January 6, 2018

Mariano: The real danger of the Trump presidency

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Flickr / Gage Skidmore

President Trump

Ray Mariano

It is no secret that I think the Trump presidency has been a disaster. Yes, I know the stock market is breaking records. The richest people in our country are thrilled with his effort to strip away environmental protections, eliminate consumer regulations and get them enormous tax breaks. And so our stocks soar.

But, President Trump and his legion of darkness has caused so much pain and committed acts that have caused such great harm that it is hard to measure the damage he has caused.

As we begin 2018, I wanted to look back at Trump’s first year in office. What is the real danger posed by his presidency?

He lies everywhere

We were taught that when George Washington chopped down the cherry tree he said: “I cannot tell a lie.” I know the story is a myth, but that is the ideal we hold for our presidents.

Unfortunately, over the years we have come to expect our politicians to shade the truth, to twist the facts a bit and even to lie. But we have never seen anything like Donald Trump.

According to independent analysis, our president has lied or distorted the facts nearly 2,000 times since he took office, an average of 5.5 times each and every day including Sundays. His recent semi-incoherent interview with The New York Times was a symphony of lies and distortions.

President Trump lies about important things and things of little consequence with equal ease. And when he is caught red-handed with incontrovertible facts by the media, he just yells, “Fake news!”

As Dr. Seuss might have written:

He lies here and there;

He lies everywhere.

He lies to you and me;

He lies to the whole country.

He lies big and small;

He tells the truth not at all.

But that is not the greatest danger of the Trump presidency.

Boorish behavior

Throughout his life Donald Trump told us exactly who he was. He made no secret of the fact that he did whatever he wanted to women – he often bragged about it. Then we all heard him say that he had committed sexual assault.

During the campaign, he made oafish, boorish remarks toward and about female candidates and news reporters. He admitted to walking in on naked teenage girls because he could. He admitted to grabbing women by their private parts without their permission. For anyone else, these comments would be automatically disqualifying. And still we elected him president.

Democrats like John Kennedy and Bill Clinton were no saints – far from it. But, Trump’s treatment of women throughout his life has been scandalous. He provided cover for alleged child molester Roy Moore to stand as a candidate for the United States Senate.

His behavior demeans our mothers, sisters and daughters.

But that is not the greatest danger of the Trump presidency.

Giving comfort and support to right-wing extremists

Among the most galling and frightening actions by our president has been his reaction to racist, anti-immigrant alt-right groups – even the KKK.

He has repeatedly demeaned people because of their ethnicity or religion. His words have given cover to bigotry and allowed purveyors of hate to come out of the shadows.

But that is not the greatest danger of the Trump presidency.

Flickr / Evan Guest

President Trump

Legislative proposals that hurt the most vulnerable Americans

He is stripping health insurance away from millions of vulnerable Americans.

He will try to partly pay for his tax plan with cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and other programs that assist the poor.

And even though almost every independent analysis shows that the poor and middle class will pay more, in the long run, for the Republican tax plan while it benefits the very wealthy, some people still believe the president when he says the plan was designed to help the middle class.

His Labor Department is even trying to take tips away from waiters and waitresses and give them to restaurant owners.

But that is not the greatest danger of the Trump presidency.

Obstruction of justice and the Russians

There is no logical explanation for President Trump’s behavior regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government other than criminality. Virtually all of the Republican members of Congress and many members of his own administration have said the Russians have committed a hostile act by trying to influence our elections. And yet, Trump says he takes Putin at his word that he did not try to interfere.

Trump’s defense of Putin makes no sense. I worry that he is literally selling our country out to the Russians.

Now we have evidence that President Trump tried to obstruct justice and shut down congressional investigations into the Russian interference. We have on-the-record reports by senators that Trump tried to pressure them to drop their investigation.

And we have Attorney General Jeff Sessions refusing to answer questions as to whether he was pressured by Trump to interfere with these investigations.

We also have the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, and admitting that he did it in part because of his Russian investigation.

These are criminal acts.

But that is not the greatest danger of the Trump presidency.

Lining his own pocket

He frequently stays at his own golf courses – and then raises the membership fees for everyone else.

When he stays at Trump Tower in New York, the government and American taxpayers have been forced to pay his company millions of dollars for the privilege.

Foreign guests and lobbyists flock to his Washington, D.C., hotel to curry favor with our new president.

And his tax plan maintains or adds tax breaks for people who own golf courses, for real estate developers, and for those wealthy enough to own private jets – all of which enrich Donald Trump.

But that is not the greatest danger of the Trump presidency.

The greatest danger

Any one of these things, alone, should send shivers down the spine of every American. They are frightening in their darkness and overwhelming in their scope.

But more and more, I am fighting the urge to begin to see this as just business as usual – a new normal. And that is the greatest danger of all.

When Trump was elected, I was often stunned by what he said. Not anymore. Now, I am seldom surprised.

When Trump proposed banning immigrants based on their religion, referred to alt-right racists as “good people” and gave cover to bigotry, I was furious. But now, when he retweets racist fake videos from right-wing groups in other countries, I am just saddened.

His own secretary of state referred to him as a “moron.” No big deal.

Republican senators have called him “utterly untruthful” and said that his policies were “half-baked” and that he was giving permission to others for bigotry. Business as usual.

More than the womanizing, the lying, the cheating and the scheming, the greatest danger of the Trump presidency is that we will become numb to the indefensible and that we will accept it as what we expect from our leaders.

When I listen to him speaking, I realize that we may already be lowering the bar so low that we are all the worse for it.

As exhausting as it is, we must fight to remain shocked by President Trump’s abhorrent behavior. We must remain frightened that he is unleashing the dark forces of hatred and bigotry in our nation.

We cannot allow Trump’s constant assault on our values to lower them.

We must resist, with every fiber of our being, the exhaustion that comes from a constant barrage of lies and distortions.

And we must never allow his bullying and mean-spirited behavior to be acceptable by any of our leaders.

It is less important whether Democrats or Republicans control the Congress. Certainly, I want to see Democrats in control of our government. But this is more important than that.

This is about love of country, and because we love our country, we must fight to save it from the depths and the degradations of the Trump presidency.

Lately I have been watching a few programs that included Winston Churchill. His admonition that “The malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous” is worth remembering.

Donald J. Trump is a clear and present danger to our nation. We must never accept his actions as a standard of conduct – never. And we must fight to see him removed from office.

Editor’s note: We hope you’ve enjoyed this free preview of Ray’s unique perspective and unmistakable candor. Be sure to check back in coming weeks to find out how you can keep on reading Worcester’s best commentary without becoming a Sun member when the preview ends. Ray can be reached via email at Mariano@worcester.ma.

Raymond V. Mariano is a Worcester Sun columnist. He comments on his hometown and global issues that impact it every week in the Worcester Sun. His column will appear weekly in the Sun’s print edition, on newsstands Saturdays.

42 thoughts on “Mariano: The real danger of the Trump presidency

  1. Donald Trump inherited the Presidency from the worst president ever and now the economy is moving forward. Even the number of food stamp users has diminished because they must have gotten jobs. The numbers of the unemployed continue to drop as well. And yes the stock market has risen due to the accomplishments of a competent President replacing a community organizer or shall i say community trouble maker.
    The last person of total incompetence that was our President was Jimmy Carter. Of course the miracle of Ronald Reagan is already in the history books.
    It really is funny how libtards can lie and stretch facts but real statistics prove the merits of Donald Trump.
    The last 3 Presidents have all been terrible. Donald Trump in fact has inherited 24 years of incompetence including 8 years of total corruption that took place in the 1990’s that both Republicans and now Democrats realize as well.
    It is unfortunate that our liberal media is allowed like this column to lie and distort the truth. Thank God that in spite of illegals voting and Democratic pandering for votes our citizens FINALLY have learned the truth. Hopefully during the next year Trump investigates and corrects the Democratic machine voter fraud. Then the only places that would even consider voting for this crap would be in the corrupt states of California and New York and sadly Massachusetts.

    • John Smith
      Well said! I do wish he was a little bit more polished and careful in his speech but I would take him one thousand times over the effete, lying, incompetent, greedy and hypocritical Obama.

      Its a funny thing to watch liberal heads exploding. They do not know what to do with their hypocrisy. They talk about being inclusive and accepting. That’s the biggest lie of all, just try watching Saturday Night Live for a never ending litany of Lies disrespect and cruelty to a fellow human being who disagrees with them politically.

      It is not worth going into the other parts of Marianos worthless article except to mention the obvious –Trump was never accused of being a rapist as Clinton was. Trump did not invade a country like Libya and then just walk away leaving it to turn into a terrorist hotbed, like Obama….The list goes on forever…

  2. John, Congratulations on another especially cogent, succinct, lucid analysis. It’s hard to believe that an apparently intelligent reader like Mr. John Smith could hold the opinions he does, considering how clearly you reveal the serious dangers of the Trump presidency and the sorry state of our nation. That the stock market flourishes and some Americans have grown rich seems to Smith why we can overlook that thousands of American children go to be hungry, that the new tax legislation will sorely afflict the middle class, that racism and sexism abound, and that an erratic, vindictive, bigoted, misogynistic. mendacious, juvenile narcissist heads our country.

