Point of View: Republican standards of morality have fallen

Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican controlled House of Representatives in 1999 for having an affair with a White House staff member which he denied. Eventually he conceded he did have an affair and agreed to testify to the grand jury. Note, he agreed to testify in his trial. He was acquitted of the charges (specifically lying under oath and obstruction of justice) and completed his second term. Republicans sure held a president to a very high moral standard in those years. Having an affair is something we would normally think of as the business of the family, not the entire country.

I guess Republican moral standards have fallen several plus notches. Now they support a president who tells so many lies it’s hard to believe anything he says. According to one article “in 2017, President Trump made 1,999 false or misleading claims. In 2018, he added another 5,689, for a total of 7,688.” Of course, many will now question that as just another “fake news” claim. Mr. Trump has done a great deal of harm to our free press with his rhetoric against news reporting that doesn’t favor him.

Back to moral standards: If I had young children in my home, I would not let them listen to or view this president speak. His bullying is not a behavior to model. He makes fun of people’s physical attributes that he doesn’t like, he denigrates people of color and women. He hires a scapegoat to pay off prostitutes. He uses his money to buy power and leverages it as a weapon. He bribed an official of a corrupt government in order to get dirt on a campaign opponent. And there is the best reason I’ve heard since the Nixon hearings to impeach a president. And he refuses to testify under oath. Yet … the very low morals of the Republican Party find no harm in that? Holy presidents, where has morality gone?

He attended a pro-life rally recently. I don’t believe for an instant he cares at all for an unborn baby. I believe he uses that as a tool to win over the Christian populace. Regarding the great economy — how has that helped most people? Have your wages gone up? Have utilities gone down? Cost of goods gone down? “We cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.” Words spoken by an infamous president.

His rallies are so full of hateful rhetoric that hate groups are on the rise in the U.S. Since 2016 there are more organized hate groups, which includes Nazi groups, in all states except one (New Mexico). How many mass shootings have we endured under this president? All committed by white male citizens of the U.S., filled with hatred perhaps inspired by hate groups that are incentivized by Trump’s rallies.

I’ve heard from some people they are afraid of socialism. I’m afraid of the U.S. becoming an autocracy. Imagine not having the freedom to speak your opinion if it differs from the ruler.

If I were a Republican (I’m nonpartisan) I would be doing whatever I could to distance this president from my party. He is being acquitted for crimes I believe he should be removed from office for. But he is so powerful with his money (yet doesn’t pay taxes; is there financial fraud in there?) he uses it to get what he wants. What will U.S. citizens say in November? As one very admired former Republican remarked to me, “Which way will we as a country point our moral compass?

Therese Lewandowski retired from the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, in 2013 after 23 years as an administrative assistant. She has lived in Homer for 37 years, quietly volunteering here and there while raising garden, dogs and goats.