Next Tuesday, we in Slippery Rock have a tremendous opportunity to rid ourselves of three self-serving and incompetent elected officials. Each of the incumbents up for re-election this year – President Donald Trump, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly and Pennsylvania Representative Aaron Bernstine – have utterly failed to serve their constituents and must be voted out of office.
The Republican Party has rapidly dissolved from a party that promotes conservative ideals into a cult of personality centered around the New York billionaire Donald Trump, using their political power only to promote his personal agenda and boost his unbelievably fragile ego. This year, the Republican party literally has no policy platform; in its place, they published a short document simply stating their goal to support President Trump no matter what he does. Even as Trump called COVID-19 a hoax and deliberately suppressed information about the severity of the coming pandemic, the cowards and sycophants of his party didn’t dare step an inch beyond the president’s message and discouraged mask use and social distancing as methods to slow the spread. Representative Bernstine even encouraged local officials to ignore Pennsylvania’s official coronavirus response guidelines as part of his party’s effort to halt any and all government attempts to contain the coronavirus.
During the presidency of Donald Trump, the United States has suffered. Even beyond his catastrophic COVID-19 response, the economic and moral failings of the administration are impossible to ignore. Along the southern border there are concentration camps where hundreds of children have been taken from their parents and imprisoned. The economy has undergone the biggest drop since the Great Depression. The United States has withdrawn from the international community and its diplomatic standing has plummeted. Millions of Americans remain jobless and receive no assistance from the federal government as they struggle to come up with money for food and housing.
Trump’s corruption goes beyond failure – he is a swindler, actively preying on American taxpayers to enrich himself at their expense. He is the only president in our history who has not sold off his business holdings when he assumed office. During his presidency, the federal government has spent an inordinate amount of money at Trump properties – from room fees for secret service agents at Trump hotels to the countless rounds of golf he plays instead of working, money has been constantly been funneling from taxpayers to his own pockets. He has even kept his assets overseas, creating an abhorrent conflict of interest. When he allowed the Turkish military to begin bombing our loyal Kurdish allies, he was still profiting off of the Trump Towers in Istanbul.
Our standing in the eyes of the world has fallen dramatically under President Trump. He has antagonized allies and other democratically elected world leaders while kowtowing to dictators, showing a clear preference and admiration for such despots as Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China. As the world is beginning to see the dramatic effects of climate change, he has continued to deny its existence and refuses to cooperate with other countries to curtail carbon emissions. To avert a climate disaster, it is essential to build trust with our allies and seek solutions to the collective problem of climate change. Under President Trump, it will be impossible to do so.
American politics are messy – if you hold public office, you have to be able to take the heat. President Trump has shown that he is unable to handle criticism like an adult, instead lashing out and blaming Democrats or the media for his own failures. When asked about the thousands of Americans who died while he downplayed the coronavirus outbreak, he went so far as to say, “I don’t take responsibility at all.” He constantly complains that the media treats him unfairly, though most media coverage treats him very delicately so as to not upset him or his supporters. He decries “cancel culture” while ruthlessly attacking anyone in his own party who says anything to contradict him. Instead of carrying out his duties as president, he spends most of his time on Twitter or watching cable news to make sure that everyone is talking about him in just the way he wants. Anything even slightly critical of him is automatically “fake news” to President Trump, and he denies even the possibility that he could lose the election even though public opinion has turned strongly against him.
To end the demagoguery and corruption of the Trump administration, it is essential to elect Joe Biden to the presidency. Biden is far from perfect, but he is able to admit his mistakes and learn from them. He strives to be honest with the American people and weathers criticism with dignity and patience. He won’t spend his entire tenure in office tweeting about TV ratings; instead, he will be pursuing a thorough policy agenda meant to help Americans who are suffering the most. He will strive to unite us instead of amplifying the deep cultural wounds that tear us apart. He will bring dignity and respectability back to the office of the presidency and the United States of America.
Have you had enough of the lies, bluster and corruption from the Trump administration? Make yourself heard on Nov. 3.