I am old, so you have to trust me and millions just like me when we say, we’ve never seen anything like what President Donald Trump has wrought on this nation.
As staffers here dutifully collected the annual harvest of headlines and memories of 2017, almost every single one of them for Aurora, and most places across the country, were hot-wired to Trump. Even before he was sworn in as president in January, Aurora was wallowing in angst about immigration as he made good on promises to try and ban Muslims and Mexicans.
From the day the majority of American voters rolled their eyes as he took the oath of office, 2017 has been a tortuous, nauseating ride through living-American history.
FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. On Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, several people familiar with Trump's transition organization say special counsel Robert Mueller's team has gained access to thousands of private emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he departs from the South Lawn of the White House via Marine One in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, to spend the weekend at Camp David in Maryland. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump reacts with Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., before signing a memorandum in the Oval Office of the White House. A Republican bill that would eliminate key loan subsidies for college students and gives a boost to for-profit colleges has passed a major hurdle in the House of Representatives. The bill aims to revamp the nation’s main law governing higher education. It passed the House Committee on Education and the Workforce late Tuesday after nearly 10 hours of debate. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, before heading to Utah. Trump will be announcing plans to scale back two sprawling national monuments in Utah, responding to what he has condemned as a "massive federal land grab" by the government. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
FILE - In this April, 26, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump hands a pen to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah after signing an Antiquities Executive Order during a ceremony at the Interior Department in Washington. Utah has long stood out for going far beyond other Western states in trying to get back control of its federally protected lands. When President Donald Trump on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, announces he's going to shrink two national monuments in the state, his warm welcome will stand out in a region that is normally protective of its parks and monuments. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Leaders from left to right, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, U.S. President Donald Trump, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pose for a family photo during the ASEAN-U.S. Summit in Manila, Philippines on Monday Nov. 13, 2017. (Manan Vatsyayana/Pool Photo via AP)
President Donald Trump speaks, accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a joint news conference at the Akasaka Palace, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Tokyo. Trump is on a five country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (Kiyoshi Ota/Pool Photo via AP)
How many times, every week, and sometimes every day, did you say, “Seriously? It can’t get any worse”?
And that’s how 2017 ended when Trump tweeted from his winter White House palace in Florida, “I hope everyone is having a great Christmas, then tomorrow it’s back to work in order to Make America Great Again (which is happening faster than anyone anticipated)!”
I won’t bore you with what is or isn’t great about Trump’s missteps and victories, or the virus infecting a persistent 32 percent of Americans who don’t look at this guy and say, “the King is totally butt naked, and it’s really, really gross.”
In every fiber of my being, I have faith in a resilient America that will take care of Trump by wielding unflinching journalism, thorough FBI and congressional investigations, mid-term elections next fall and Trump’s impeachment trial.
We are, collectively, not a stupid people, and the polls consistently show that.
What’s led me to that realization are two things: first and foremost, Trump himself. An America distracted by hundreds of new shows to watch on streaming-TV, and put off by Hillary Clinton’s stunning tone-deafness, made the worst mistake this country has made since the Japanese internment during World War II.
But I take heart in the fact that well over two-thirds of Americans now realize what the U.S. Electoral College system overlooked: Donald Trump has one, marginally redeeming value: He’s rich.
Trump is not smart. He’s the only one that seriously tries to argue against the fact that he’s a poster child for the word, “dullard.” Those who argue that Trump couldn’t have gotten to where he is without being a smart man overlook a very long, long history of people who get to where they are in this country with only less frontal-lobe power than it takes to make your bed. For those who think fame and power are always the result of intelligence, I give you Rick Perry, Kanye West, Sarah Palin and Kim Kardashian.
If you listen to Trump talk or read his tweets, you know he’s not clever, either.
“Prime Minister Abe, on behalf of the American people, I welcome you to the very famous White House.”
And this gem: “I think I am actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.”
More? “Eventually we’re going to get something done and it’s going to be really, really good.”
The man can’t talk or write clearly.
“The words were perfect. They only take out anything they can think of, and for the most part, all they do is complain. But they don’t put on those words. And they don’t put on me saying those words.”
We know, also, he’s not a nice guy.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump infamously said about the Aug. 12 Charlottesville white supremacist attacks.
Not only did we have to really watch an actual white supremacist rally and march in 2017, Trump defended the racists by saying there are “some very fine people” who chant, “YOU WILL NOT REPLACE US,” while bearing Tiki torches.
I listen to a lot of crazy crap from a lot of crazy people in this job. I draw the line at the very same kind of human behavior that led to the Holocaust. White supremacists aren’t “fine” people, and those who defend them in any way are complicit.
In an Arizona rally speech defending those remarks, he went on to tell supporters that “they” want to erase white history.
“And yes, by the way — and yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that.”
How nice is that? Nicer, I guess, than the slew of slanderous tweets and asides Trump has tossed at anyone who publicly criticizes him, including war heroes, Gold Star families, tough journalists and even his own political allies. He is everything his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, says she wants to spend her tenure in the White House fighting against with an anti-bullying campaign.
So, where’s the charm? Humility? Nope, not the guy that has “the best words” “the best women” the “best ideas.”
Despite what Trump humbly thinks about himself, he’s not charming, nice, clever, witty, creative, inventive or handsome. He can’t sing or dance or draw or write. He can’t cook or run or ski. He can’t drive fast or scale mountains. He can’t analyze data or come up with ideas. He seems incapable of telling the truth about almost anything. He’s not funny, at least not on purpose. He’s tacky, pithy and rude. If he attempts any kind of true humor, it’s almost always sarcasm that falls flat or is outright offensive.
This is not a case of the guy from the other side of the political fence taking some heat for being the opposition. The man is a creepy and genuinely unpleasant and unqualified, certifiable lunatic who has absolutely no redeeming quality that I and a large majority of America can see — other than one:
“The beauty of me is that I’m very rich,” Trump said.
Beauty, as 2017 has shown, is in the eye of the beholder — 32 percent of them, and falling.
Thanks to Trump, 2017 was the ugliest year I can recall as an American. And I have now learned the hard way to simply stand back and let team Trump roll on without invoking the world’s most fateful curse, “It can’t get any worse.”
Trump has taught America this in less than a year: Oh, yes it can.
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