  3. As complex as he appears, I can summarize trump up in one sentence: this is the worst excuse for a human being I have ever seen.

  4. Your article is full of half truths. I have calculated many individual and couples tax filings using the new rates. All saved $5,000 or more in 2018. That’s just one lie you have thrown out. You simply speak the DNC talking points which mostly gossip about his Diet Coke and wife’s shoes which are meaningless points.
    He does not support racism, anti-semitism, or any form of bigotry. You are confused with border policies (terrorism) to keep the US safe which Obama allowed in freely with no vetting bringing violence, fentynal, and other drugs to destroy our nation; every country has the right to determine who is allowed in their borders- we lost complete control. Obama has ripped apart our military now leaving Trump to build it back up. The economy is thriving (finally) after being stuck in neutral and sometimes reverse (3-4%) per quarter due to tax law changes but also(first) loosening unnecessary over regulation (whose only purpose was to create a larger, wasteful supersize government). The DNC offered paymentsand rewards to any woman that would say any negative e and made-up sexual allegations. Holloywood really does this stuff-Trump made the mistake of his locker room talk. Go to any locker room/ you will hear the same stuff, not that I approve of it.
    Your KKN comments should be directed to the democrats, where slavery and the KKK started. The KKK acted as DNC militants. Trump merely said at Charlottesville that some people (yes, whites) to see what the fuss was about. SOME locals were there and beaten by ANTIFA, another leftist terrorist group funded by George Soros. Trump did not, nor support white supremacy.
    Trump has had a tremendous successful first year. Put away your half or non-truths and read other sources besides the “New York Times”which was tied to the DNC and the Clinton crime family/Foundation.

  5. Sorry, Ray, that I addressed you as John. There is clearly a world of difference. As for Jill’s description of the president, there is indeed no excuse for his asinine, childish behavior. America deserves better. Fortunately, Trump supporters like John Smith decrease in number as the truth about his hypocrisy, profiteering, and incompetence becomes more and more evident. No modern president has been as unpopular as Donald Trump revealing how not even ignorant ideologues like John Smith can be so easily duped!

    • Harvey, America deserves better, like who – Hilliary Clinton? She sure has character alright. Bill could show her how to rape male interns. But it looks like it’s all starting to fall apart for the Clintons, don’t you think? As a last resort your kind could bring back Obama – screw the Consitution huh? But he doesnt’t want the job, he’s made his $55 million.

  6. Mr. Klitch, That you don’t understand what a boon Trump’s so-called tax “reform” is to corporations and the ultra-rich at the expense of the poor and the middle-class clearly reveals that you don’t how to perform simple arithmetic much less fill out a tax form. Your defense of Trump’s disgusting “locker-room” insults of women suggests your disrespect for women equals the president’s unacceptable, gross, boorish misogyny. That you can defend the hateful attitudes and racist views displayed at Charlottesville displays how much you have to learn about decency and justice. How fortunate we are that your bigoted, distorted views are less and less prevalent.

  7. In my opinion, The best way to combat the acceptance of this behavior is to disclose and vote against any politician the supports him or his chronies. At this time in history, we desperately need politians with the anger, conviction and bravery to fight him and his supporters on every unacceptable point. It needs to be in every politicians campaign platform we give support, from town boards to city councilors to senators…

  8. “Ray Mariano is a clear and present danger to himself. We must never accept his silly diatribes as a standard of coherency – never. And we must fight to see him removed from Worcester Sun”.

    Ray Ray, again you embarass yourself.

    You pulled quite a few boners in your time as mayor – the word incomepetence has been used to describe your time. Thankfully the voters dumped you. As a bureaucrat, again you were a complete incompetent. Thank God for mandatory retirement.

  9. The “Real Danger” to the establishment is their extinction. That is why they lash out at the anti establishment Trump presidency. Ray is part of the establishment.

  10. I thank my stars every day that Hillary is not our President.
    Ray…you’re turning into a crazed and Trump-obsessed Dianne Williamson.
    Take a Xanax.

  11. The number of unbelievably incoherent, thoughtless responses to Ray’s piece reveals that, yes, Donald Trump, the worst president in our history. still has his die-hard supporters. We must take comfort that their views represent less than the 40% of the American public and their numbers continue to decline. Even they have begun to realize that Trump, a notorious liar, an ignorant vulgarian, and a pathological narcissist poses a serious threat to the wellbeing of our
    nation.

    • Ignorant vulgarian, notorious liar, pathological narcissist. Sounnds like some serious crimes there.
      Threat to our nation? What planet are on you on Harvey? Can I have directions please?

  12. Here are a few of the traits of a DANGEROUS CULT LEADER AKA Donald Trump

    He has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve.
    Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or brilliance.
    Demands blind unquestioned obedience.
    Requires excessive admiration from followers and outsiders.
    Has a sense of entitlement – expecting to be treated special at all times.
    Is arrogant and haughty in his behavior or attitude.
    Has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) that allows him to bend rules and break laws.
    Is hypersensitive to how he is seen or perceived by others.
    Publicly devalues others as being inferior, incapable, or not worthy.
    Is frequently boastful of accomplishments.
    Needs to be the center of attention and does things to distract others to insure that he or she is being noticed by arriving late, using exotic clothing, overdramatic speech, or by making theatrical entrances.
    Haughtiness, grandiosity, and the need to be controlling is part of his personality.
    Behaves as though people are objects to be used, manipulated or exploited for personal gain.
    When criticized he tends to lash out not just with anger but with rage.
    Anyone who criticizes or questions him is called an “enemy.”
    Refers to non-members or non-believers in him as “the enemy.”
    Believes himself to be omnipotent.
    Has “magical” answers or solutions to problems.
    Habitually puts down others as inferior and only he is superior.
    Treats others with contempt and arrogance.
    Is constantly assessing for those who are a threat or those who revere him.
    The word “I” dominates his conversations. He is oblivious to how often he references himself.
    Hates to be embarrassed or fail publicly – when he does he acts out with rage.
    Doesn’t seem to feel guilty for anything he has done wrong nor does he apologize for his actions.
    Believes he possesses the answers and solutions to world problems.
    Believes himself to be a deity or a chosen representative of a deity.
    Tries to control others in what they do, read, view, or think.
    Seems to be highly dependent of tribute and adoration and will often fish for compliments.
    Doesn’t think there is anything wrong with himself – in fact sees himself as perfection or “blessed.”

    For the complete list, google: dangerous cult leader traits psychology today august 2012

  13. Order in the court!
    Thank you prosecutor Mariano.
    Thank you witnesses.
    Before, I call on defense attorney Colleen West- for her closing remarks, I want to remind the jury to use common sense and respect the rule of law. Thanks to all jurist- you are special citizens from all “walks of life” and from all over America. Please be aware of the bias and partisanship in the media and in politics. Your future vote will decide whether your beloved country will reverse course and go back to politics of the past. Comparing/ contrasting politicians and deciding the direction for your great country are part of your decision making process – it is up to you.

  14. But but but the emails !
    No one cares about the females !

    The sleaziest con artist in the history of NYC got elected POTUS by an electoral fluke. Enough people bought into the FAUX News crappola about Hillary that they were willing to pull the lever for brand X
    They ended up with XXX !

    The Donald made millions selling New York real estate to Russian gangsters and his son in law borrowed billions from Deutsche Bank who just happened to pay billions in fines for money laundering Russian lucre.
    Mssr Mueller has hired the best money laundering prosecutors in the country and has this slimy toad by his gonads. The Donald’s hundreds of shell companies are a classic money laundering method. It will take some time to unravel the knot but in the end a whole lotta people gonna go to jail when this is over.

    BTW
    You forgot that while Herr Drumpf has boosted the US Stock Market by 25% he has also boosted the Hong Kong Stock Market by 36% ! Making the Chinese grate again !
    Argentina is up 77% ! Take that Evita !
    Nigeria is up 42% ! Why does Donald give more to Nigeria than he gives to us ?

    Turkey is up 48% !
    That must be the work of that rascal Gen Flynnstone …… the paid foreign agent who had access to America’s deepest secrets while he served as NSA Advisor ……. even while the President knew he lied to the FBI.

    Papadopoulis and Flynnstone have sold out the boss !
    Manofarts knows what happens to people who cross Russian intelligence. They glow in the dark for a few weeks while their DNA gets sliced to ribbons by radioactive isotopes.

    I wonder who will play the parts in the movie ?
    This might take a 24 part HBO mini series

  15. Rob Reiner

    @robreiner
    Just read NYT interview with DT. We have a sick ignoramus running this country. The fact that intelligent citizens have to live with his moronic pathologically lying behavior is completely unacceptable. We must do all we can to protect Democracy and rid the US of this fool.

