Imagine a hypothetical situation. A wealthy resort owner – we’ll call her Jane – stands accused of defrauding a children’s cancer treatment center. How she did it was she hosted a charity fundraiser at her resort for the treatment center, but she secretly billed the charity $1.2 million dollars for use of her resort, triple what she would ordinarily charge for similar services. Jane further funneled an additional $100,000 of the charity’s money to a charity of her own, which she used in turn to make financial “contributions” to other charities in her name, in order to enhance her social standing and community goodwill and in order to attract more business. She even used some of it for a contribution to her own campaign for political office.
What do you think of Jane? Well, if you’re like me you think Jane is one rotten human being. You think Jane belongs in jail, but only after she has paid back every penny (with interest) that she’s stolen from the children’s cancer treatment center. Nor would it matter to me in the slightest who Jane is. I don’t care if she is a Democrat or a Republican, she’s a villain. I wouldn’t even care if Jane were my own sister, my message to her would be, “Tough luck, sis, you’re going to jail.”
That’s what having a moral code means. That’s what the difference between right and wrong is all about, and that difference applies to everyone no matter who they are. Unless, of course, you’re a Republican. Then the question very much is about who Jane is before they can make a judgement. You see, the party of “family values” and “Christian virtues” is very much a respecter of persons — very much a believer in moral relativism. And all this time they were blaming that on secular humanists!
If you’ve figured out yet that Jane is really Donald Trump then you are correct. And yes, Donald Trump stole money from a children’s cancer treatment center called St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and he callously used it for his own enrichment. And Republicans are just fine with it. In fact, Republicans are happy to let Trump get away with it, and any other morally despicable crime he commits.
A subject-dependent morality isn’t morality at all. It’s unethical fraud. I will no longer permit any Republican to lecture me on morality. Those days are over. Their protection of this president, their willingness to carry water for him no matter what, disqualifies them from commenting on anything about morality ever again. They need to be gone from political life — all of them.
I’ll tell you why this is barely a scandal, why it is barely mentioned in the press and largely forgotten by any who know about it. It’s because Donald John Trump is such an arch criminal, such a child raping bastard, such a thief and a murderer and a friend of murdering, fascistic dictators and a loathsome, hateful bigot that hardly anyone has noticed. This is small stuff compared to what Trump has done. With anyone else it would be the greatest scandal of their political career, possibly the greatest scandal of the twenty-first century, but since it’s about Trump it hardly attracts any news ink. It’s small potatoes.
This is the man who is president of the United States. Once the mind-scorching horror of how truly evil Donald Trump is finally sinks into the collective consciousness of humanity, we will be so shocked and appalled that, even though it happened, we won’t be able to believe it was ever possible.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.