Each day’s newspaper and radio-TV programs bring more discouraging headlines: “Supreme Court justice resigns;” “European allies discouraged;” “Is Trump handing Putin a victory in Syria?”
It’s even worse than Kentucky’s governor blaming school shootings on everything but guns, Denial is not just a river in Egypt, as the old adage goes.
The president’s actions, or inaction, and the administration’s incompetence in handling a serious refugee crisis in a humane and caring matter — if it is being handled at all — has laid bare the inhumanity and dangers we face.
In the coming weeks and months, if the Trump administration is not reined in by Congress, the Supreme Court will get another very conservative justice that may open the way to overturn everyone’s important civil rights, including women’s rights (Roe v. Wade), LGBT rights, free speech and immigration refugee rights.
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It is Congress that will have to hold the line on presidential excess, and the balance in the Senate is very critical to determine a proper successor to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing vote on many social issues.
Our Sen. Mitch McConnell is poised to do the president’s dirty work of trying to push the nominee through the Congress before the fall elections take place.
If current trends continue, the elections are on track to produce a turnover in either senatorial or congressional leadership or perhaps both. McConnell should stop behaving as an enabler to the worst president since James Buchanan, who let America slide into Civil War with barely a peep.
Our state’s congressmen, with the exception of Louisville’s John Yarmuth, have been notably silent about these issues, and it is past time for them to let us know where they stand.
I particularly call on our 6th district Congressman Andy Barr to stop defending a president who is coming closer to endangering the country every day and disrupting civil rights to boot. He offers political challenger Amy McGrath such a big target.
The immediate foreign-relations danger is that the Trump-Putin meeting on July 16 in Helsinki, if not handled properly, will alienate our European Allies and weaken our principal defense alliance, NATO.
Trump is cozying up to one of the most brutal dictators in Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who is sucking up to Trump precisely to crush the Western alliance and open the way for further Russian intrusion into Europe.
We are not getting the truth from this administration. Lest you think I am merely an unregenerate Democrat, I was a registered Republican during my 23-year career as an American Foreign Service Officer, which included trying to persuade a Democratic Secretary of State to do the right thing in Iran to no avail.
The U.S. is still paying a hefty price for his refusal to do so.
We must get Trump under control or out of office before he does critical damage to the United States and the rest of the Western community.
It’s not that he’s a Republican, but that he’s a dangerous, malfunctioning, cunning idiot — that is the problem.
John D. Stempel is a former U.S. Navy Officer, 25-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service and former director and professor emeritus of the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School Diplomacy and International Commerce.