The State of Trump’s Union

Alan Zendell, February 5, 2019

Most of us are engaged in some form of negotiation all the time. Raising our kids, managing relationships with significant others, haggling over the cost of rugs and chickens, negotiating business deals, getting along with coworkers – all involve ongoing negotiation.

What these situations have in common is that to be successful, they all hinge on truth and trust, and you’ll never achieve the latter if you can’t depend on the former. If people  repeatedly lie to you and fail to keep their commitments, it becomes nearly impossible to coexist with them. In the absence of trust we resort to tough love with our kids and risk ruining our adult relationships. If we feel cheated by a merchant or business associate, we find someone else to do business with, and if we’re not fairly treated at work, we start looking for a new job as soon as possible.

Sometimes we’re stuck. We don’t always have the option of looking elsewhere. As voters and concerned citizens, we’ve spent two years watching a tennis match of hurled insults and accusations. Our representatives in Congress have been at the center of it every day. Lies, fake news, insults, bullying attacks – it seems to never stop.

It’s always been that way to some degree. When I watched the movie Lincoln, I was shocked to see that partisan bickering was as bad in his time as it is now. It was a critical moment in our history. We were on the verge of acknowledging that slavery was evil, and those on opposite sides each believed they couldn’t negotiate with the other. Regardless of the cost to our economy, some wrongs simply needed to be righted, and the people who suffered financially did everything possible to stem the tide including attempting to demolish our Union of states.

The Civil War that nearly wrecked the nation is an example of what can happen when extreme positions lead to non-negotiable impasse, and the parallels between then and now are starkly clear. Racism, bigotry, hatred, fear, and lust for power and wealth each played a role 160 years ago. Those same things are driving the divisiveness in our country today, with one notable exception. In 1860, people had sharp differences, but each side’s position was clearly defined and understandable if not defensible; other things aside, the decision to abolish slavery was clearly one of principle.

In 1863, two years into the Civil War, Lincoln faced the worst National Emergency in our history. Believing that the moral future of the nation was at stake, and realizing there could be no negotiated resolution, he issued an Executive Order, bypassing Congress and the Courts to declare the Emancipation Proclamation. The Proclamation was to be the guiding principle on which a reunited Union would be preserved. 

Replace slavery with immigration and we might be looking at a similar fight today if no agreement is reached, but there are important differences. First, compared to what Lincoln faced, the problem of securing our southern border does not approach the level of a National Emergency. 

Congress came together to pass bipartisan legislation which would have been an important first step in a long-term solution, only to have it scuttled by the president who had previously promised to support it. Nor was Trump pulling the rug out from under a deal he had informally endorsed an isolated incident. He did the same sort of thing on every major bill Congress drafted during his two years in office, and from everything we know about his history he conducted his businesses the same way.

Worst of all, he has never taken a meaningful negotiating position on any issue except reducing taxes on the wealthy, and rather than observe the basic courtesy and etiquette that are the hallmarks of professional negotiation, he has been belligerent and offensive to everyone that didn’t support his views. He daily picks fights with Democrats who make him feel threatened and does everything possible to intimidate them.

Remember how he attacked Mitch McConnell as weak and ineffective? I guess it worked,  as he’s been Trump’s Senate lap dog ever since. And remember Paul Ryan? Don’t feel bad, he didn’t leave us much worth remembering. Trump’s tactics worked on his own party, but they won’t work on Schumer and Pelosi as long as the majority of the country continues to side with them.

Trump put himself in this box. Are you cowed by his bluster? Neither are they. When he talked about unity and reaching across the aisle to heal old wounds, last night, do you think any Democrats believed a word he said? I don’t know why anyone would.

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Is This God’s Fault?

Alan Zendell, January 31, 2019

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told the Christian Broadcasting Network that “God wanted Donald Trump to be president, [and] … he has done a tremendous job in supporting a lot of the things that people of faith really care about.” Of all the hypocrisy, hyperbole, and outright lies this administration has perpetrated, that has to be the most outrageous.

I have no wish to offend the minority of Americans who believe our daily lives are directed by divine guidance. It’s not something I believe, but after all, our republic was founded on the basis of religious freedom, speaking of which, if Sanders is right, the Judeo-Christian God must hate Muslims.

