Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

McGrew: America's future brighter based on your likely fate, Mr. President

Dear President Trump:

Strangely, despite your behavior, I’m now more hopeful about America.


In my last letter to you, I mentioned an elementary student who pictured herself as a superhero defeating, “The Evil Dr. Trump.” I didn’t respond about you, as I never discuss politics with students. But today, I’m agreeing with her.

As a psychologist, I don’t often view people in terms of good and evil but know you have many fervent supporters that do.


Wikipedia states that elements commonly associated with evil include, “unbalanced behavior involving anger, revenge, fear hatred, psychological trauma, expediency, selfishness, ignorance, or neglect.”

I’ve witnessed all these characteristics in your personal, business and political actions. Sadly, there’s nothing fake about them.

Wikipedia further defines evil from a Christian worldview as, “any action, thought, or attitude that is contrary to the character or will of God.” Your countless moral failings, lack of compassion, sexism, racism, name-calling, and fear mongering all qualify here. Really, what would Jesus say?

In my November letter, I agreed with John McCain and George W. Bush, who castigated your abandonment of shared American ideals in favor of nativism, bigotry and “outright fabrication”. These also clearly contradict the character of God.

Today, a cacophony of Republicans, Democrats and foreign allies are skewering your kowtowing to evil strongmen worldwide. It’s hard not to believe that Putin doesn’t have you compromised.

I just finished reading a wonderful new book, “The Soul of America,” by Jon Meacham, who references Lincoln’s first inaugural address about America’s, “battle for our better angels.”

Meacham offers optimism that hope will conquer the fear you promote and describes numerous times when America has “come through such darkness.”

I was especially reminded of you in Meacham’s portrayal of the 1950s darkness of Sen. Joe McCarthy, whose red-baiting consigliere, Roy Cohn, later became your lawyer and helped develop your own fear-based bluster and smearing of opponents.


As with you, the press depended on McCarthy for unfounded, dramatic story leads. Like you, he took the offensive when there were stories he didn’t like, singling out specific publications and journalists, often accusing them of fomenting Communism.

Meacham describes McCarthy as, “an opportunist, uncommitted to much beyond his own fame and influence.” He hid behind alleged “patriotism” in his attacks on innocent people. Sound like you?

President Truman stated, “the greatest asset the Kremlin has is Senator McCarthy.” The journalist, Richard Rovere, described McCarthy as the “first American to ever to be actively hated and feared by foreigners in large numbers.” Pretty similar, huh?

Even Cohn acknowledged McCarthy’s impulsiveness, sensationalizing and his “challengeable statements,” calling him, “essentially a salesman” – just like you.

What I loved about Meacham’s book were his descriptions of flawed presidents, including Lincoln, Grant, both Roosevelts, Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Reagan, bravely appealing to the better angels of our nature.

Some presidents championed equality and justice for women, workers, blacks, the poor, and immigrants, while others challenged Klansmen, Jim Crow, John Birchers and communist baiters.


The moral character these presidents exhibited and the hope they conveyed in the face of fear that politicians like Joe McCarthy promoted, contributed to their heroic growth as presidents.

Reagan’s 1989 speech about America as a, “shining city on a hill … a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places” starkly contrasts with your self-serving, hate-filled, Gotham version of America First that confirms the devils of your America’s nature.

Meacham encourages us to keep history in mind while countering your undermining of the rule of law, the free press and America’s collective sense of hope.

How? By becoming politically engaged, resisting tribalism, respecting facts and deploying reason in becoming better informed.

Cohn was eventually disbarred for flagrant ethical violations and “particularly reprehensible” conduct. But you defended him to the end and have emulated his corrupt tactics.

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McCarthy was exposed by the great journalist, Edward R. Murrow, who courageously stated, “We will not walk in fear of one another.” Murrow charged McCarthy with causing, “alarm and dismay” among our allies abroad and offering, “considerable comfort to our enemies.” So eerily familiar today.


Demagogues and fear mongers like you and McCarthy only survive when we let them. Today, our most moral politicians are forsaking you.

Hopefully, more Americans will do the same, follow Meacham’s advice, and we’ll reach your presidency’s tipping point.

McCarthy eventually lost power, was publicly disgraced, and censured by the Senate.

I believe your fate will be much worse and consequently, America’s future will become much brighter.


Mike McGrew