Editorial: Trump supporters must choose

We know some of the reasons nearly 63 million people voted for President Donald Trump, and we’ve read enough think pieces to know that not all of them involve a wall.

In Trump, some Americans disillusioned with politics saw a businessman, not a common politician. They saw a rich man, though not one restrained by political correctness or decency. They saw a man who promised to talk straight. To drain the swamp. To restore American pride for those who found it fading into what some considered the void of.

After the election, many dearly hoped that a billionaire playboy who racked up bankruptcies like tabloid headlines could become presidential. They hoped he would actually put America first, all 325 million of us, not just the minority who elected him or the lucky few who share the luxurious corner of his tax bracket.

We, the Viewpoints Editorial Board, believe that now it is time for Trump’s supporters to face reality, that it is long overdue that they make the decision: Is their allegiance to their country, or to a man?

If it is to the man, no argument will sway them. They will see only the good: the tax cuts, though not the disproportionate benefits to the wealthy; the high employment, though not the decline of real wages; the downfall of Obamacare, though not the millions, including those with pre-existing conditions, who will lose access to affordable health care.

If their allegiance is to their country, it will have been impossible to ignore the events of the last several weeks, even the last two years, that have spriled our nation into a global laughingstock.

The presidential candidate who chanted “lock her up!” about an opponent who stored sensitive emails on a home server has now been implicated in actual crimes. His former attorney Michael Cohen has said, under oath, that Trump directed him to violate the law to sway the election.

With the rising numbers of Trump’s “best people” pleading guilty to outstanding crimes that only further validates Robert Mueller’s investigation, which Trump has labeled a “witch hunt” since the very beginning.

The man who promised to drain the swamp is compounding its toxic ecology. If we’re not careful, the American people will find ourselves in a hole that could take literal decades, even many generations, to dig ourselves out of.

For those Americans who say they don’t care whether Trump or any of his associates broke the law, for those who may think it’s a small price to pay for a couple of conservative Supreme Court justices and the still dangling promise of a border wall, we ask this: What about law and order?

Why has the party that has revered itself for being the party of family values suddenly, or not so suddenly, thrown their belief system out the window? And for what? A self-serving billionaire who has never truly worked for anything? Someone who was never going to give a damn about them beyond how many he could con into showing up at his rallies?

Why does Trump lie? What purposes are served by his daily dribble of falsehoods? Trump’s purposes, his highest and only priority.

If they share that purpose, Team Trump is still the place for them, but they will find that history will not put them in a forgiving light.

If they truly put America first, they’re on a team that includes both Democrats and Republicans. It is a team of patriots who understand that loyalty to the country and its people is more important than loyalty to a political party will ever be.

A house divided against itself cannot stand. Great leaders of the past, present and future know that to be true. 

They must decide: the man or the country. Amid the lies, scandals, investigations and outraguous lies a record 72,000 Americans died last year of drug overdoses. A much-needed infrastructure bill is nowhere to be found. Tariffs are straining foreign relations and igniting trade wars that cost Americans jobs and drive up prices. Hundreds of migrant children separated from their parents have yet to be reunited.

All while the leader of the country tweets from his high tower.

Trump has no shame; he will never admit wrongdoing. So it is up to Congress to hold him accountable, and if the facts support it, to call for impeachment. It is up to the American people, including those who voted for Trump, to examine our loyalties: America or the man?

We’ve always known Trump’s choice.