I’ve read newspapers for a long time, and I’ve never seen anything like this. In its Sunday editions, The Los Angeles Times began a four-part editorial page attack on Donald J. Trump with an amazingly blunt editorial under the headline, “Our Dishonest President.”
Only 70 or so days into his administration, the newspaper owned by the holding company that also publishes the reliably conservative Chicago Tribune issued a call to arms.
Its editorial board wrote: “This nation survived Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon. It survived slavery. It survived devastating wars. Most likely, it will survive again.”
“But if it is to do so, those who oppose the new president’s reckless and heartless agenda must make their voices heard. Protesters must raise their banners. Voters must turn out for elections. Members of Congress—including and especially Republicans—must find the political courage to stand up to Trump.”
The editorial is extraordinary, both in its tone and its personal attack on the President as a danger to the country. “What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself,” the Times wrote. “He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation.”
Monday’s editorial, “Why Trump Lies,” says “the insult that Donald Trump brings to the equation is an apparent disregard for fact so profound as to suggest that he may not see much practical distinction between lies, if he believes they serve him, and the truth.”
The tone of these editorials differs sharply from the one that the Times wrote on May 10, 1974, when it said that President Nixon should be impeached. In measured words, the paper took the position that the existing evidence suggested grounds for Nixon’s impeachment. “Deviousness, vindictiveness and obscenity may not be impeachable offenses. Obstruction of justice certainly is,” the editors said. Nowhere did it hint that the nation or its democratic foundations were at risk.
They are now.
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According to the Times, the editorials attracted more than 2-million page views and no shortage of racist rants. Read both to appreciate the state of politics in America.
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