Let’s assume for a moment that her notion that there is a supreme being who actually cares who wins our elections is correct and take her at her word. Think about what that implies. Pope Francis, who is the nearest thing the western world has to an expert on God’s will, has called Donald Trump immoral and unchristian on a number of occasions. He described Trump’s obsession with walls as a symptom of “the fear that makes us crazy,” and said that if he were truly pro-life (instead of using that phrase to pander for votes) Trump would join the rest of the world in trying to mitigate the effects of climate change and seek to protect innocent young immigrants who are undocumented through no fault of their own.

Does Sarah think God caused Trump to believe the lie that millions of people in Central America love nothing more than raping and murdering Americans, and are willing to march over a thousand miles with their spouses and children just to create mayhem? Does God condone Trump’s attitude and treatment toward women?

If I recall my Old Testament, when God saw his people succumb to pride, arrogance, and narcissism he punished them by scattering them to the winds, each group with a different language so they could no longer communicate and conspire to achieve godhood for themselves. Does Sanders think that same Old Testament God would select someone like Donald Trump to lead the most powerful nation in the world? Would He favor someone whose most notable attributes are the same ones that caused the survivors of the Great Flood to build a tower to heaven in order to subvert God’s ends? If God used confusion and divisiveness to punish his errant flock, does Sarah Sanders believe He would favor a leader who dealt exclusively in those tactics?

Maybe Sanders assumes God believes that the end always justifies the means, that the mission God has given Trump is so critical that He was willing to suspend all the normal rules of behavior to enable him to accomplish his goals. Thus, His minion on Earth was given a free pass to ignore morality and ethics, to lie and confound, to behave as though he never heard the word integrity. Oh wait, where have we seen those characteristics before? Sanders must believe that to be an effective leader in the fight against Satan, you have to be equally ruthless and devious. Let’s see if Trump qualifies. Imagine him filling out a resume based on the seven deadly sins.

Pride – Trump’s wins hands down; Envy – it drives Trump crazy when someone else has what he wants, thus his attraction to dictators like Putin and Kim; Gluttony – no amount of opulence is enough for Trump; Lust – his boasts of his alleged sexual prowess speak for themselves; Anger – his knee jerk response to anyone who disagrees with him; Greed – amassing greater wealth has been his only guiding principle throughout his life; Sloth – the final piece of the puzzle, never study, read or consult when you can wing it.

Looks like we have a winner!

It’s said that Sarah’s God works in mysterious ways. Maybe she’s onto something. If Trump seems more like the Antichrist than a Christian, Sanders must believe he was put here to be a twenty-first century serpent, tempting us to practice everything God abhors. If our Eden is Earth itself, and Trump is simply a tool, a means of testing us to see if we can be trusted to preserve our Garden for future generations, what happens if we don’t pass muster this time? Will humanity be banished from a planet rendered uninhabitable?

I don’t know if Sarah Sanders is capable of such deep thoughts, but if she truly believes Trump was selected by God to lead us, what else makes sense?

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Who the Hell is Stephen Miller?

Alan Zendell, January 29, 2019

Like most people whose ethnic or religious heritage is associated with groups that tend to be the targets of bigotry and hate crimes, I’m extremely sensitive to actions by people with a background similar to mine that exacerbate the situation. When Bernie Madoff was unmasked as a thief who robbed thousands of people of their savings and retirement nest eggs, people were angry and disgusted, but my reaction went much deeper.

I felt an intense mix of rage and embarrassment. It was bad enough that Madoff was a crook, pure pond scum, but he was also a New York Jew of my generation. That made him a poster child for anti-Semitism and fodder for the Alt-Right/Neo-Nazi movement, something I took very personally.  

I’m sure Italian-Americans cringed every time an Italian Mafia boss was indicted.  Likewise, every law-abiding African American when black faces appear on local television news as perpetrators of rapes and murders, and the vast majority of Hispanic Americans when an illegal immigrant with a Spanish surname is implicated in drug or human trafficking.

I experience the kind of anger I felt toward Madoff whenever I see the name Stephen Miller. If you’re not sure who he is, let’s ask his uncle, David Glasser, a neuropsychologist and retired professor from the Boston University and Jefferson Medical College faculties. Last August, Doctor Glasser published an article with Politico entitled: “Stephen Miller is an Immigration Hypocrite.”

