With the release over the weekend of Attorney General Barr’s memo summarizing the Mueller investigation, Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that “Democrats and the liberal media” owed the American people an apology. Barr’s memo concluded that the Mueller investigation found there was no collusion between the Trump campaign or subsequent administration and the Russian government. Maybe it was not the conclusion the majority of Americans expected, but it was exactly what all Americans needed: A thorough look into a candidate’s associates and their actions which appeared to favor Vladimir Putin and his views over those of our own intelligence agencies.

So Sanders, no thank you very much. The American people are not in need of any apology from Democrats or the press. They were doing their job. Now, almost two years later we have learned there was insufficient evidence to prove our president was a traitor, despite the fact several of his associates were found to have communicated with Russian sources and it has been established as proven fact that Russian agents did indeed interfere with the elective process in these United States. All we can conclude now is that the president is not a traitor, he is simply a bad leader.

What... you think Donald Trump has done a good job as the “leader of the free world?” At the same time that he has been reveling in the Mueller report’s analysis this president and his minions are actively tearing up the last shreds of the Affordable Care Act. Maybe most Trump supporters forgot that before the ACA millions of Americans couldn’t afford either medical care or health insurance. In fact they went without such care and jeopardized their own health as well as their children’s. That is supposed to be better than Obamacare? On top of dismantling the ACA this administration is pursuing deep cuts to Medicare benefits, and doing so at a time when more Americans than ever are retiring and being covered by that government-supported institution.

Another active policy area of the Trump monarchy — oh excuse me — administration, is its war on the very physical world in which we live. By appointing big oil advocates and other business leaders to positions in the Environmental Protection Agency, this administration has thumbed its nose at the overwhelming evidence our climate is warming due to mankind’s use of fossil fuels. I’ll say it once again, over the period we’ve gone from counting on our fingers to hand-held computers, from helium balloons to rockets to the moon, from beating rugs with sticks to Dyson vacuum cleaners, and from guessing about an internal injury to X-rays, ultra-sound and MRIs... we still fuel our SUVs the same way Henry Ford fueled his Model-Ts. The result of our continued dependence on fossil fuels? How about hurricanes Florence and Michael and the flooding of Miami during full moon cycles and high tide?

Another great milestone of this administration has been the empowerment of “white nationalism” after years of decline and a finally somewhat equal footing for all American citizens. I’ve been around long enough to remember the 1960s and the upheaval in this country as we struggled with ourselves to throw off decades of bigotry and negative, ill-informed opinions toward people of color. Things were slow to improve, but improving they were until 2016 and the election of a man who famously (although now conveniently forgotten by all his supporters) took out a full page ad (for $85,000) in four New York City newspapers demanding New York bring back the death penalty in his reaction to five young black men being accused of a brutal assault and rape in Central Park. Even after the “Central Park Five” were proven innocent (by DNA technology) of the attack for which they had been tried and found guilty, Trump raged against the justice system for letting them go free. This president has been called a “friend” by the leaders of several white nationalist groups. He has encouraged suspicion and hate in his followers by lying about immigrants. Trump has incited and emboldened those with bigoted views further dividing this nation along racial and partisan lines.

Since his election, “PolitiFact” — the online agency fact checking statements by public figures — notes that 70 percent of Trump’s statements of record are either “mostly false” to outright lies. Put another way, the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” reports that since his first day in office, our president has made 8,718 false claims. The truth has become irrelevant during this administration. This would not be an issue and moreover would have been halted if the 42 percent of people saying Trump is doing a good job would hold him accountable and stop cheering every time he opens his mouth to deceive his base. President Trump is not fully to blame for lying daily, his supporters who cheer at his misinformation campaign are enabling a liar.

Back to Sanders, she further opined that the people who pushed for the Mueller investigation should be investigated for treasonous acts. Wrong! United States Code, Title 18; Part I; Chapter 115; Section 2381 Treason, defines treason as this: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason...” An investigation into the acts of one man — even if he is president — in no way implies treason. Sanders lives in a delusion that describes losing the popular vote by over 4 million as an overwhelming victory, and polling no higher than 42-45 percent as “the will of the people.” It’s just one more lie, one more effort to obscure the truth from loyal followers who don’t appear interested in truth beyond Trump.

Mike Tischio is a freelance columnist living in Union County. To comment, simply email newsroom@standard-journal.com.

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