award-winning educator, mental health advocate, social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, author/writer, program executive, and radio host
Anyone who is or perceived to be deceptive should – rightfully so – have their actions, behaviors, and judgments evaluated differently and with greater scrutiny --- especially those of a U.S. President or anyone who serves in their administration.
Merriam-Webster defines truthfulness as “telling or disposed to tell the truth.” Moreover, its defines truth as: (a) the body of real things, events, and facts - actuality / the state of being the case - fact / a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality; (b) a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true; and (c) the body of true statements and propositions.
Honest and ethical individuals don’t need to continuously update or amend their previous statements or communications. If someone provides the truth, then there isn’t a reason for an amendment.
Confidence in a person can be derived by a position or the office held. An office maintains its credibility based on the authority granted, the manner in which power is used, and the consistency of work in respect to the expectations of the rights and duties of the office held. Furthermore, an individual’s character and reputation are usually based on their actions, behaviors, and judgments over time to evaluate their consistency or lack thereof.
During the past seven months, the image and representation of the U.S. presidency has been severely damaged and potentially forever changed not only for citizens, but also around the world. A single person cannot be allowed to denigrate the position, value, respect, and authority of the Office of the Presidency --- especially due to shortsighted viewpoints, self-serving actions, petty/belittling attacks, and less than exemplary character/behavior that’s expected from anyone who holds our nation’s highest and most prestigious office.
If this concern was related to a singular act, then there might not be as much consternation. However, after ongoing pattern of mind-boggling actions and behaviors, serious questions must be asked about the President’s stability, fitness to serve/protect, and loyalty to citizens, the office, and our country.
In the infinite wisdom of our country’s Founding Fathers to build our great Democracy, there was a distinct intent to clearly define separation of executive, judicial, and legislative. This foresight ensures that a single branch of the government doesn’t have supreme power. Additionally, it ensures that appropriate checks-and-balances exist to minimize the potential for abuse of power, prevent corruption, and allow for administrative or legal actions to hold individuals, groups, or organizations responsible and accountable for their actions.
In the article “Democracy Depends on a Free Press,” Caroline Little wrote:
“To protect the people’s power, our Founding Fathers carefully divided the government into three branches. With this system, no one person or governmental branch could ever rule with absolute authority.
The checks and balances provide a framework for the government. However, the cornerstone of our democracy is the unique privilege and responsibility of every citizen to be engaged through voting, public offices, representation in Congress and myriad other ways.”
This makes it even more troublesome that certain members of the legislative branches of our government are interestingly silent about highly questionable or blatantly unethical behaviors and arguably illegal actions or activities --- while at the same time blindly proceeding to attempt to strip upward of 20 million citizens of their right to quality, lifesaving healthcare.
Trump’s vision of loyalty is for his associates to blindly follow his direction – seemingly always – without any dissent. The issue is that this isn’t leadership (reference my article “Trump’s First 100 Days Provide Valuable Leadership Lessons”); this behavior is normally associated with authoritarian or communist regimes and not democratic nations. The amazing thing about the U.S. Democracy is the inalienable rights to express dissent, oppose actions, demonstrate, criticize, and fight for remedies. It also includes invaluable protections for the freedom of the press, along with its independence.
Little later in her article writes:
“For a society to be responsible and powerful, it must be informed. Our free press, protected by the first constitutional amendment, plays a critical role in ensuring that every American has constant access to important and trustworthy news.
Thomas Jefferson said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”
As he emphasized, this free flow of information to the public is essential to preserving our American democracy. In addition to educating and reporting, the press serves as the public’s independent watchdog, charged with keeping governments, businesses and other organizations in check.”
Therefore, it’s in the best of interest of our Democracy for all of us to vehemently fight against attempts to cast dispersions on the validity and credibility of the press by allowing the President to continuously label it “fake news.” If these actions and behaviors continue unchallenged, then it risks and puts to the test some of the fundamental principles in which this country was built. Additionally, if any individual is permitted to diminish the credibility of the “facts,” then, it endangers the potential loss of civility, freedoms, democracy, and life. This also emboldens individuals to provide their twisted and personally biased interpretations of facts; otherwise, now known as “alternative facts.”
Another concern that requires immediate action is the unbelievable reports that the President may be exploring methods to pardon his family, staff, and himself. The consideration of this as a possibility is extremely alarming and disconcerting. No man is above the law, including the President. Consequently, there must be serious deliberations about the reason(s) that anyone in the Trump administration might need to be pardoned.
“A pardon removes the possibility of someone being prosecuted for a crime or offense against the country under Article II of the U.S. Constitution.”
The actions and behaviors by numerous members of the Trump administration are unprecedented, which arguably far exceed the malfeasances that led to Nixon’s impeachment. It’s beyond time for legislative leadership. There must be immediate action to ensure that the U.S. Constitution is amended to clearly detail that the President cannot pardon himself or anyone if there’s an active investigation about the legality or ethical nature of their actions. The President cannot be above the law or have any opportunity to commit crimes against our country and then pardon at will. However, for this amendment to occur, it requires moral leadership and stewardship to precede individual beliefs or party affiliations to pursue the best interests of and to protect our country.
Don’t allow Trump additional time to strategize and act at his convenience. Legislators must amend the U.S Constitution to protect our Democracy from any potential inside attack. Otherwise, inaction might lead to the end of government as we know it, along with risking our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In the meantime, we must continue to hope and pray that the President in publicly requesting loyalty for himself is committed to the protection of the U.S. people and our Democracy.
This is “Our Democracy;” therefore, we must stand united or divided we will fall. No President will be allowed to forget or disavow their oath of office!
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”