by Ralph Nader
simmered for decades
He was and is a regular
TV watcher and saw the changing political landscape. One by one,
previous presidents diminished the integrity of the presidency and
violated the rule of law, paving the way for Trump's candidacy.
career-ending violation no longer had the weight it once did.
Despite Gore's crushing loss, the Democratic Party refused to support ongoing Electoral College reform (see nationalpopularvote.com).
Bush and Cheney not only got away with these atrocities, but were reelected. A majority of voters believed their lies. Violating the laws did not matter.
Positions of power and
the trampling of laws appealed to Trump, a lawless, failed gambling
Domestically, Obama did not prosecute any of the big Wall Street crooks that brought down our economy in 2008-2009, even though a vast majority of the population loathed these reckless financiers.
With all of these misdeeds and violations of law on full display, Trump a big business crook himself, must have thought that he would not be held accountable. Even better, he knew how to use television to manipulate the media to his advantage.
These examples are just some of the major ways that past presidents, Democrats especially, handed Trump his opportunity.
I describe these and
other presidential abuses of power in my recent book,
To the Ramparts - How Bush and Obama Paved the
Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why it isn't Too Late to Reverse
It almost didn't work -
campaign bungling lost three key states, which provided
Trump a path to the White House. The crazy, antiquated Electoral
College sealed the deal.
The name calling stuck
and influenced voters. Democrats did not reciprocate with nicknames
like "cheating Donald," "corrupt Donald," "Dangerous Donald," etc.
Fantasy is big business
and it can serve to distract from grim real-life injustices. Day
after day, the mass media proved this point by giving huge time to
entertainment compared to news and civic engagements locally and
This set the stage for
Republicans to seriously suppress the vote in many ways documented
by the League of Women Voters and the Brennan Center.
Some of this suppression occurred in key swing states
Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair
He ruthlessly scuttles lifesaving health/safety protections for the American people, undermines law enforcement, and breaks his repeated promises to provide "great" health insurance, "pure" clean air, and jobs for workers displaced by globalization.
The norms that restrain
politicians and their constitutional duty to "faithfully execute the
laws" have been deeply eroded.
...and others have gone after Trump repeatedly.
The attacks on the
Prevaricator in Chief are like water off a duck's back. Even
Trump's trail of broken campaign promises is routinely overlooked by
the press and the Trump base.