For many Americans it is increasingly difficult to see a way to hold Donald Trump accountable for any of this actions. The president breaks laws and incinerates political norms on a daily basis and no one appears to be able to do anything about it. The Republican controlled congress is providing him political cover and won’t move to impeach him, and the Democrats are not willing or not able to stand up to him either. This means one of the least popular presidents in US history and by far its most incompetent is free to tweet inflammatory nonsense at all hours of the day while destroying the standing of the Oval Office with impunity.
The media and political structures in America worked overtime in 2016 to legitimize Trump. His own party supported him through the most appalling scandals even after he went about humiliating them, and the biggest media organizations spent thousands of hours covering “both sides” in an effort to remain “objective”. The net result was the election of a bonafide madman to the presidency who thinks nothing of fanning the flames of racial hatred, assaulting women or helping elect alleged pedophiles.
There are however politicians willing to do what is necessary to delegitimize this president — and shock horror — it begins with delegitimizing him. From USA Today:
U.S. Reps. John Lewis and Bennie Thompson will stay away from Saturday’s opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, citing the attendance of President Donald Trump.
Lewis and Thompson, both Democratic leaders, had planned to attend Saturday.
In a joint statement, they said that “Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum. The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi. President Trump’s disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants and National Football League players disrespect the efforts of Fannie Lou Hamer, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, Robert Clark, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and countless others who have given their all for Mississippi to be a better place.”
This is, for lack of a better phrase, how to do it. Trump remains legitimate as long as people around him continue to legitimize him. The more people refuse to acknowledge him as the President of the United States, the less power he will have. Trump’s approval ratings are in the toilet and won’t be ever be going up. His behavior is getting more obnoxious, more dangerous and more deranged by the week, and he is embroiled in a scandal that could involve treasonous actions against the United States. He is a walking catastrophe doing so much damage to his country and the planet that it will take decades for future generations to reverse. Now is the time to begin building a mass movement to delegitimize Trump, and as Rep. John Lewis and Bennie Thompson have shown, this starts by refusing to show him the respect he won’t show anyone else.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.