Tired of ads? Want to support our progressive journalism? Click to learn more.LEARN MORE

Trump is leaving office disgraced and humiliated -- and no one should be afraid of him now

For four years we have heard that Republicans are afraid to stand up to Donald Trump because he will insult them and humiliate them into submission. They could not handle his childish taunts. They shrank from his barbs and slights, delivered largely on Twitter, the social media platform that has now evicted him permanently. Trump took advantage of their cowardice. He was like the big bully on the playground at school who intimidated smaller and weaker kids, then boasted about his easy conquests.

This article was originally published at Salon

But no one should be afraid of Donald Trump now. After all, he is the biggest loser in U.S. political history. Indeed, he has relinquished the right to be feared.

Trump's record distinguishes him as the worst president ever. He has lost the popular vote in two national elections. He has been impeached twice, with conviction still possible in the second case. He has been an accomplice to the mass murder of over 400,000 Americans and counting due to the coronavirus. He has caused a massive economic crash. He has incited an insurrection against the government of the United States. He played a corrupt game of footsie with the president of Ukraine ,and has been oddly but consistently subservient to the president of Russia. He has grifted the American people out of millions of dollars. He has pardoned associates and acquaintances who could implicate him in crimes. He has been incompetent, indifferent, lazy and vindictive. To top it all off, he has rushed to execute 13 people before his term is up — the most by any president in 120 years.

Trump intimidates via bullying, name-calling, threats and loud exclamations of bravado. His sense of grandiosity and superiority is enhanced when he is successful at embarrassing and humiliating others. To be sure, intimidation is his modus operandi. He rose to the top of the national political ladder through his use of intimidation. It is his only "skill."

But he is a total coward. He hides behind his lawyers and lets them do his "dirty work." He cannot fire people in person. He sent a bodyguard to deliver his letter of dismissal to former FBI Director James Comey's empty office. His specialty is to incite others to action and then deny any responsibility for their behavior. Ask Michael Cohen. Ask Rudy Giuliani. Ask the thousands of attackers at the Capitol. Trump did not have the guts to march with them to the Capitol — but he had no trouble sending them off into battle for his sole benefit.

Trump's political life has been based on lies and propaganda. His most egregious lie is that the election was rigged and stolen from him. It has been dubbed the "Big Lie." The truth is that the election was the most open and transparent in history. Joe Biden won fair and square. Trump lost by 7 million votes. He has lost more than 60 lawsuits in contesting the results. His lie about the election led to his seditious rhetoric and to his incitement of the insurrectionists.

Let us be clear: Trump actively tried to undermine and overthrow our democracy. He was fomenting a coup. He has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he does not love our democracy and does not love our country. He is addicted to power, adulation, grift and corruption — and would rather overturn democracy than give up his addictions.

Trump must be finished as a political figure. It may take some time, but his political clout will wane gradually but assuredly into oblivion. He will try to hold onto his supporters by promulgating his conspiracy theories and his victimhood, but both will be disproven as we return to a world of observable facts and truth.

His gravitas is evaporating. He has become a pathetic and tragic joke. All the major leaders in the world are ecstatic at his upcoming exit from the scene — except perhaps Vladimir Putin, who has enjoyed having Trump in his back pocket.

Trump is already kryptonite. Social media platforms have banned him. Banks will not lend him money. Lawyers are hesitant to defend him against impeachment. Corporations have paused their financial contributions. Even the PGA has yanked its 2022 championship from his New Jersey golf course. His standing will continue to drop as he is further ostracized and purged from American public life.

Trump must be punished for all his federal and state crimes. His supporters need to understand the depth of his criminality. He is a bad actor who will soon face the consequences of his malfeasance. Nothing can erase power and adulation faster than prison. But not even prison can reverse the abuse and trauma inflicted by Trump upon the American people.

His reign of corruption and incitement of insurrection was fueled by his belief that he would not be punished for it, that he could break laws with impunity. This is exactly why his prosecution is required. He must face swift and firm consequences so that others will understand the reality — that Trump's corruption is a part of his DNA. He has been compromised all his adult life. Until now, his corruption was confined to the state of New York and the Trump Organization. In 2016, thanks to his flukish election victory, he started sharing his criminality with the entire country.

Trump has been living in his alternate universe of lies, conspiracy theories and magical thinking for so long that he is unable to face reality. But his alternate universe is crumbling. And Americans are becoming acquainted once again with facts, science and truth. In 2016, Trump told the Republican National Convention and a national television audience, "Only I can fix it." But he could not fix our country because he exacerbated and capitalized on our grievances for his own personal and political gain. That is the playbook of an authoritarian.

