It’s Monday afternoon, July 16th. I’m working in my art studio trying to make progress on a new series of paintings. President Chump just completed his astonishingly disgraceful press conference with Vladimir Putin and I have decided I needed to immediately post about the subject.
As an artist, I am motivated and influenced by contemporary culture and our beliefs and relationships (and that includes politics). Therefore, the news, good or bad, can be inspirational. Unfortunately, this has become more difficult for me during the Donald Trump administration. This is true for a variety of reasons. It’s probably attrition more than anything, Trump is so fucking exhausting. That’s why I’m headed out for a walk after I complete this post. I need to reclaim a little of the energy sucked away from me by thinking about Captain Douchebag.
Because it just happened, I know this blogpost is more of a reaction than a response. Regardless, you can mark my words, this moment is a turning point. It will go down as one of the most embarrassing moments in our history. President Chump was tougher on the Democrats and the intelligence community in this press conference than he was on the Russians. It’s hard to put into words what we saw today. I’m wondering if we finally, finally, finally reached the beginning of the end.
John McCain, as we all know is living his final days. He had a lot to say about today. I disagree with McCain more than half of the time, so I do not automatically support anything he says. However, here he perfectly crystallizes the embarrassment happening right before our eyes. His words from today will be remembered and quoted for many, many years to come:
– – – – –
“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.
“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.
“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout – as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.
“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency. That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.
“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”