To the editor:

It wasn’t too long ago that the worst description of our president, Donald Trump, was that he was narcissistic, xenophobic, misogynistic, given to telling untruths, and totally unfit for the job. But he is so much more now. Wordsmiths have been able to add amoral, autocratic, brazen, corrupt, emboldened, dangerous, faithless, fascist, vengeful, vindictive, and unhinged. Fascist leaders in Europe after World War I and our President use the same techniques-promising citizens whatever they want to hear (build the wall, lock her up) give them what they want in the short term (the economy is wonderful), silence your perceived enemies (career diplomats and government leaders) and repeat the lies over-and-over again.

In just the last week, since the Senate Impeachment trial acquitted the president, he has become unleashed, decimating the pillars of our Democracy. Just as Adam Schiff predicted. The President’s reign of corruption that persecutes his perceived enemies and protects his loyal allies has damaged our fragile system of government meant to protect our democracy and its people. The Justice Department is broken. The State Department is broken. The Department of Defense is broken. The Environmental Protection Agency is broken. The Department of Education is broken. The Center for Disease Control is broken. These systems were not broken by any outside enemy, but rather by our own President and his enablers.

But, there is a silver lining of sorts — the impeachment trial was a public education of extraordinary value. Not only did many of us learn more about our Constitution than we ever knew before, we also learned that 75 percent of Americans from both parties overwhelmingly recognized that what the President did was wrong. We learned that only one Republican Senator, Mitt Romney, had the courage, led by his faith, to vote his conscience and tell the President and the American people the truth.

The President is continuing to abuse his power daily, interfering in the courts, aided and abetted by the Attorney General of the United States. The President’s proposed budget, which has no legislative authority but rather serves to set out his 2020 policy and political agenda, reduces Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, something he said he would never do. The President is directing the Department of Homeland Security to punish blue states like New York to deny our residents access to the Global Entry program, which will impede travel for citizens and commerce across the Us-Canadian border. His proposed budget is slashing AMTRAK funding for the Northeast Corridor by more than 50%. In 2020, Amtrak will actually turn a profit, but the President is intent upon punishing the blue states of the Northeast. All to satisfy his own personal need for retribution against perceived enemies.

Clearly, New York State is in the president’s cross-hairs, and the good people of Columbia County will be made to suffer. Who will be on the President’s hit list next?

Stephanie Sussman

Claverack

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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