Letter to the Editor:

Donald Trump’s actions and words in the first month of his presidency have given his supporters much to cheer about. For his detractors, there is disbelief and dismay. 

We have all absorbed a great deal of his character and his compulsions over the last two years. One factor stands out — a general lack of respect for any person or any act or institution or structure not already directly connected to Donald Trump. 

What Trump’s supporters and detractors have all witnessed during this period are continual childish tweets from the president, lies that range from seemingly small issues such as inauguration crowd size up to major whoppers claiming massive voter fraud, and startling insults to the leaders of both Mexico and Australia.

Further, the administration issued a legally challenged travel ban impacting international travelers. Further yet, the president labeled most major media organizations as the opposing party and “the enemy of the people.” 

Even more disturbing, prior to the election, the president launched an unprovoked attack on Sen. John McCain’s widely recognized heroism as a Vietnam prisoner of war. And finally, President Trump, in his first month in office, appears not to have engaged Congress at any time, on any issue, on any major strategic initiative that his administration, by now, should be taking up with congressional leaders. 

Almost all Trump administration actions to date have been low-impact executive orders, dealing with less-urgent matters, issued by Trump and his staff alone, sounding authoritative, but ultimately requiring congressional passage before implementation. There is little evidence that strategic initiatives such as infrastructure rebuilding are under consideration. 

Mr. Trump has acted thus far as though Congress does not exist, and he alone is in charge. Mr. Trump’s general lack of respectfulness extends therefore to the Congress of the United States, to the free media and press, to foreign leaders, to the rule of law and the national judiciary, to respected American heroes, to the need for an emotionally mature national leader and to the very truth itself. In fact, Mr. Trump seems to have very little overall respect for the very country he was elected to lead, the democratic republic of the United States of America.

This disrespectful attitude our president seems to hold is not healthy for our nation, not healthy for any citizen, nor for international relationships.

It is high time that congressional leaders plucked up their courage to inform the president that they expect full partnership with his administration as provided by the Constitution for the passage of laws, and to insist — appropriately — that he is not solely in charge. 

The media must continue to expose the Trump administration’s rush to dump ill-conceived programs onto the American people. The judiciary needs to continue to apply the rule of law to all legally questionable administration initiatives. 

And the voters need to remind Mr. Trump every single day that their displeasure with proposals they feel are not in their best interests may lead to his removal, and to removal of other elected officials in his party, on Election Day. 

Alan Drum

Presque Isle