The article speaks of Glasser’s shame over his nephew’s history as a right-wing anti-immigration extremist, which the doctor believes helps embolden people like the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville. “I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”

I feel Glasser’s pain because the story of his family’s flight to freedom from persecution in Czarist Russia mirrors that of my own and my wife’s families. We understand what America symbolized to our grandparents, and we know the fate of those left behind when the hatemongers destroyed their villages.

If you’re wondering what Stephen Miller did to cause such angst among his own family, consider that he is the chief architect of Donald Trump’s hateful, racist immigration policy, and the author of some of Trump’s most offensive speeches. He was also the chief proponent of making the Wall the cornerstone of the Trump presidency.

I cannot fathom how an intelligent young man living a life of relative privilege based on three generations of antecedents prospering from living the American dream can have his mind twisted the way Miller’s is. His Wikipedia page quotes Miller attributing his conversion to what he describes as a committed Conservative based on the writings of Wayne LaPierre.

There is no definition of modern era Conservatism that includes isolationist paranoia about immigration. Nor is there any reference to religious intolerance or replacing truth and integrity with lies and hyperbole. The advantages and opportunities Miller grew up with were attributes of a free society built on the backs of immigrants. For someone like him to espouse the immoral, offensive attitudes he whispers in Trump’s ear is unconscionable.

When the Grim Reaper, aka Steve Bannon was fired by Trump, many of us hoped that represented a repudiation of his take-no-prisoners assault on the courts, the press, and truth in general. We didn’t realize that in every way that mattered, Miller was a Bannon clone, albeit one who appeared more civilized and urbane, at least on the surface. That was because when the administration sent out its surrogates to spout favorable talking points, they kept Miller under wraps. Most of us had no idea who he was.

When Trump started running out of surrogates and Miller briefly made the rounds of the talk shows, we saw why. Unlike the president, whose insults and belligerent attitudes were often borderline inarticulate, Miller was eloquent and seemed to know his subjects well. But he was insolent and rude during every appearance. Barely into his thirties and clearly full of himself, he mostly came off as a nasty little twerp. Every time I heard him speak, I thought God, I wish he wasn’t Jewish.

Like a canary in a coal mine, Miller actually has positive value. His demise as an administration official, when it comes, will signal the death of the most vile attitudes that have come out of the Trump White House. If the president wants to improve his approval ratings, getting rid of Stephen Miller would be a brilliant first step.

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Bullies 101

Alan Zendell, January 26, 2019

Sometimes when I tutor kids, it’s clear that they never learned some of the basic skills they need in elementary school, so I have to go back to Arithmetic 101. The lesson is the same, no matter what your endeavor. Whether you’re an athlete, a politician, an engineer, or an entertainer, if you don’t put in the time, study your craft, and do your “reps,” you’re probably going to fail.

In 2015, Donald Trump said that was nonsense. He knew more about politics than the professional politicians, more about the military than our career generals, and more about dealing with other nations than our entire Diplomatic Corps. Yet, from his first day in office he demonstrated an appalling lack of knowledge about how government works, the Constitution, the Courts, diplomacy, and the responsibilities of the Congress and the free press.

He constantly behaved like a bully and an autocrat because that’s all he knows. From his father to his mentor, Roy Cohn, and the mobsters he hobnobbed with, he always got the same message. Always project strength, never concede or admit a mistake, say and do whatever is necessary to achieve your objective. When Vince Lombardi said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” Trump, in his childishly simplistic view of the world took that to heart. But Lombardi was talking about football and the obvious truth that when the game is over no one remembers anything but the final score.

Trump spent his life bullying people with his money and his lawyers, and his visceral sense that his ego and narcissism give him a competitive edge over those who value things like honesty, courtesy, and scruples. He used that edge relentlessly throughout his life. He was successful most of the time because his opponents, notably the entire Republican Party, cut class when they were supposed to be studying Bullies 101.

Need a refresher? Appeasement and concession never work. The rapid growth of the Nazi Axis, the Japanese Empire, and  Soviet Union in the last century should have taught us that lesson, but Trump understood that most people lack the stomach to face up to a tyrant.

I said most people. Fortunately, there are some like Nancy Pelosi who learned that lesson growing up in Baltimore’s Little Italy in the 1940s and 50s, when tough guys ruled the streets and the Democrats who controlled Baltimore had much in common with mobsters and protection rackets. She was schooled by a mother who was a political organizer and networker, a father who was a Congressman and a Mayor of Baltimore, and six brothers, one of whom also became mayor. Sweet young Nancy earned an “A” in Bullies 101.

