The news headline took my breath away. “Trump has forty percent chance of becoming President.” Yikes! Clinton is plummeting in the polls while Trump is gaining momentum. “How is this possible?” I wondered. “How could I have been so wrong?”
When I saw thousands, perhaps millions of fervent “Trumpeters” on TV, seemingly united, applauding him, extolling his virtues, whatever they may be, covering up for him and continually giving him the benefit of the doubt, I started singing.
Do you see what I see? (Not) Do you hear what I hear? (Not) Do you feel what I feel? (Not) Faint voices had begun sounding the alarm, to prepare me for worst-case scenarios, and keep this universal truth in my consciousness: when it comes to human beings, anything is possible. The first time I saw Trump was before the election campaign started more than a year ago. I remember my initial reaction. “Is this what they’re talking about?” “He’s a straight-shooter against the Establishment.” Except that he represents the Establishment. “He doesn’t bullshit like all the other politicians.” Except that he bullshits like all the other politicians. He’s a ‘good ol boy,” some hot shot real estate mogul who is very rich and very powerful, and who probably exploited thousands of people to get where he is. He wasn’t someone I’d ever do business with, no matter how much money was to be made. I was sure it was going to be Hillary, in a landslide, when everyone saw the emperor wearing no clothes. But I’ve been wrong before. Imagining the possibility left me in a state of eternal dread, endless moments suffocating in an apocalyptic darkness. It wasn’t long before I found my way back from that darkness by happily surrendering to a bout of contempt and hostility. “This guy is a pompous asshole, a Redneck pig, an incarnation of Hitler; ‘walks loudly but carries a small stick;’ a buffoon who’s got nothing but a facade that’s going to burst like a bubble, talks in clichés and says nothing of substance, e.g. “’Make America Great Again.’” “He’s ignorant, belligerent, toxic; someone who incites violence and hatred every time he speaks… he’s ‘Trumped’ up, inflated with superiority, righteousness and meanness. Not a nice person.”
It never ceases to amaze me how many people seem so devoutly behind Trump, regardless of whatever he says or does, no matter how clearly unfit and dangerous. Are they so in denial that they are blind to the danger he poses? Can’t they tell when someone is so disconnected or doesn’t care about people? Doesn’t that matter to them, especially when we’re talking about the President of the United States? Do they feel a need to be part of his inner circle of superiority, dominance and power? They certainly don’t want to be one of the inferior, dominated and in-dignified outside the circle.
Have they grown so hopeless and hateful of politicians, so disenfranchised, that Trump is a long-awaited breath of fresh air? Do they actually believe they’re going to be better off with him as President? Would they know or care if the person they favor acts like he is in a perpetual whipped up egotistical fit, when it is all about him, all the time? For the past year, Trump bombarded us with one egregious clinical red-flag after another, screaming for a call to action. I was surprised not to hear more mental health practitioners chime in on the abundant feast of pathological symptoms and implications related to ‘fitness’ and ‘risk.’ I was in disbelief some months ago when I happened upon a CNN interview with a psychologist Trump had enlisted, who was ‘assessing’ the ‘fitness’ of both candidates. The psychologist came across to me as grossly biased, clinically baseless, and lacking credibility. I’d be surprised if he was actually a psychologist or qualified, as he was unable to distinguish between a subjective opinion and a true clinical take. His opinion was that Trump had presented no indications of any pathology whatsoever and that “his only problem is that he’s addicted to the truth, which is what has gotten him into trouble many times. He just can’t resist being himself.” It became apparent to me that some formal training may be needed society-wide, of particularly all voting Americans, about how to assess psychological fitness, unfitness, and risk, to be able to make an informed and responsible decision. As a clinician, mental health professional, marriage and family therapist, whose job it was, for the past 30 years, to identify dysfunction and emotional instability, to assess level of functioning (mentally, emotionally, psychologically), as well as fitness to parent, work etc., and ‘risk,’ i.e. threat of harm to self and others, all in an effort to restore health, wellbeing and safety for individuals and relationships, I realized I am qualified to do a mock (i.e., not the standard office-based assessment) Fitness for Duty Evaluation and Risk Assessment for our president elect.
