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To Trump’s thinking, the American people will put up with any level of corruption and immorality if they believe they will personally benefit, writes Phil Kadner. | AP Photo

Donald Trump thinks we can all be bought

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Donald Trump is a small man, not in stature, but in the heart and in the mind.

He ridiculed the military record of former U.S. Sen. John McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, although he himself never served.

He has denounced members of the news media as enemies of the state because they have criticized him.

He has ridiculed federal judges, Congress and people who have devoted their lives to protecting this country in the FBI and CIA.

OPINION

Our president has mocked NATO — a European alliance formed by this country after World War II to confront military aggression by the former Soviet Union — while embracing the murderous thug Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader who meddled in America’s presidential election.

Trump has ridiculed NATO nations for not paying their fair share of the military costs.

He has criticized South Korea for failing to pay its share of the costs for American troops stationed there.

Trump refuses to denounce a Saudi Arabian prince who ordered the assassination of a Washington Post journalist and defended that position by saying he will not place billions of dollars in U.S. arms sales at risk over such a trifling offense.

Trump has ordered the kidnapping of children from people attempting to immigrate into the United States, claiming a message must be sent that illegal border crossings will not be tolerated.

He has bragged about grabbing women by their private parts and said there are good people who carry torches while chanting anti-Semitic slogans and embracing the racist believes of the Nazi Party and Ku Klux Klan.

On nearly a daily basis he uses Twitter to ridicule his enemies and call them names, behaving like an ill-tempered adolescent.

Recently, he appeared to gloat as France was hit by riots in the streets of Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron has chided Trump for his America First attitude, noting there is a difference between nationalism and patriotism, and now Trump is crowing because France is suffering.

There is no U.S. foreign policy. There is no domestic agenda intended to unite the country.

Everything is about Trump.

The man has no respect for the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law or the office of the presidency.

He writes his name in letters 20 feet high on the tallest of buildings, believing this will send a signal to the entire world that he is a man of importance.

In fact, he is a self-indulgent bully, an arrogant snob, a braggart and a coward.

He fears the truth. He’s a weakling who cannot tolerate dissent. He surrounds himself with “yes” men and women, and even they ultimately conclude that he is a dangerous, lying moron.

Despite this long litany of grievances, I have yet to enumerate Trump’s most egregious offense; the one ideal he holds above all others that defines how he has miniaturized the enormity of the presidency.

Whenever called on to defend his behavior, when pushed to justify his unprecedented disrespect for American history, he talks about money.

He talks about the stock market, he talks about corporate profits, he talks about the jobs he has created, his tax cuts and wealth. He bragged about his Cabinet officers being the richest in the country’s history.

This man, who has paid hush money all of his life to silence his critics, believes that the American people can be bought.

He is offering us all a bribe. All we have to do is look the other way — ignore the immorality, the unethical conduct, the corruption of American ideals and values — and we, too, can make money.

Self-enrichment drives him, and so he believes he can make a terrific deal, negotiate with all of us, to buy this country’s soul.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that, “Money costs too much.” Trump would never understand that concept.

Email: philkadner@gmailcom

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