When she was finally in a position of political strength after the 2018 midterm elections, the pundits thought the young Turks who had just been elected in an anti-Trump wave would defeat her bid to be re-elected Speaker. We don’t know what happened behind closed doors, but 77-year-old Pelosi came out on top.

The pundits then wondered if she could stand up to Trump and if her finger was on the pulse of what her Democratic base wanted. She stared Trump down through a number of staged television events that he assumed he would win because he had always won them before. We watched her stand firm, and were cautiously elated as one after another, Trump’s threats and boasts proved to be empty.

The government shutdown dragged on for five weeks, and Pelosi reacted to Trump’s barbs and insults by smiling calmly, confident as only someone highly skilled in her craft can be. She knew her opponent well, and knew that public opinion was on her side and eventually would erode Trump’s support. Nancy held firm, publicly predicting that the tipping point would come when the shutdown compromised airline safety. Again, she was right on.

Throughout, Trump was revealed as the outmatched political novice he is. Despite his bluster and his claim that re-opening the government was “in no way a concession,” yesterday marked the end of his Imperial Presidency. The Emperor’s guns are loaded with blanks and he’s not wearing anything but his fake hair and makeup.

Thanks, Speaker Pelosi. I admit that I didn’t have enough faith in you before, but you’ve won me over.

***

Washington was hit hard by the shutdown in more ways than one. It began at the height of the baseball free agency season. Nowhere was that more apparent than Washington, where superstar Bryce Harper spent his first seven years in the major leagues. Harper is loved by Washington fans, who were all on the edge of their seats in mid-December, waiting to see if their Nationals would win the bidding war to keep him.

The government shutdown stopped the free agency process in its tracks. Harper would have signed weeks ago, if not for the spectacle his huge ($350 million) contract would have been with so many fans not getting paid.

On behalf of all Washington baseball fans, I thank Nancy for getting things going again. We should know where Bryce will be playing in a few days.

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Huckster in Chief

Alan Zendell, January 21, 2019

One of my sons has held a number of sales jobs. He learned what was necessary to sell effectively, and he excelled at it. A successful salesperson needs good communication skills, a combination of eloquent command of the language, charm, and charisma. But that’s only one side of the equation. The other is personal ethics. The most successful salespeople know where their moral and ethical lines are and are careful not to cross them.

My son’s first sales job was for a home security company. He was required to convince people that whatever they were relying on for home security was inadequate, and they would only be protected if they purchased his product. Unfortunately, the company didn’t stop there. They targeted specific demographics.

If all they did was define groups who were their most likely potential customers, that would have been fine. But what they actually did was identify who was least informed and most vulnerable to a phony sales pitch that misrepresented both the customer’s needs and the value of their product. In the company’s view, a successful employee was one who could play the bait and switch game and sell people things they didn’t need.

The first time my young, naïve son closed a sale to an elderly woman who clearly did not understand what she was buying, he was so repulsed by what he had done, he quit and found another job. Good for him!

President Trump refined that sales process to an art form of misdirection and distraction, especially with respect the morass that resulted in the current government shutdown. He began his sales campaign three-and-a-half years ago by conflating immigration, border security, drug smuggling, and human trafficking into one neat package. Like the home security company my son worked for, he understood the hot buttons for a disaffected segment of our society. Bigotry, (latent or overt,) economic distress, and xenophobia based on fear of terrorism enabled him to form a base of support.

Illegal immigrants were equated to rapists and murderers, criminal gangs could not be distinguished from millions of oppressed and persecuted people who wanted to flee the hell in which they were raising their families, and innocent DACA kids were made to look no better than traffickers. Once Trump tapped into the raw visceral anger that he created with lies and fear-mongering, he moved on to the next phase of his vaunted sales acumen.

He floated proposals he had no intention of ever following through on. He dangled the fate of nearly a million young people covered by DACA in front of his political opposition, attempted to cut off immigration from Muslim countries, and in the face of all reason staked out a non-negotiable demand for a wall along our border with Mexico. And when a bipartisan majority in Congress accepted the deals he proposed, Trump pulled the rug out from under them.