There is encouraging news, however. In recent polling, nine out of 10 Americans frown upon the insurrection on Jan. 6. Seven out of 10 Americans say Trump bears some responsibility for the violence. Fifty-six percent are in favor of Trump being banned from future elected office. His approval rating now stands at 29%.

Right-wing extremism was present long before Trump. Cultural and economic resentments have been brewing for years. Trump has seized upon these resentments and made them more mainstream through his radicalization of his supporters. Hopefully, right-wing extremism will recede as Trump's voice is silenced. Citizens who engage in political violence must be rooted out. Trump's unforgiving act of insurrection has shown his true stripes as an authoritarian who does not give a damn about anyone other than himself. Authoritarianism is antithetical to our representative democracy — and must be stamped out at every opportunity. And Trump has given us opportunities.

No one should be afraid of Donald Trump now. He is defeated, disgraced and repudiated. This is the trifecta of the biggest loser in U.S. political history.

This is our chance to show we have finally conquered our fear of that bully on the playground at school.

Experts: Trump is not mentally fit to be president: He should not remain in office — even for one final week

There are two — not just one — compelling reasons for the immediate removal of President Donald Trump. First, he incited the insurrection of our federal government by a violent mob of domestic terrorists. Five people died. Make no mistake, it was a coup attempt. Second, he has killed 372,000 Americans with his unimaginable and unexplainable inaction during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump is not fit to remain as president for his final week. He has proven to be unstable, erratic, cruel and dangerous. He is incapable of ensuring the safety of the people. He should not have access to our vast military arsenal and nuclear codes for another day.

He has crossed the red line — twice.

Trump not only participated in the insurrection of our federal government on Jan. 6 but also likely was the catalyst that sent the aggressive raid in motion. It is a day that will be remembered forever, because our sitting president was a direct accomplice in the violent insurrection against our cherished democracy. As Dr. David Reiss said in a tweet, "We were one Molotov cocktail or automatic weapon away from losing our government — a true coup."

RELATED: This psychopath has finally crossed the red line: He must be stopped now

Trump did not have the courage to swarm the Capitol alongside his terrorist supporters. He had announced earlier in the day that he would accompany them in their march. But his previously exposed cowardice took over, and he decided to party and celebrate with family members at the White House while watching the escalating mob on TV. There are reports that he was "delighted" at what he was seeing.

Trump used conspiracy theories about the stolen election to maintain his cult-leader status with his followers. His irrational, self-serving theories were supported by these followers, right-wing extremists and some congressional Republicans. The end result was the belief that they themselves should "select" the next president and that Trump was going to take them to the promised land of contentment and happiness.

Trump's conspiracy theories are fake. His motive is megalomania and greed. His shared omnipotence with his followers borders on the delusional. Trump's unrelenting desire to hang onto power at any cost is what motivated his incitement of the insurrection. It was totally about him — his power, his adulation, his greed and his fear.

Trump's most egregious cruelty during his presidency has been his murder of more than 372,000 Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Think about it: Trump has been the most powerful man in the greatest democracy in the world, but he could not figure out how to contain and defeat this pandemic? Worse than that, we have lagged behind every advanced country in the world in our handling of the deadly disease. It is as if our president has intentionally maximized the pain and suffering of the people.

RELATED: This could all have been prevented: How mental health experts were silenced

More than just frank incompetence, Trump's inaction during the pandemic has been callous indifference coupled with pure cruelty. We have been grappling with mass deaths due to a virulent disease that could have been largely prevented by a competent and healthy president. Every move Trump has made — or has not made — has increased the number of deaths rather than reduced them. It is an undeniable fact that he is an accomplice to mass murder.

Since March of last year, Trump's approach to the pandemic has included denials, lies, conspiracy theories, magical thinking, blaming and inaction. He refused to use the full force of his office to defeat the virus. He did not mount a national response that would have aided and abetted the 50 states. Rather, he sat back and implored the states to handle things with little help from the federal government.

Now, he has washed his hands completely of the pandemic. He does not mention it in prepared or impromptu comments. He has not expressed remorse for our fallen citizens in months. Even then, his comments were read from a teleprompter in an unemotional and monotone way. It is hard to fathom, but Trump has overseen the second worst mass murder in history.

In both the insurrection and the pandemic, Trump betrayed the American people. He has disavowed his oath of office and his Constitutional duties. And he is capable of much more destruction and misery in his remaining final days. Could he give away state secrets or start a war? Might he encourage another insurrection of mob violence? How many citizens will die in the next week due to his pandemic inaction?

Trump must face three choices: resignation, removal by the 25th Amendment or a second impeachment.

