", he gets more unhinged as each day passes. As the stakes get higher for him, they get higher for us. For some bizarre reason, many people don't yet believe that he's capable of anything, that there is no bottom to what he may do and there is nothing at which he will stop. If Trump ever gets to the point where he feels like he's going down, he may well bring all of us down with him. In some ways it's not just about the coming election or the future of democracy. It's also about safety. Nobody will be safe if Donald Trump has the power that he will have if elected again.[6]

     Donald Trump has always operated on the shaky edge of the law! In 2023, a number of of his shady dealings were being exposed.

    At the end of April 2023, former Vice President Mike Pence’s testimony before a federal grand jury was only one of the high-profile developments in the investigations of former President Donald Trump. Mike Pence, as president of the Senate, was key to Trump’s illegal strategy to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He testified before the grand jury in Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of Trump’s role in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.
     In addition, Trump’s other legal challenges included:
     *** Smith’s investigation of hundreds of classified documents seized at Trump’s Florida estate of Mar-a-Lago.
     *** E. Jean Carroll’s civil lawsuit in federal court in New York. She accused Trump of defamation for denying her allegation that he raped her and for attacking her integrity.
     *** In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was deciding on whether to charge Trump in her investigation of election fraud between July 11 and September 1 of 2023.
     Here’s what we knew about the legal cases:
     Pence testified for hours, spending at least seven hours at the courthouse. He was a key figure in any Jan. 6 investigation because Trump and his allies pressured him to single-handedly reject electors from seven states that President Joe Biden won the presidency. Pence refused to give in to the pressure. Trump had tried to block Pence’s testimony by appealing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. But a three-judge panel denied his appeal.
     At the same time, Smith was also investigating the issue of classified documents that were found in a search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago Florida estate, 18 months after Trump left the White House. A conviction for illegally retaining classified material could disqualify Trump from holding federal office again. According to national security experts, at stake were documents that contained some of the country’s most important secrets, including the names of undercover agents overseas. Legal experts said it might be the most open-and-shut case against Trump. But trying a case over national secrets risks more exposure of what was in the sensitive documents.
     E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit alleged that Trump raped her in the changing room of a Manhattan clothing store in 1996, which she didn’t report at the time. After she described the incident in a 2019 memoir, while Trump was president, he “used the most powerful platform on earth to lie about what he had done, attack Ms. Carroll’s integrity and insult her appearance,” Carroll’s attorney told the jury.
     In Manhattan, District Attorney Alvin Bragg urged a judge to limit Trump’s access to sensitive documents in the felony case that alleged the former president falsified business records. Bragg argued his precautions were based on Trump attacking witnesses, jurors and investigators in the past, including in DOJ special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and 2 House impeachments. Trump was also charged with falsifying business records to hide payments to silence two women who claimed to have had sex with him before the 2016 election.
     In Georgia, the Fulton County District Attorney pursued charges that in the weeks after the 2020 election, Trump’s campaign recruited Republican electors as alternates to the official electors in Georgia and other states won by Joe Biden. Not surprisingly, not a single state agreed to Trump’s fake electors.
     The second vein the Fulton County District Attorney was exploring dealt with Trump personally calling the Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, on the 2nd of January in 2021, to plead with him to “find” the votes Trump needed to win the state. By that point, Trump had tried to call him 18 times and Raffensperger had avoided taking the calls.[7]

     For the first time in history, a former U.S. president was arrested and charged with a crime. Following his tradition of doing things “bigly,” disgraced former President Donald Trump was charged by the state of New York with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. While the charges against Trump would generally be considered misdemeanors, a grand jury of 23 New Yorkers decided there was sufficient evidence of an ongoing criminal scheme to elevate the charges to felonies, creating the possibility that Trump could face prison time if convicted. Each charge carried a maximum prison sentence of four years.
     The charging documents and statement of facts filed by District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleged that Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.” Moreover, Trump’s criminal coverup allegedly continued after the election and was planned, in part, from the Oval Office.
     According to Bragg, Trump and his former attorney, Michael Cohen, met in the Oval Office in 2017 and agreed to hide reimbursements for hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and other people with knowledge of Trump’s extramarital affairs. Trump then falsified business records to evade state and federal campaign finance laws by claiming the reimbursements were for legal services that never existed.
     If the accusations are true, not only did Trump falsify official business and tax documents, he intentionally manipulated the public for fear that people would be reluctant to support an adulterer who paid hush money to an adult film star. Those facts point to a presidential candidate who not only cheated on his wife and lied to her, but also cheated in his campaign and lied to the American people. Then, as president, used the Oval Office to develop a scheme to cover up his lying, cheating and alleged crimes.
     In April of 2023, fellow Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, issued a statement saying that he believed that “President Trump’s character and conduct make him unfit for office.” I most strongly concur!
     No matter the outcome of the New York case, the American people should once and for all reject Trump as a candidate, reject him on the campaign trail, reject his manipulative and divisive rhetoric and demand more from the once-proud Republican Party.[8]

     Donald Trump has been and is an embarrassment to America and the American people.