He did that so often, and attempted to use so many innocent people as hostages to satisfy his base, only a fool would accept his promises without an iron-clad guarantee. The Reagan mantra of trust and verify was never more apt than it is when dealing with Donald Trump, who combines every sleazy tactic he learned from Roy Cohn and his corrupt friends in organized crime every time he speaks. His few attempts at appearing compassionate have been wooden and unconvincing, always scripted from a teleprompter.

When you add all the DACA families to those of the federal employees who have had their livelihoods interrupted, Trump is now holding in excess of five million hostages for his border wall, which has much less to do with border security and terrorism that it does with his fear of losing. I have little sympathy for Trump, but I can see that he has himself between a rock and a hard place. He desperately needs his base, and that base is controlled by the vilest elements of our society.

The country is now being held hostage by Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity because of Trump’s unwillingness and inability to govern honestly for the general good of all Americans. His disapproval far exceeds his approval among the general population, but he would have us believe that the uncompromising Opposition is to blame for the stalemate.

Mr. Trump should remember that America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, and he is the worst kind of terrorist – the home-grown kind masquerading (not very convincingly) as a decent human being who cares about his country.

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Trump’s Shutdown Fight

Alan Zendell, January 15, 2019

Anyone who has ever sat through negotiation training knows that a successful resolution is one from which both sides come away thinking they’ve achieved something positive. When that happens, everyone can leave their differences behind and turn to more productive pursuits. When a negotiation ends with one party feeling coerced or beaten up, the well for future cooperation is poisoned, anger and resentment persist, and there’s little chance that whatever was finally agreed to will produce a fruitful outcome.

While no one expects the other side to completely lay their cards on the table, each side expects the other to bargain in good faith. Deliberate lies, contradictions, exaggerations, and misrepresentations are anathema to a successful result. Likewise hurling insults and disrespecting the opposition are almost guaranteed to lead to failure.

Above all, successful negotiators understand that flexibility is paramount. Each side lays out a set of initial demands knowing some points are softer than others, the ultimate goal being compromise: giving up some things in exchange for others.

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but the worst possible negotiation strategy is staking out a position that is non-negotiable. My way or the highway only works when one side holds all the cards and doesn’t care if everyone else walks away angry. Unfortunately, that’s the environment Donald Trump was schooled in, wealthy tough guys with large legal staffs and even larger egos throwing their weight around. It’s the only strategy he understands, the only one he uses.

The truth is that he’s a lousy negotiator. His narcissism makes it virtually impossible for him to compromise because in his world, compromise is equivalent to concession, and concession is viewed as weakness and defeat. If you’re the toughest kid on the block, that approach wins much of the time, until the rest of the block faces you down. Once your bravado is revealed as the empty shell it is, your days are numbered.

Trump understands that. He knows that every once in a while the irresistible force he believes he is runs into a truly immovable object. Thus, his long record of bankruptcies and court settlements. When it all hits the fan he walks away leaving others to clean up his mess.

The truest thing I ever heard Donald Trump say was, referring to Vladimir Putin, “He’s a much nicer guy than I am.” Think about that. Trump believes Vladimir Putin, the acknowledged spymaster and manipulator with no scruples who destroys and murders anyone who gets in his way, is a much nicer guy than he is. In that, he flatters himself. It makes him feel tough, but one on one with Putin, Trump doesn’t stand a chance.

In Nancy Pelosi and a Democrat-controlled House Trump has met his match, and his tactics of insulting and bullying his way through all resistance have been shown to be transparent and empty. Americans blame him for the government shutdown and the impasse over his specious border wall by nearly two to one. The talking heads love it. They’re convinced he has backed himself into a corner from which there’s no way out, but they’ve been wrong at every turn since Trump announced he was running for president. I’m afraid they’re wrong now too.

The media are hyping this as the end game of a classic fight or flight scenario, comparing him to a cornered animal. But a cornered animal will fight to the death and wreak havoc all around it until it’s brought down. As a president whose need to win dominates everything, Trump can do enormous harm to the country. What we’ve seen up to now is the tip of the iceberg.

If you still wonder why he’s pursuing a fight he can’t win, maybe that’s because you’re looking at the wrong fight. Trump wants the government closed for as long as possible. The longer it isn’t functioning, the longer it will take House Committees to staff up and hire the legal teams they need to investigate him. Every day that passes is a day on which no subpoenas have been issued, no one has been interviewed, and no one has been forced to answer questions. The longer that goes on, the more chaos and backfilling there will be when the shutdown inevitably ends.