I think I can show with clinical objectivity Trump’s unfitness, while at the same time, showing readers and voters how to assess fitness and risk for themselves. All of us, or as many of us as possible, need to be on the same page regarding our bottom lines and non-negotiable criteria, that is what we’d accept and not accept, and act in unison.
Since we’re talking about a public figure any assessment has to be considered ‘off the record,’ unofficial and informal. These assessments are based entirely on how the president elect conducted himself publicly, i.e., the Trump we see on T.V. and see or read about on the Internet. They are not people we’ve ever met or known personally. Trump’s Fitness for Duty Evaluation would begin like this: presents as “characterlogically disordered,” weighted by narcissistic and sociopathic features; scoring off the charts on the scales for both narcississm and sociopathy (interchangeable with ‘anti-social.’)
Let’s look closer at the key diagnostic terms, character disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and sociopath or anti-social personality disorder, just to have a bit more understanding of what we’re dealing with here. Particularly, we must make the connection between the severity of narcissism and sociopathy and the corresponding level of impairment, with a determination of ‘unfit’ and (extremely) ‘high risk.’ The more severely ‘disordered,’ the more emotional instability there is going to be. Emotional instability correlates with temperament and judgment, or lack thereof. There is also going to be a correlation between psychological, mental, emotional and relational ‘unfitness’ and the level of ‘risk.’ When we’re talking President of the United States, possibly the most powerful person in the world, the risks are going to rise exponentially. We also know that the position of President of the United States requires an elaborate and specific skill set, knowledge and experience. We must be able to discern according to the position in question. For example, Trump may be deemed ‘unfit’ for president and a far greater risk, but at the same time be deemed ‘fit’ to run a billion-dollar corporation, which requires a different skill set and temperament. For the office of President, we’re looking for a baseline of stability, the temperament and ability to exercise sound judgment, in the midst of chaos and complexity, when everything is on the line. We’re looking for the statesman quality of being good at “winning friends and influencing people.” Character Disorders are present with an enduring pattern of misperception and misinterpreting self, other and events that manifests as an inappropriate emotional response, that is pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations. In other words, we’re talking about how one perceives himself/herself and experiences life, and how he/she tends to relate all the time. It’s a person’s M.O. (modus-operandi), how they “roll,” the way they operate, how they go about their business. The lack of self-awareness is a recurring theme. Trump’s narcissism shows up in a multitude of ways, earning him an off the charts ratings on both narcissism and sociopathy scales. We will use specific examples of what Trump has said and done that match criteria for a diagnosis of narcissistic and sociopathic. Let’s begin by going down the list of criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as they appear in the DSM V – psychiatric diagnoses and criteria. 1. believes oneself to be superior 2. has an inflated sense of self-importance 3. exaggerates achievements and talents and expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements (also known as delusions of grandeur and omnipotence; and when the terms ‘megalomania’ and ‘meglomaniac’ may be aptly applied 4. has sense of entitlement, i.e. unreasonable expectations of automatic compliance 5. shows arrogance and haughty behavior and attitude 6. lacks empathy, unable to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others 7. is interpersonally exploitative Trump’s show of arrogant and haughty behavior and attitude of superiority are at the extreme high end of the spectrum. He presents as being so completely out of touch with reality that I’m left wondering whether these are delusions of grandeur and omnipotence we’re observing, which could also qualify as ‘delusional,’ and his being a ‘meglomaniac.’ He’s rigidly set in his ways, unable to decipher when he might have missed or misinterpreted something, crossed a line, or put his foot in his mouth. When Hillary expressed a legitimate concern that “Trump’s rhetoric is seized on by ISIS,” it appeared to me that it fell on deaf and “dumb” ears. He wasn’t open to the possibility, nor could he comprehend, that his hateful rhetoric may have emboldened our enemy’s cause, or that it is hateful at all. Another well-known example of his grandiose hubris is his steadfast refusal to show his taxes, despite mounting evidence of massive conflicts of interest and his stated intention to run the government as his business. Unfortunately, it appears that he has gotten away with not making his taxes public as it may not be legally required of him to do so for the position of President of the United States; as crazy as that sounds, it’s true. Trump is so arrogant and superior that he’s incapable of adjusting, censoring himself or even accommodating another audience because he believes that whatever he says is so great and so right, that everyone will automatically flock to his cause, whatever that may be.
