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Trump And Putin in Helsinki: For the president’s supporters, the true moment of truth

MEDIUM, 07 / 16 / 2018

To my friends who voted for this President because they believed that there were genuine positions he held that would improve their lives:

First of all, I get it. I don’t agree, but I get it. Setting aside the awful, racist, mendacious behavior of the man (and I can’t set it aside, but some folks can) — I get it. Maybe you wanted lower taxes. Maybe you couldn’t stand Hillary Clinton. Maybe you just wanted a change after eight years of one party holding the White House.

Furthermore, you may be one of the 38–43% who still support the President. You may be pleased with the economy and credit it to him as opposed to his predecessor. Or you may be enjoying your tax cut or it may be helping your small business. Or you may be pleased with conservative judges. Etc., etc.

Whatever the calculus, if you’ve still been supporting him for non-racist, non-sexist reasons, and your life has been improved, I get it.

But if you consider yourself a patriotic American, today should have turned your head and given you hyper-serious doubts about continuing to support this man. Bigly.

Forget party. Forget all the yelling. Forget the angry talking heads.

Take a moment, and focus on what it means to be an American. What our system was founded on and what our country has continued to try to improve for 239 years — a representative democracy based on the votes of the people. Citizens of our nation.

Today, standing right beside the murderous dictator of Russia, in front of cameras and on a world stage, President Donald Trump defended Vladimir Putin for his attacks on American elections. Attacks that are still going on right this very minute, targeted toward the November midterms.

This is just something that is no longer possible to ignore. Not if you truly consider yourself a “patriotic American.”

There’s plenty of daily bluster and hyperbole in politics. This is axiomatic, and I’ve picked up the axe myself a few times.

But we have never seen anything like this in our country before. A country where millions have died in the service of defending it.

And when that phrase gets used — “defending it” — the “it” is our Constitution and the rules she lays out. And it is ALL based on the power of the vote; elections that determine winners who become decision makers. Up and down the ballot, in ever state, city and town in America.

When we have a president who does not defend the Constitution and the brave warriors who have fought and sacrificed time after time to protect it, we are lost as a country. The degree to which today’s remarks were an insult to those soldiers’ memories and to the entire U.S. Intelligence community cannot be measured with existing technology.

Again, while I’ll never fully understand how folks could vote for a man like this — I do accept that not all of his voters stand for all of his awfulness.

But today, it’s not about that. It’s about what America actually is in its most basic form: A representative democracy. A president who cannot or does not defend and protect the American electoral system should never spend a day in the Oval Office.

I don’t see a counterargument on this one. What happened today in Helsinki was the final and most convincing disqualifier to date.

It’s pretty much over. And no matter whom you voted for in 2016, everyone will soon have another chance to signal what you stand for.