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H. BRUCE RINKER: Donald Trump Betrayed America

Donald Trump betrayed America. The opening statements by Thompson and Cheney and various witnesses at the bipartisan Select Committee Hearing in Washington, make it abundantly clear that Trump and his army of apes engaged in criminal behaviors on 6 January 2022 to overturn the results of a legitimate presidential election. And still Trump persists with spreading the hokum of his “Big Lie.”

When Donald Trump took his oath of office on 20 January 2017 as the 45th President of the United States; he placed his hand on the Lincoln Bible and told the world, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

From the his first day of as the Nation’s CEO, Trump lied and broke his Oath and abused the Office as President to promote himself, his family, and his thugs. A self-anointed Potentate of Mediocrity, Meanness, and Mischief. He will be remembered for his obscenities and bizarre notions (recall his proposal to administer bleach for COVID 19 patients? Remember his inexcusable comments about Mexicans and Africans? And his endless stream of anti-science rhetoric? And let’s not forget his warm praises for authoritarian rulers like Vladimir Putin, calling the Russian President, “a genius.” Trump and Putin are like two peas in a rotten pod, equally corrupt.

Like a petulant playground bully, Trump deliberately chose to interfere repeatedly with a legitimate national election, seeing that he incontrovertibly lost the re-election to Joe Biden, T-Rump became the supreme cock-a-hoop, a loudmouth who continues to promote his ridiculous Big Lie.

Then, Trump fashioned himself squarely at the head of a murderous insurrection, as his term of office expired, fomenting rebellion among his dis-enfranchised minions.

We know all this from the June Senate hearing chaired by Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) and with the vice-chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming). The hearing has detailed the carnage and mayhem sparked by a criminal president. “It was chaos,” commented by Witness, Caroline Edwards who was assaulted by the perpetrators and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Then GOP Congressman, Andrew Clyde (Georgia) commented that “you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”

Really? How often do “normal” tourists attack the Capitol police and erect a scaffold meant for a Vice President and a Speaker of the House? I guess Mr. Clyde has some difficulty recognizing evil; after all he voted against Congressional anti-lynching legislation, calling it “unnecessary.”

I watched the summary report spellbound as I sat in front of my office computer screen. I was also mortified by all the flag waving and violence as the perpetrators flushed themselves into the sacred place of the Nation’s Capitol for democracy and freedom.

I’m a proud 10th generation Virginian on both sides of my family. With patriots having served in all of America’s wars, including the Revolutionary War under Daniel Morgan, and during America’s Civil War, sometimes with family members shooting at each other on both sides! The Rinker’s are in the United States due to religious persecution in Zurich from which they fled as new Protestants, And that was 10 generations ago! Either through civil or military service, countless Rinker’s have given their lives proudly to the country over and over again.

As this charlatan, Trump, ran for the highest office in the land, the world groaned aloud, second-rate television host, had the security codes for our national defense??!! Trump is a trickster and a one-timer (I pray G-d) president. He’s made a mockery of America. At the time, I worked as a Conservation Scientist and volunteer in Mexico, and was honored to be invited into their Senate where the Senators showed great disdain and dissatisfaction for Donald Trump, even posting anti-Trump sentiments in their office windows for the public to witness.

My stomach turned when I watched the anarchists launch their attack on America with THAT flag emblematic of their vicious intent, as Trump as their modern day Jim Jones sharing his spiked punch with these simpletons of murder and mayhem. My visceral reaction that day nearly moved me to disavow my Southern identity. And there’s Trump with his hand on the Lincoln Bible all the while with conspiracy in his heart! That emotional reaction is what I feel when I see vehicles with West Virginia tags with Confederate flags flapping their absurd juxtaposition. They do not know their national history. I think where’s a special place in Hell for such Oath Breakers! President Lincoln presided over a deeply divided nation, and then tried to preserve the Union. Trump presided over a deeply divided nation, and then betrayed America with his desperate paranoia. Can there be anything more absurd and anachronistic as a West Virginian waving a Confederate flag?

President Lincoln is famous for saying,” A house divided cannot stand.” Trump’s hallmark is his ability to divide and foment distrust. Trump has a dark knack for showing the ugly side of America.

When I was a little boy growing up in a family of strong Democratic supporters of President John F. Kennedy, our family mantra was “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask, instead, what you can do for your country.”

A Catholic Kennedy inspired children and adults to embrace civic action and public service. My Presbyterian grandparents and had a large portrait of President Kennedy hanging on a dining room wall in their home. He was a tough, clear-eyed President who inspired the Nation, and the world. Trump does not seem to understand what it means to make a personal sacrifice for the country. For #45, it’s all about Trump.

Before America’s Civil War, we affirmed, “The United Sates ARE.” Once the Rebellion was quelled and the slaves emancipated, we could dare to believe, the United States IS.” But now with Trump’s dark mania we have fallen back to the discordant perspective that: “The United States is.” “Or my party is,” or my group is, and yours is not.” One state against another and the other party or just about anything that’s not me. Trump betrayed America with full knowledge and ill-intent.

Trump falsely claimed a vote dump with no evidence, now it’s time to dump, the traitorous Trump and give him to his demons, in a dark prison cell.

Friends have asked me, what I might do, If I ever met T-Rump, I hearken to a saying popular among Pentecostal Christians: “The Spirit of slap came upon me!”

H. Bruce Rinker, Ph.D. is a forest ecologist, a science educator, and an explorer who lives and works in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Bruce is also the author or A Pearl in the Brain (Koëhler Books), and the co-author of Forest Canopies, and Gaia in Turmoil (MIT Press).

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