     Never before have we had a president who schemed to overturn legitimate election results, who attacked the press and the civil servants who worked for him, who admired dictators, who blatantly profited from his public office and who repeatedly lied to the public for his own selfish purposes. Trump’s four years in office have been a shock to America’s democratic norms.
     America’s Founding Fathers designed a system to protect minority points of view and to protect us from leaders inclined to lie, cheat and steal. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has proven to be just the type of individual from which America’s forefathers were trying to protect us. The Trump presidency sent shock waves through a large part of the body politic and must never be repeated.
     At heart, Donald Trump was and still is, a would-be dictator. But in spite of Donald Trump’s best efforts, America has not become a dictatorship. At least not yet. Let’s not forget that it took courageous action by public officials – who were Republicans – to thwart the then-president’s despotic actions. In Georgia, the Secretary of State certified election results in spite of personal calls and threats from the president. In Michigan, the Senate Majority Leader and the Republican House Speaker did not give in to Trump’s attempts to get them to diverge from the process of honestly choosing electors. Fortunately for America, these officials wouldn’t give in to Trump’s bullying and misbegotten rantings.
     Trump spent four years using the bully pulpit of the presidency to mock the press, calling them names and “the enemy of the people” and referring to outlets he doesn’t like as “failing”. He revoked the press credentials from reporters he didn’t like. BUT, America’s press remains - to large degree - free and fairly healthy in spite of Donald Trump
     The United States government is based on the rule of law, not the rule of men. Nowhere is that more evident than in the behavior of the career civil service or the permanent government. In dictatorships there is no such thing as a “career” civil service - only loyalists who act on orders from the dictator. Early on, Trump found out that he could not prevent the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate his relations with Russia. The law was clear. Trump tried but could not force his will on the bureaucracy.
     Frustrated by the many “veto points” in the American system of government, Trump took to issuing executive actions to circumvent his lack of dictatorial authority. But once again he did not see the limits of his powers. According to a Brookings study:
     “Many of the Trump administration’s measures, environmental or otherwise, have failed to stand up in court, with the administration losing 83 percent of litigations.”
      The fact that Trump lost the presidency in 2020 does not mean that all is well in the United States. He attracted the support of millions of voters in 2020 and, even more dangerous is the fact that much of the Republican Party still insists on refuting the results of that election and weakening administrations that are not supportive of Trump in certain states. Norms have been broken and could yet result in majorities that overturn laws and weaken institutions. It’s possible that had Trump been more flexible and experienced in government he might have been able to amass the powers he so craves. Democracy requires constant care and constant mobilization. No thanks to Donald Trump, America remains a nation governed by the rule of law, not the whim of man.[9]

     Donald Trump is a multi-time loser and he will always be a loser.

     In 2019, Trump proved to be loser when he became the third U.S. president in history to be impeached. It marked the first impeachment where a U.S. president was impeached without support for the impeachment from the President's own party. “Trump's impeachment came after a formal House inquiry found that he had solicited foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election to help his re-election bid and then obstructed the inquiry itself by telling his administration officials to ignore subpoenas for documents and testimony. The inquiry reported that Trump withheld military aid[a] and an invitation to the White House to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in order to influence Ukraine to announce an investigation into Trump's political opponent Joe Biden and to promote a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind interference in the 2016 presidential election. A phone call between Trump and Zelenskyy on July 25, 2019 was particularly important according to Congressional testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a member of the National Security Council who listened to the call from the White House Situation Room.”[10]

     In January 2021, Donald Trump lost again when he became the first U.S. president to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for a 2nd time. This impeachment was for "incitement of insurrection" over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.[11]

