Column Karen Gardner: Insanity rules in the nation’s capital

  • President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper with a headline that reads “Trump acquitted” as he speaks in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 6, in Washington. AP

Published: 2/11/2020 7:00:21 PM

I am at a loss. There are just too many important topics to write about and it’s darn near impossible to choose just one. Should it be the shameful, morally corrupt behavior of the entire Republican Party in finding the president innocent on both articles of impeachment?

Oh, wait, there was one holdout, Sen. Mitt Romney of dog-on-the-car-roof fame. Mitt stood up, the only Republican to do so, to vote for removal knowing full well the horrors the Trump retribution machine would inflict on him for his courageous act.

If I were going to write about that, I could point out that the president’s legal team defended his illegal, unconstitutional behavior with the unbelievable line that as long as the president “believes” his behavior is in the best interests of the nation, then whatever illegal and/or immoral thing he does magically turns legal and moral. And there you have it, folks, insanity rules in the nation’s capital.

Or maybe I could write about the 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast, typically a nonpartisan affair in life-before-Trump, which took place on the day following the Republican-controlled Senate’s dereliction-of-duty-vote to acquit. I could point out the galaxy-sized irony of the president beginning his totally partisan rant to the assembled Christian elite by holding up that day’s issue of the Washington Post to show off the banner headline, “Trump Acquitted.” Wait, isn’t that the “Fake News” Washington Post? So, he wasn’t acquitted?

Oh, and then there’s the president’s State of the Union address in the House chamber. If I decided to write about that, I could tell you how his speech was more like the kind of thing he delivers at his campaign rallies, full of lies and misleading statements. The “Fake News” Washington Post Fact Checker counted 31.

Here’s just one: “I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been.”

The truth is that the unemployment rate under Trump has never gone below 3.5% which, truthfully, is a pretty good number, but it hit an even lower number, 2.5%, in 1953. And the annual growth rate, the GDP, under this president has not exceeded 3%, but it was higher at 4.7% in 1999 under the leadership of one other impeached president, Bill Clinton. And was even greater in 1950 when it hit 8.7%.

If I decided to write about this, I could tell you about the other 30 lies as well, which I’m sure you’d be interested to read about.

And while I was on the subject of the State of the Union, I could mention Trump bestowing the National Medal of Freedom on the right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh. I would ask you to take a moment to contemplate Rush Limbaugh joining the ranks of previous winners like Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa, Elie Wiesel and Jackie Robinson, to name just a few.

Along with a lifetime of racist and sexist remarks, I suppose Rush is being rewarded for his promotion (along with Trump) of the long-debunked claim that former President Barack Obama was not born in this country and, therefore, was an illegitimate president.

But there’s so much more, how am I to decide? There’s the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, whose mission is to protect human health and the environment, but clearly is not doing its job. “Across the board, science has been sidelined from decision-making at the EPA with significant consequences for both public health and the environment,” says Michael Halpern, the deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

I could tell you about the report on the cancer risks of formaldehyde completed in 2017 that has yet to be released, or about the EPA relaxing “rules on asbestos, a known carcinogen, in consumer products.” More than 60 countries ban asbestos use, just saying.

If I did decide to write about environmental issues, I could also mention that the Trump administration has just announced that it will allow mining on two national monument sites that it had earlier reduced in size just for this purpose. Or I could tell you about the recently finalized rule that will “strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and groundwater, handing a victory to farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers.”

And what about the president’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal released on Monday “that includes a familiar list of deep cuts to student loan assistance, affordable housing efforts, food stamps and Medicaid?” Shouldn’t I write about that?

You see what I mean? There are too many issues to choose from and so little space. But there is at least one thing I will tell you about, and it’s the most important issue of all. An immoral, corrupt and unrepentant president has now been given the green light to do whatever he wishes, and because of that our democracy is swinging precariously from a very fine thread. Blackmailing Ukraine will seem like a parking ticket compared to what is coming. What or who will stop him now?

The only answer to that is us. All of us. Trump must be defeated in November’s election by such an overwhelming majority that there can be no doubt who won. How do we do that? First off, make sure to register to vote if you haven’t already, then vote when the time comes. And get everyone you know to do the same.

Then pick a Democratic candidate, support them, and then get out and get active. At the end of the nominating process, support the party’s chosen nominee with all that you’ve got.

We have the power to change this. The alternative is unthinkable.

Karen Gardner of Haydenville, can be reached at

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


Copyright © 2019 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy