Guest editorial: Does Trump act as a president or a dictator? |

Guest editorial: Does Trump act as a president or a dictator?

John White

For those of us who can remember, Benito Mussolini was the dictator of Italy prior and during World War II. He quite often when addressing his government leaders and fellow Italians was photographed posing with an uplifted chin, pouty mouth with turned down lips, and arms folded across his chest in a defiant manner typifying authoritarian superiority. Strangely, President Trump often expresses that same posture when talking to his supporters at rallies and reporters.

At the beginning of the Trump presidency, most Americans had high hopes in his leadership, but were immediately shocked and dismayed by his demeaning attitude when interacting with various leaders and dignitaries throughout the world. He has in two short years managed to alienate most of our allies, and at the same time sing the praises of his relationships with the despots from Russia and North Korea.

Other than his base of supporters, most Americans deplore his arrogant attitude; his willingness to tell lies in an effort to promote his agenda to de-regulate just about everything that previous presidents were able to establish as policy; his inability to choose and keep quality leaders as evidenced by the number of guilty convictions by his inner associates; the corruptness of cabinet appointees necessitating resignations or firings; his egotist attitude and resistance to accept the advice of our intelligence institutions in contrast to his willingness to accept the word of Putin and Kim Jong-Un as truth without factual foundation!

Speaking of truths. His campaign promise and obsession to build a “wall” along the southern border of the United States and Mexico, combined with two failed attempts to have Congress agree with him by appropriating $5.6 billion, has caused him to act irrationally and more like a dictator than a president functioning under the Constitution. As most of you know, he has issued an executive order to declare a “national emergency,” in an effort to find sufficient funds from other government sources, primarily the military budget. His behavior in this matter is that of a spoiled kid who throws a tantrum when he does not get what he wants!

It appears to me that the Republican congressional leaders are at a political fork in the road. If they choose the path to the right, they will continue to acquiesce their constitutional power to govern to the whims and wishes of President Trump. Based on the results of the 2018 midterm voter turnout for Democrats, they will be taking a big risk of staying with Trump’s agenda. If they choose the path to the left, they will be exercising their constitutional power to act as a check and balance of abusive power emanating from the White House. In doing so, they take the risk of losing Trump supporters for their re-election efforts. What a conundrum!

A handful of Republican senators and representatives have already verbally expressed their objection to the decision of the president to declare a national emergency. The House has taken steps to pass a bill to stop his executive order. The question remains: Will the Republicans be willing to break ranks with the president when he vetoes the bill to stop his executive order? More importantly, what will Senators Romney and Lee do? Acquiesce or revolt?

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