     In April 2023, New Hampshire's Republican Governor, Chris Sununu, said that Republicans wanted “someone who can win” as their presidential candidate, adding that former President Trump had lost the past three elections for the GOP.
     He lost the presidential election in 2016.
     “Republicans want someone who can win in November of ‘24. Donald Trump is a loser. He has not just lost once. He lost us . . . our House seats in 2018,” Sununu said. “He lost everything and ‘20. We should have 54 U.S. senators right now and we don’t because of his message. So, Donald Trump is positioning himself to be a four-time loser in 2024.”
     Sununu said that while many Republicans have rallied behind the former president as he faces multiple investigations, that support may not “translate into a vote.” “Republicans want someone who’s going to fight for them. But we also want a fighter that can win. He [Trump] said he was going to go to Washington and drain the swamp. He didn’t do it,” Sununu said. “He said he was going to build a wall and secure things. He didn’t do it. He said he was going to give us health-care reform and be fiscally disciplined, not add $8 trillion to the debt. He didn’t do any of those things. And so we want fighters that can actually win and take accountability.” Sununu had previously declared that Trump would not be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024. Let us all hope that Sununu was correct in his prediction.[12]

     In 2020, Donald Trump proved that he was a truly big time loser! He became the first one-term president in 28 years. In the years that followed, Trump lost a lot of battles. His Muslim-targeting travel ban ultimately failed, despite several attempts. His wall on the southern border was never built, and the parts of it that were built certainly weren’t financed by Mexico, as promised. He couldn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act.
     Through it all, however, Trump won simply by dint of surviving to lie another day. He refused to be taken down by the kind of scandals that would have destroyed a normal presidency. He survived the revelation that he’d bribed porn star Stephanie Clifford with hush money during the 2016 election to keep quiet about their extramarital affair. He survived a special investigation into his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian election interference. Hell, he even easily wriggled his way out of an impeachment that practically nobody remembers![13]

     As the 2024 election nears, it unfortunately appears that many Republicans want their standard-bearer to be a crude, swaggering bully of the sort we all remember from schoolyards. What may be questionable is whether Republicans want a crude, swaggering bully who isn’t a felon. The truth is that the Republican base is so off-base that Trump’s very criminality is seen as a virtue by a sizable segment of Republicans.[14] I can only hope that my assessment is incorrect. I can only hope that there are enough sane Republicans to nominate someone worthy enough to hold the office of the President of the United States.

     American voters need to wake up and regain their sanity. American voters need to voice their displeasure in having someone like Donald Trump once again seek the highest office in the land. American voters need to state loundly and clearly: NEVER AGAIN DONALD TRUMP!

     Republicans need to come to their senses before it’s too late and they need to dump trump - once and for all! Republicans need to return to their conservative roots and quickly find a viable 2024 presidential candidate who can capture the hearts of the American people as Ronald Reagan once did. Republicans - and all decent Americans - need to forcefully disavow all that Donald Trump represents. Time is running out for Republicans – and for America. If Donald Trump’s name appears on the 2024 ballot, I - for one - will do what I did in 2016 and again in 2020. I will hold my nose and vote for whoever opposes him! If Donald Trump’s name appears on the 2024 ballot, Trump and the Republican Party will once again prove that they are big-time losers.

  1. Republicans can spare the country a rematch it doesn’t want, Jeff Jacoby, Boston Sunday Globe; Pge K7,
    30 April 2023.
  2. Republican Liz Cheney calls Trump 'clearly unfit for future office', Lucien Bruggeman, abc news, 2 January 2022.
  3. UNFIT FOR OFFICE, George T. Conway III, The Atlantic, 3 October 2019.
  4. Fox News Legal Analyst Pans Trump 2024 Bid: He ‘Can’t Win’, Ken Meyer,, 2 May 2023.
  5. Donald Trump, a man who doesn’t know the difference between ‘insure’ and ‘ensure,’ feels qualified to be president, Cody Raschella, WE GOT THIS COVERED, 6 April 2023
  6. “He's capable of anything”: Arrest and humiliation won’t stop Trump, says niece Mary Trump, Dean Obeidallah, Salon, 25 April 2023
  7. How many legal cases does Donald Trump face? 2 DOJ investigations, a Georgia grand jury, NY charges and a lawsuit, Bart Jansen, USA Today, 29 April 2023.
  8. Guilty or not, Trump unfit for office, Las Vegas Sun, 5 April 2023.
  9. Did Trump damage American democracy?, Elaine Kamarck Brookings, 9 July 2021.
  10. First impeachment of Donald Trump, Wikipedia, Accessed 10 May 2023.
  11. Donald Trump becomes 1st U.S. president to be impeached for a 2nd time, Lauren Sforza, CBC, 13 January 2021.
  12. Sununu: Trump is positioning himself to be a ‘four-time loser’ in 2024, Lauren Sforza, The Hill, 23 April 2023.
  13. Donald Trump is a loser, FAST COMPANY, 7 November 2020.
  14. GOP’s race to the White House all about Trump, Jeff Robbins, Boston Herald, 30 May 2023.

  2 June 2023 {Article 577; Politics_82}    
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