In an interview with Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes, it appeared he really and truly believes that everything comes down to a deal and that he can ‘out-deal’ anyone. He said, “I want to make great deals for our country. America needs someone who can make deals that benefit America, and I’m the best deal-maker there is.” He seemed to imply that he is going to get his way one way or another, and threatening that he would resort to any means necessary and eviscerate anyone in his way. How Trump conducted himself with Stahl is how he conducts himself all the time. This is what he says. This is how he acts, every time we see him with zero awareness that anything is awry. (Reread the general diagnostic criteria for Character Disorder including: an enduring pattern of misperceiving and misinterpreting self, others and events, that manifests by range, intensity and appropriateness of emotional response; is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations.) When Stahl commented, “You’re not known to be a humble man,” Trump abruptly interrupted her to say, “I think I am, actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.” His response was the opposite of how someone with humility would respond to that question. The level of one’s self-awareness is a reliable measuring stick for psychological health, wellbeing and fitness. Lack of self-awareness is an indication of psychological dis-ease, ill health or unfitness. Self-awareness is, therefore one of the over-riding aspects when assessing fitness or lack thereof. No self-awareness translates to no sensibility and no humanity. Defense secretary Robert Gates had the following to say about Trump’s unfitness for duty, calling attention to his narcissistic sense of superiority and delusions of grandeur and omnipotence.
"The world we confront is too perilous and too complex to have as president a man who believes he, and he alone, has all the answers and has no need to listen to anyone ... At least on national security, I believe he is beyond repair. He is stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform. He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief." In the position of President, Gates asserted, the issues “are numerous and fraught with potential trap doors. Among them, China's claims to the South China Sea, North Korea's nuclear ambitions, Russian President Vladimir Putin's authoritarian regime, and the long-playing unrest in the Middle East, which is compounded by ISIS-related terrorism and the Syrian civil war, all of which requires a president with strategic acumen and vision, nuance, deft diplomatic and political skill. Such qualities are lost on a presidential candidate like Donald Trump.” Trump is so extremely egotistical and his sense of superiority so deeply entrenched, he believes that he’s so good and powerful, he doesn’t need a team because he himself is the only one who could make everything happen, to “make America great and safe again.” Obviously, he doesn’t have a clue about diplomacy or being a team player, which presumably are included in the skills set required to be President of the United States. Rather he comes across as autocratic, dictatorial and authoritarian. One of many “Trump-isms” seared into most of our memory banks was his plan to “build the biggest wall the world has ever seen,” that will keep all Mexican immigrants out, most of whom he described as “rapists and murderers who take jobs away from Americans.” He asserted this wall will prevent them from illegally crossing the border, and that “Mexico will pay for it! Trust me. They will pay for it.” We all heard Trump claim that he could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" and not "lose any voters." I venture to say that only an extremely characterlogically disordered, narcissistic and sociopathic would say such a thing and be so oblivious to the impact his behavior has on others. Another incident indelibly imprinted in most of our psyches was Trump’s absolute and permanent lack of empathy and interpersonally exploitative treatment of others, when he, deliberately and without a blink of hesitation, mocked a disabled person asking a question, which Trump obviously didn’t want to answer. And another widely seen exhibition of extreme insensitivity and mean-spiritedness, lack of compassion and empathy, was when Trump spoke dismissively, presumptuously and condescendingly to Khizr Khan and his wife – the Moslem, Afghan, American parents of a soldier who lost his life in Iraq. Trump projected his ignorant stereotypes onto them without ever honoring the loss of their son who died fighting for America. Trump’s initial response to them was that “if (he) was president at the time, (his) son would not have died in that ridiculous Iraq war.” There has been much commentary about Trump’s fitness (based on their impressions and observations). For instance, former comedian and talk-show host, David Letterman said that Trump is a "damaged human being" in response to his mocking a New York Times reporter with a congenital disorder. Letterman thought, "If you can do that, and not apologize, you're a person to be shunned." Let’s now shift our focus to criteria that qualifies for a Sociopathic or Anti-social Personality diagnosis, beginning with: ..pervasive pattern of disregard for and violations of the rights of others. Trump’s pervasive pattern of disregard for and violations of the