Editorials

Wineke: Donald Trump is my President

MADISON, Wis. - There's one thing I want to make clear: Donald J. Trump is my president.

He's your president, too. 

I may not be happy about that fact; I am not happy about that fact. But we live in a democratic republic that is hel together, in part, by the idea that once we elect a president, he is the representative of our nation for a term of four years. 

And because Donald J. Trump is my president, I am in part responsible for all the things he does in my name. 

A lot of things have been going on in my name this week. 

American fighter bombers have attacked American bases in Syria, destroying what our troops left behind after President Trump ordered them out of the country without prior notice. 

Now Russian and Syrian soldiers are occupying the places where we Americans once worked side-by-side with the Kurds. 

The Kurds, who lost more than 11,000 soldiers fighting with us to defeat the Islamic State in the region, are now running for their lives because we abandoned them, again without notice. 

We saw television pictures of our soldiers leaving the Kurdish region in armored vehicles, while kids pelt the vehicles with potatoes and rotten tomatoes. 

Why? Because they felt the United States of America - not just President trump, but you and me - have betrayed them. Why do they feel that way? Because we have betrayed them. 

Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney called that betrayal a "blood stain in the annals of American history." 

And that's just exactly why it is important for me to realize Donald J. Trump is my president. 

Because he won't be president forever. Either he will be removed from office by impeachment or he will be defeated at the polls next year or he will win reelection and, somehow, serve for another term, but he won't be president forever. 

But the damage he has done in my name will linger long after the Oval Office has been fumigated. 

Why would anyone trust the U.S. again, no matter who is president? 

Why would anyone think that, when we give our word, we mean it? 

David Petraeus, once one of the most honored generals in the land, explained in an interview last weekend that when the Kurdish leaders told him they had learned not to trust anyone or anything other than the mountains, Petraeus assured them that they could trust the United States of America. 

President Trump, my president, justified his actions by suggesting the Kurds are worse than the terrorists and that they should be happy we supported them for a few years. He said he was bringing American troops "home." 

Then he assigned them the task of securing Syrian oil fields. 

We won't use American soldiers to protect the Kurdish women and children we once promised to protect but we will send them to protect oil fields. 

That's apparently the state of our moral values today.

Someday Donald J. Trump will no longer be president. But I will still be a citizen. And the blood stain of our current policy will still rest on me. 

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