I still remember vividly when President Nixon sent the bombers into Cambodia during the Vietnam War. I was an undergraduate at Harvard at the time and together with so many of my fellow students regarded the President as a ruthless and immoral man. Time has mellowed me and although I still regard Nixon as deeply flawed, compared to Trump he was a giant and most of all he understood international relations. Nixon recognised that Watergate was going to bring him down, and, accepting the inevitable, resigned.
Trump is an entirely different matter. If there was a Richter scale of awfulness Nixon would be a 1 and Trump a 10. Take his much vaunted summit in Vietnam. As I watched the footage I could not help remembering that the U.S. President avoided the draft during the Vietnam War on somewhat spurious grounds and here he was prancing around Hanoi thinking he could outwit the much younger more wily North Korean dictator, Kim Jung Un. It was quite clear that Trump was winging it and riding on the delusion that he was on the path to a Nobel Peace Prize. He left with nothing and we can only be thankful that in a frantic attempt to have something to bring back to the folks at home he did not make some dangerous concessions.
The trip was, of course, designed to deflect attention from the extraordinary revelations by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen , in front of a Congressional Committee in Washington. The headlines around the world screamed “ Trump is a racist, a conman and a cheat”. Cohen also provided clear evidence of Trump’s direct involvement in paying off Stormy Daniels and in what must be an excruciatingly embarrassing moment for The Donald, claimed he had deliberately tried to hide it from his wife. He also said Trump was trying to put a hotel deal in Moscow together whilst he was running for President, knew in advance via Roger Stone that WikiLeaks was going to dump Hillary Clinton’s emails and that Donald Jnr was going to meet with a Russian lawyer during the course of the campaign.
The Republicans on the Committee tried to undermine Michael Cohen’s credibility on the basis that he has already lied to Congress and that he was trying to save his own skin and protect his family. They had a point but the anecdotal evidence that he is in reality “ a racist, a conman and a cheat” is so overwhelming that only his most ardent supporters can continue to swallow what amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours. Just remember there have been casualties here. The victims of the Trump University scam, the corporate bankruptcies, the attempts to sully people’s reputation. He is nothing short of a disgusting human being.
I am not sure where this is all leading but we should remind ourselves that there is a dangerous man in the White House who is the polar opposite of the “stable genius” he claims to be. Impeachment of a President is a political process. Naturally the Democrats are weighing up whether he has committed any criminal acts and the Republicans will continue to defend him as long as it is in their electoral interests. Closer in kind to a mob boss than a politician of stature, his days should be numbered. Frankly, until he is driven from office, we should be very afraid.