Don’t think for a minute that Trump can’t win this fight. As dysfunctional as the Democrats are, as gridlocked as the various factions seem to be, we may be well into election season 2020 before they get their act together. Trump can win the way he always does, sowing distrust and discord everywhere so nothing can be accomplished. Chaos is his strongest ally.

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Intransigence

Alan Zendell, January 10, 2019
In most people, intransigence is a symptom of ignorance and/or insecurity. When we’re stuck trying to defend a point of view we know little or nothing about, or we feel unable to support a position we’ve staked out, the last thing we want is to engage in a rational debate. That limits our options: we can capitulate, defer to people who are more knowledgeable, or dig our heels in.

The more self-assured we are, the more likely we are to value finding a workable solution more than worrying about who is right or wrong and who gets credit for the outcome. Such people are more likely to select one of the first two options.

People who are insecure, who are motivated by ego gratification, concern for their public image, or a need for approval tend toward intransigence. And they engage in projection – characterizing anyone who disagrees with them as stubborn and unwilling to compromise. That kind of behavior is an occupational hazard for politicians. It’s never pretty, but when our president acts that way, it’s a serious problem.

The speeches on the government shutdown delivered by our leaders last Tuesday, aka the Donald, Chuck, and Nancy Show, were indicative of the circus our governing process has become. All three were appallingly unimpressive, and the whole thing was a dreadful waste of time.

From the point of view of a sound bite listener who knew nothing about the issues beforehand, it might be easy to conclude that the participants were hopelessly deadlocked over an unsolvable problem. But to anyone who’s been paying attention to anything but football lately, despite the awful responses by Chuck and Nancy, it’s clear that the deadlock is entirely a creation of the president.

Trump based his entire election campaign on a promise that never made practical sense, but had the undeniable ability to tap into the latent fears and bigotries of two out of every five Americans. Experts in border security, and all seven House members who represent districts along the Mexican border are unanimous. Extending the seven-hundred mile long wall that is already in place is the most expensive and least effective way of securing our southern border. The Senate and House both passed bipartisan bills that fund enhanced border controls while acknowledging specifically that there are better ways to spend tax dollars than building a wall.

Today, when Trump tweeted that he was canceling his trip to the World Economic Conference in Davos, Switzerland “because of the Democrats [sic] intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation,” he made my head spun more than usual. His bravado leading up to Davos made it clear that he was looking for a reason not to attend the meeting. The disdain other world leaders have for him would have been obvious on all the world media.

The only players who still cling to Trump’s border wall are the president, who has talked himself into a corner that in his own words would make him look foolish if he backed down, and sycophants in Congress, like Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell, who believe their best strategy for retaining their seats in 2020 is appeasing Trump’s base. Typically, Trump’s response is to create confusion and distraction, but in doing so, he disparages his base.

He assumes they’re too intellectually lazy to pay attention beyond the sound bites with which he tries to dominate the media, and in that, he is unfortunately correct. The social media culture of tweets, text messages, and Instagram chats trains Americans to lose interest in any conversation that lasts more than two sentences.

To those Americans, I say, “Wake up!” Laziness is the surest way to destroy our republic. Democracy is not an entitlement, it’s a hard-earned privilege. We won our independence by defeating the strongest imperial power in the world, and we survived a civil war that would have destroyed most countries. But the intellectual laziness that enables our president to behave the way he does could result in throwing all that away.

Recent polling shows the majority of Americans believe Trump’s position on the border is untenable. His intransigence on the issue which appears to be driving him toward a flagrant abuse of executive power, based only on his narcissistic need to have his way, demonstrates that he’s unfit for his job. I’ve repeatedly argued against impeachment because it would be traumatic for the country. But Trump’s actions are more dangerous every month. As his desperation impels him to manufacture what will inevitably be a constitutional crisis over executive power, it becomes clear that he must be removed from office before he does serious harm to our country.

I know this is unforgivably biased, but I couldn’t help smiling at the tweet by radio and TV (Bravo and truTV) personality Scott Nevins in response to Trump’s tweet on Davos, “Trump supporters scramble[d] to google the definition of intransigence.” (If you don’t get it, it’s okay.)

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