I think we will look back and ask why people weren’t more furious… Where was the outrage?
— Princeton University historian Julian Zelizer
I reminded Swamp Rabbit that all the mainstream news outlets are dropping the ball the same way: They constantly present evidence that Donald Trump is a danger to the country but refuse to call for what the evidence seems to demand — his resignation from office.
“That’s crazy talk,” Swamp Rabbit said. “Trump was impeached and didn’t resign. I’ll bet he don’t leave the White House even when he loses the election, not unless them palace guards drag him out.”
You’re missing the point, I told him. Of course Trump won’t resign, but it’s important for all democrats, small d, to go on record as having demanded he quit, because he has repeatedly demonstrated he isn’t fit to hold office.
“The election’s less than six months away,” Swamp Rabbit said. “Why not just wait and let the peeps decide?”
So I told him. For starters, Trump extorted a foreign power for personal gain, obstructed justice during the Mueller probe, and ignored the coronavirus pandemic until it was too late to prevent many thousands of avoidable deaths. With each passing week he becomes more dismissive of the laws and so-called norms that supposedly govern presidential behavior.
This week he took action to discourage Twitter from policing misinformation — his misinformation — on its site. Does anybody think he wouldn’t silence all those who challenge his lies if he thought he could get away with it?
“A lotta presidents did dirty deeds,” Swamp Rabbit countered. “Are you saying the media should have called on them all to resign?”
I reminded him that many major newspapers in the country called on Bill Clinton to resign when all he did was lie about a blowjob.
“But that was the old days, before the Internet started siphoning the regular media’s power and influence,” Swamp Rabbit said. “Most of them newspapers are dead or dying now. The survivors are scared they gonna lose what little pull they got left if they stand up to Trump in a big way. Why should they?”
“Because it might persuade some people to not vote for a would-be dictator,” I replied.
Swamp Rabbit groaned. “That’s really weak, Odd Man.”
“You’re right,” I admitted. “How about this — They should call on him to resign because it’s their job to speak truth to power, pardon the cliché. What good are they if they can’t do that?”
Update: Here’s Trump threatening street protesters (via Twitter, of course) following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis cops: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” As always, very presidential.