With everything going on with the Russian interference with our November, 2016 presidential election, some question the legitimacy of the current person holding the title and office of president. On Friday, indictments were handed down against Russian individuals and entities for engaging in unlawful activities to undermine the 2016 election and to favor Donald Trump. It begs the question that if a person holding the office of president won the office through the influence by the Russians, is President’s day still a legitimate holiday in 2018.
Monday, February 19, 2018 is President’s day. Most local, state and federal offices are closed. President’s day is celebrated on the third Monday of February. When I was in school, it was celebrated as Washington’s birthday in honor of our first president. It was changed throughout time to celebrate Presidents Washington and Lincoln and then all presidents including the present president in office.
If Robert Mueller’s investigation determines that Donald Trump’s campaign engaged in collusion or in overt activity with the Russians to undermine our election process in November, 2016, then the person presently holding the office is a sham or a fake. Even with the lack of any present indictments showing a combined effort by the Trump campaign to engage in a conspiracy with a foreign adversary, this so-called president has already shown an unwillingness to actually occupy the office.
Instead of bringing the country together, Trump has consistently engaged in a pattern and practice of dividing the country. It’s like it’s him and his staunch supporters and the rest of the country in a battle. When opportunities arise to console and comfort a grieving country, he takes every opportunity to further ignite divisive sparks. Charlottesville, VA showed the president’s true colors in supporting the Neo-Nazi’s during the summer rally where one individual was killed. And this past weekend, after visiting first responders in Parkland, FL, he headed to a party at his nearby Florida resort, in the wake of 17 persons killed at Douglas High school.
Trump’s attacks on women and support of men who are known sexual and domestic abusers further shows his division among gender. And then there’s the race divide with Trump going against the NFL players’ right to silently protest the police brutality against blacks. He forcefully spoke against the players’ constitutional rights to address racism. And many whites sided with the president and missed the point of the protests. And Trump rarely misses an opportunity to attack Hispanics, Muslims and African Americans but often remains neutral in criminal actions by whites such as the Las Vegas killer and Charlottesville rally of KKK and white supremacists.
While there is no job description for the office of president, it appears that at a minimum, a president should unite the American people—or at least make genuine efforts to do so. The Trump administrations does the exact opposite. Sowing seeds of division may win votes with the weak Trump base. However, it undermines the office of the president and disserves the e American people.
With possible further indictments in the wing on the Trump campaign and the president’s non-presidential actions in year one, do we really have reason to celebrate President’s day this year? I suggest we use President’s day 2018 to make a donation online to an organization that is upholding the constitution and democracy. We don’t appear to have a president that honors either one.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer, legal and political commentator and former Baltimore prosecutor.