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Our ‘Demander in Chief’ is a fake president
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To the editor:

With no humor intended, I wish to reintroduce a word that a friend shared with me recently – a British slang word that can be found in Wiktionary. The word is “cockwomble”: “A person, usually male, prone to making outrageously stupid statements and/or inappropriate behavior while generally having a very high opinion of his own wisdom and importance.”

I am not joking in saying that the current electoral-select president deserves this appellation as much or more than any president I’ve studied during 50-plus years of reading American history.

Remember this is a man who once said he was smarter than the generals. So a military image emerges in my mind’s eye of how this self-proclaimed leader of the free world, acting as commander-in-chief, has responded to the nationwide protests that both commemorate George Floyd and level a sharp laser focus on the abiding racism that haunts and scars this country deeply. What I see is a pretentious little man hurling grenade after grenade after grenade into a live minefield, in both his front and back yard and smiling smugly, while extending one hand in the air, clutching a bible and declaring – of course, with cameras rolling – “We will win for America and God will assist me! After all, I am the Chosen One!”

So maybe, besides cockwomble, he should be called “Demander-in-Chief.” Again, no humor intended. Consider that this is a president who suddenly throws caution to the wind and struts his way to the St. John’s Episcopal Church to hold up a closed Revised Standard Version of the bible, saying little or nothing, poses for a photo and struts back where he rules a roost of hens in total obeisance to his whims and wiles.

Is this normal behavior of any leader in a democracy?

Closed mind, closed bible. Armed escorts.

Now imagine Martin Luther King standing in the same spot in front of the same church, at peace with the surrounding protestors, opening the bible, reading a relevant passage, and then speaking loudly these words from a heart on fire, but a fire meant to purify, not destroy.

Inspirational words like these: “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. ... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Open mind, open bible. “Unarmed truth.”

Oh, what inspirational words!

Or even the words of a man who inspires emulation and adulation everywhere he goes to equally listen and to speak, the Dalai Lama: “Becoming aware of our interdependence will eventually lead to a decrease in violence, since taking an interest in others is in your interest too.”

A Declaration of Interdependence. Less violence.

As for Trump, I can’t even begin to compare him to these two men or countless human beings across the gender spectrum – a spectrum that includes all of humanity.

I’m indifferent to the risk of partisan anger when I put forward my suspicion that Trump is someone who, during his most tempestuous tirades, especially during a racist onslaught, economic plunge and a death-dealing pandemic, verges on being an enemy of the people.

As Ralph Nader has stated in a just-released book, Trump is a “fake president,” and he needs to be voted out and returned to his reality show kingdom where he can no longer try the hearts, minds and souls of all Americans.

Richard Joel Holmes