Resignation would be the easiest, and he might be able to convince Vice President Mike Pence to pardon him. Removal by the 25th Amendment would also be swift, but it would require Pence to initiate the process. (As of this writing, it appears that Pence is unwilling to do so.) The most cumbersome choice would be impeachment: It would take weeks for the Senate to hold a trial and to convict him, but impeachment by the House would be an additional permanent stain on his already destroyed legacy.

Trump must be banned for life from any governmental or political activity. This is the only way to assure his marginalization and ostracization. Our democracy's recovery and future well-being requires that he be totally disempowered.

Trump has now been permanently banned from Twitter and other social platforms. This is a major first step in limiting his spread of misinformation, conspiracy theories and self-serving bravado. But it is not enough.

The Senate chose not to convict Trump during his first impeachment trial in February 2020. That mistake has cost us untold human misery and life. Let us not make that same error again.

Immediate removal of this president would be a fitting tribute to the tens of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives in the name of the fight for democracy.

Anything short of removal would give the wrong message. Our elected officials must abide by the Constitution and the rule of law — even if Trump has not.

Donald Trump will be a destructive force to his final hour -- but here's how we start to undo the damage right now

His diagnosis is clear. The remedies for his pernicious impact on America are clear as well.

In just over a month from now, Donald Trump — a malignant narcissist — will be removed from office by the will of the people and by the Constitution. Until then, his seditious, conspiratorial and corrupt influence will be front and center. He continues to promulgate the false narrative that victory in the election was snatched away from him by widespread voter fraud. He keeps filing baseless and frivolous lawsuits, even as high as the U.S. Supreme Court. He is ginning up his supporters, and at least 126 congressional Republicans have publicly supported him, out of a combination of misguided loyalty, opportunism and fear. Joe Biden will be our next president, but it is undeniable that Trump will exert a dangerous and destructive presence to his final day in office, and beyond.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump is angry, embarrassed and humiliated -- and determined to unleash a nightmare on America: mental health experts

Donald Trump has 41 days to go before his presidency is over. Instead of assisting with the peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden, he has chosen to spend his final days exhibiting his psychiatric disorder. His rhetoric and his behavior are manifestations of his pathology. He shows every day that he has no self-control, no insight and no capacity to function effectively at his job.

Keep reading... Show less

Donald Trump is acting like a spoiled toddler — America must give him a permanent timeout: Mental health experts

Jan. 20 cannot get here fast enough. Donald Trump is running wild with his disingenuous and false proclamations of a rigged election, rampant voter fraud and a stolen victory. Unbelievably, he is now claiming that the FBI and Department of Justice contributed to his fantastical claims of voter fraud. We have 50 days to go to survive this madman's deceitful and harmful rhetoric.

Let us be clear: Joe Biden won the election fair and square in what has arguably been the most scrutinized election in recent U.S. history. Trump has filed baseless and frivolous lawsuits and not a shred of evidence of massive voter fraud has been offered. In fact, his attorneys, with their bar licenses on the line, have repeatedly stated on the record, "This is not a fraud case." Yet Trump persists with his attention-seeking rants and raves.

Keep reading... Show less

EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump official warns of 'coward' president's corruption and how the GOP will help him 'cheat' on Election Day

This Election Day has the potential to be epic. The repudiation of Donald Trump will bring unprecedented challenges to the results. Undoubtedly, Trump’s response to defeat will be dramatic and unsettling and anti-democratic. We all need to be prepared with a heightened sense of anticipation and watchfulness.

Keep reading... Show less

Experts: 'Destructive' Donald Trump is getting desperate — and his psyche is unraveling right before our very eyes

Despite the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus at the White House, Donald Trump still insists that "it's going to disappear." To make matters worse, he proclaims, "We have a cure." We have lost 220,000 Americans to a deadly pandemic. And what does he say? "I'm immune. So the president is in very good shape to fight the battles." He continues to promulgate lies and misinformation about the pandemic.

At his rally in Florida in front of 7,000 supporters, Trump announced, "I feel so powerful. I'll walk into that audience, I'll walk in there, kiss everyone in that audience. I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women, just give you a big fat kiss." This is hypomanic hypersexuality from our president.

Keep reading... Show less

New Trump revelations have made the destructive consequences of his malignant narcissism disturbingly clear

Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” reveals that Donald Trump has been purposefully lying to the American people about the coronavirus pandemic. Trump admits he knew that COVID was “deadly stuff” but he did not want the public “to panic.” Instead, he fiercely denied the severity of the pandemic by acting as a “cheerleader” for the country. Sadly, William Haseltine, PhD, a world-renowned scientist, told CNN that we could have saved as many as 180,000 lives had Trump not lied to the public and had developed a proactive national strategy.

Keep reading... Show less