    10:41 PM – Dec 28, 2017

    • I have been called many things in my professional career but a coward is not one of them. I just put my name next to a 1500 word column detailing why I think Trump is the worst president in our life time. I have never been afraid to respond.

      As to the silliness of some of the comments, they generally do not deserve a response. But since you insist, here are a few response.

      To the claim of illegal voting and Democratic machine voter fraud, if Trump or anyone else had any proof, they would show it. Total baloney.

      As to the fact that Trump was never accused of rape, again false. In fact, he was sued for statutory rape of a minor along with more than a dozen sexual assaults.

      The claim that Trump doesn’t support racism or bigotry is laughable. He questioned President Obama’s birth, railed against a Mexican judge, called members of the alt-right “good people”, retweeted false racist videos etc.

      The claim that under the previous administration there was “no vetting” of people coming into the country is ludicrous.

      And suggesting that the DNC tried to bribe women to make sexual allegations against Trump or offer payments is a joke.

      I could go on but what would be the point. And I can do it without calling someone a coward or a libtard or telling them to go F-themselves.

      • What strikes me about your criticism of Trump, it can easily be applied to Mayor Joe Petty. Recall the several 2017 incidents when Petty publically attacked Gaffney and his followers, Petty publically attacking activists in City Hall. Yeah, Petty the perfect mayor. How about the corruption surrounding Riveria? What about the attacks by that clerk Rushford? You and that holier than thou attitude Mariano… yeah, you’re all saints.

      • 2 words Mariano: FUSION GPS.
        Ever heard of them? Ask Hilliary. Ask Comey. Ask Lynch.
        And you think Trump is bad?
        You are delusional Mariano. No other word describes you and your kind.

  16. So its all laughable, a joke, baloney, false, ludicrous. Sounds like a case of TDS to me.
    Folks, Ray’s a perfect example of a someone afflected with Trump Derangement Syndrome – clearly lost his mind.

    You could Ray, with that fat pension you earned on the backs of Worcester’s Blacks and Hispanics, as boss of the Worcester Housing Authority, move to El Salvador or Puerto Rico. Real cheap and pretty scenary. Se habla english.
    I heard the middle east is nice too, quite Catholic friendly too.

  17. Stock market keeps hitting new highs.
    Illegal border crossings down by 70%
    America has regained respect around the world
    Economy is booming
    Unemployment is dropping
    Companies are repatriating YUGE sums of money from foreign banks
    Corporations are investing in America again.

    And Ray Mariano is off his meds, which puts him in an alternate universe with Lizzy Warren where all of the above are bad things.

  18. Ray, You defend well against the charges made by your critics. Nothing like true facts to clear the air.
    Given what Wolff’s book confirmed about Trump’s serious deficiencies, we know even more about the serious threats the president poses to the health of our democracy. The Mueller probe will reveal that Trump may indeed be vulnerable to impeachment. Unfortunately, even after Richard Nixon proved to be the “crook” he said he wasn’t, he continued to have his supporters. Similarly, the rabid ideologues, the nearly pathological Hillary haters, and the duped Trump sycophants will never admit their emperor is naked. The rants of the responders to your cogent piece reveal they are simply unable to face the reality that they have been deceived by a totally unscrupulous demagogue.
    Keep up the good work in writing such excellent columns.

  19. No relation – that is my first name.

    Trump has successfully passed tax law that will remove programs and health arrangements designed to protect the poorest and most vulnerable in order to swell the coffers of the wealthiest, such that health protection will become more of a privilege rather than a right. The savings afforded lower income brackets are slated to reduce over time.
    The US economy was already on a upward trajectory and recovery from the global financial crisis of 2007 before Trump appeared on the scene thus it is a bit rich for him to claim credit where it is not due.
    After a little over a year the wide world considers Trump no more than a laughing stock for his narcissism, shameless dishonesty and lack of wisdom and control.
    What hope have our future generations with leaders like Trump who at almost every approach contradicts the overwhelming consensus of scientific knowledge.
    Trump has a long track record of corrupt business practices, candy-coated deals with banks, and large bankruptcies whereby he has left creditors in their wake. He has a track record of using his wealth and litigation to shut down voices exposing his witchcraft. In government he is clueless, unstable and morally inept.
    He and some of his entourage have a history of very secretive links with Russian oligarchs and government heads – bring on unfettered investigations – allow the cards to fall where they may.

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