Tuesday: Paul Manafort is found guilty on 8 out of 18 charges related to bank and tax fraud. Michael Cohen plead guilty on all charges regarding tax evasion, campaign finance violations, bank fraud and says that hush money payments to women were made “at the direction” of the current president. The POTUS’ former campaign aide and personal lawyer are tied up in court— the unindicted co-conspirator’s wife attended an anti-cyberbullying summit on Monday as her husband barked out insults about Omarosa on Twitter 4 days prior— and the seated oval office occupant sees this as the perfect time to rally in Charleston, West Virginia, where the crowd chants, “lock her up,” in reference to, of all people right now, Hillary Clinton.
Less than a week’s worth of time, such as this, aggressively questions the efficacy of this presidency and the growing divide between his supporters and the rest of the country. First, Manafort and Cohen are two criminals that were side-by-side the dealings of the current president. The two have either been found guilty or plead guilty, respectively, which only leads critics to wonder how much of a hand in this criminality the POTUS had, or still has. He has been directly implicated in scandalous behavior yet continues to run a country.
Talks of impeachment have already started and pending additional releases of what have become known as “Cohen Tapes,” (and with the possible addition of Omarosa Tapes), the impeachment process may be starting sooner rather than later. Perhaps equally as important, however, is that this side show is an embarrassing deterrent away from the Obama-era policies that this administration is currently reversing in regards to fair housing and using race in college admissions. These two retractions, if completed, legalize historical redlining practices and increase the likelihood that predominantly white colleges are just that, predominantly white.
Yet, this is the same president whose supporters can chant “lock her up” without any apparent acknowledgement that the left and right hand of their ring leader are literally about to be handcuffed and locked up. A rally this week shows two things: one, where the POTUS places his importance— on tending his fan base as opposed to owning up, and thusly cleaning up, corruption in his administration. Starting with his connections to criminal activity with Manafort and Cohen, the Mueller Probe into Russia meddling with the United States’ 2016 presidential election and the POTUS’ suspected treason at the Helsinki Summit.
And two: the division of this country is wide enough to house the Grand Canyon three times over. A rally during what is arguably the height of illegitimacy in this presidency, where supporters of this president are still calling for Hillary Clinton’s arrest, is the hypocritical face that has become the new normal since the Republican 2016 presidential nomination was won.
Not only has the POTUS normalized corruption, an illegitimate office, racism, sexism, and xenophobia, he has also charged Twitter to do his bidding. Imploring social media as an avenue to blurt out insults and bully constituents is perhaps one of the reasons why his wife attended the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention summit in Rockville, Maryland. She delivered “brief remarks addressing the positive and negative effects of social media on youth, one of the key issues of her Be Best campaign to improve the well-being of children,” reports USA Today. This presidency has made it clear that cyberbullying is an ever-present threat.
It is both a milestone moment and one of concern that the FLOTUS has included it in her Be Best campaign. It serves as a point of divergence for the married couple considering that her husband has become known for his fiery Twitter rants. It is the height of irony that FLOTUS’ campaign is geared toward children, yet doesn’t bat an eye at the daily onslaught the POTUS creates. And according to UK protestors during an Air Force 1 visit last month, the United States president is a child, as indicated by the inflatable baby-president wearing a diaper that was on scene. Perhaps the president can join FLOTUS, as an attendee, at her next appearance regarding anti-cyberbullying initiatives.
In the grand scheme of things, constituent-president relationships do not start with social media— the trust and effectiveness of this administration have been compromised since the beginning of his campaign. The events of this past week only exacerbate tensions that call for the president’s impeachment, or at the very least his resignation, in light of his severe conflicts of interests, linkages to criminal behavior, egregious ineffectiveness and gross acts of misconduct.