On his first day on the job, President Joe Biden did something with which I vehemently disagree. He issued an executive order to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. PBS describes the pipeline:
The 1,700-mile (2,735-kilometer) pipeline was planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Keystone XL President Richard Prior said over 1,000 jobs, the majority unionized, will be eliminated in the coming weeks.
First proposed in 2008, the pipeline has become emblematic of the tensions between economic development and curbing the fossil fuel emissions that are causing climate change. The Obama administration rejected it, but President Donald Trump revived it and has been a strong supporter. Construction already started.
I could use the rest of the article to talk about why that was a bad decision. However, what struck me the most is a sense of relief - now in the post-Trump world we can finally get back to talking about the issues.
Trumpers thought Trump was about "owning the libs" and the fact Democrats opposed Trump was not surprising to them. But what really got under Trumpers' skin the most was when Republicans, often staunch conservatives, opposed Trump.
Before Trump ran for office, I knew all about his history. He was a spectacularly bad businessman who was constantly running side scams to supplement his business failures. At the time, he was elected, the con was Trump University. He also had the Trump Foundation, a scam in which he used charitable contributions for personal use.
Trump also had a history of philandering. He had been married three times and cheated on every one of his wives. He had been accused by 18 women of sexual assault, or worse. Then you have the Access Hollywood tape...
Trump's one success in life, before being elected in 2016, was being a reality show star on a show that someone else created. In "The Apprentice," Trump played the part of a successful businessman, a role he never played in real life.
Trump had no experience in politics or in government. He had done nothing in life to suggest he had the ability to be the manager of a 7 Eleven, much less be President of the United States. You could literally go into one of the downtown Indianapolis commercial buildings after hours, find a janitor mopping the floor, make him President, and that person would be more qualified to be President than Donald J. Trump.
There were things about Trump though that proved shocking. I knew he was dishonest, but I had no idea how dishonest. In defending him, one of my Trumper friends said "Every politician lies." While that may be true, it is not true that every politician lies CONSTANTLY as Donald Trump did.
I also was shocked about Trump's complete inability to learn on the job. When elected, he knew nothing about being President. When he vacated the White House 1,461 days later, he still knew nothing about being President.
Maybe what shocked me most about Donald Trump was his utter disdain for the Constitution, American democratic institutions and values, as well as the freedoms we Americans enjoy. Trump loved autocrats and sought dictatorial power at home. He came so close to positioning himself to seize that power. If 45,000 or so voters in three states had voted differently, Trump would have been re-elected and the American experiment in democratic government likely would have been over. In the end, Trump's efforts to overturn an election and foment an insurrection proved unsuccessful, but they provided undeniable evidence of Trump's utter disdain for all things American.
One thing I learned about the Donald Trump experience is that until certain basics are met, you can't proceed to debate the issues. My Republican Party's nominee for President has to be fit for office, have a good temperament, and the experience and intelligence to handle the duties. The nominee has to be someone with decent morals and character and integrity. He/she needs to at least try to be honest. But, maybe most importantly, my Republican Party needs to nominate someone who respects the Constitution and American democratic institutions and values. On every one of these measures, Donald Trump failed to measure up.
With Trump gone, we can finally start talking about the issues again. Hallelujah.