rights of others takes form in both his words and his attitude. At this early point, before he’s even taken office, there are already many millions of people quaking in fear at the possibility that someone so outwardly racist, bigoted, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic, could be the one in charge of the United States for at least the next four years. …deceitfulness, lying In addiction to narcissistic and sociopathic, we may now add the moniker of pathological liar. Trump’s lies have been coming fast and furiously with no let up. We’ve seen him lie, change his story, and flat out deny any and every charge against him so many times, that many people have gotten the sense that he’s lying about everything all of the time, and that he is a liar. How many people care that he is a liar and how much they care is another matter. When he was asked to explain his about-face from some years ago when he took a ‘pro-choice’ position, but now says he’s ‘pro-life’ and had always been ‘pro life,’ he tried to qualify his earlier position and once again accused media/press of deliberately misinterpreting him. However this is not what makes someone a pathological liar. The pathology is that he may have no idea that he is lying all of the time and may never have been able to distinguish between lying and telling the truth. Lying is not just something Trump does often, it’s a way of life for him. It’s woven into his personality and how he relates all the time, in every relationship and with every person in his life. Pathological liars operate covertly and live secret lives no one is privy to. And not just lying, oftentimes his lies are not flat-out lies, they were reduced to “false statements” or distorted truths(not actual lies). Some of his statements were so outlandish and absolute, they were attributed to delusionary thinking. Given that Trump is narcissistic, his lying serves to feed his narcissism. Everything he say and does reinforces his inflated version of himself. He also uses intimidation to distort the truth with veiled threats if you oppose or disagree with him. Trump is known to call many other people liars as well. Given that Trump is also sociopathic, his lying serves as a means of lashing out at others, perceived enemies. Rather than listing Trump’s biggest and notorious lies, and since there was a countless number of lies, I want to refer the reader to an article that came out in the online Daily Wire, April 11, 2016, Lyin’ Donald: 101 of Trump’s Greatest Lies, which starts with the following, Donald Trump has repeatedly labeled his political opponents liars. He has termed virtually every mildly adversarial media member a liar, too. But there's only one truly massive liar in this race: Donald Trump. When Politico attempted to measure how many lies Trump told over the course of 4.6 hours of speeches, they found that he lied, on average, once every five minutes. When Huffington Post catalogued his lies over the course of just one town hall event, they came up with 71 lies. When fact-checkers revealed an extensive list of statements Trump made that were proved to be untrue and inaccurate, his response was to explain away the fact checking as a conspiracy against him, a smear campaign, and suggested that the election was rigged. It was also reported he previously suggested a similar conspiracy when his show, The Apprentice failed to win an Emmy. He suggested that the outcome was rigged. Recently, a group of women came forward to allege that they had been violated, assaulted and somehow objectified, i.e. “groped” and “assaulted” by him. His response was that they too, were all part of a smear campaign commandeered by media.
Another well known example of Trump’s calculated, unscrupulous, racist, malicious, conspiratorial maneuvering and his deceitfulness and lying was when he tried to put the “birther” issue to rest once and for all, by relenting to the fact that Obama may well have been born in the United States while simultaneously suggesting that Clinton is to blame, as that she was the first one to cast doubt on where Obama was born. …aggressive and assaultive, mean-spirited and malevolent …reckless disregard for the safety of others …impulsivity, failure to plan ahead It was not difficult to find examples when Trump came across as mean-spirited and malicious by his steady stream of vicious attacks and escalation towards violence and retribution. These attacks are compounded by his lack of awareness or consideration of how he might be coming across or whom he might be offending, which translates to him being clearly out of control and unaffected by any outside influences. Trump said about Hillary, "She's being so protected. She could walk into this arena right now and shoot somebody with 20,000 people watching" (mimicking a gun with his hand) "right smack in the middle of the heart and she wouldn't be prosecuted, okay."
Trump is also famous for attacking and blaming whole groups of people for America’s ills, like when we heard him calling for a "ban" on all Muslims, and subjecting them to a procedure of “extreme vetting” (when something similar may already be in place), in order to eliminate the threat of terrorism in our country. He was also attacking and blaming Obama and Hillary for being negligent and incompetent. “Hillary wants ‘open borders,’” which was another distortion. Trump also said that his system would ensure that the only immigrants granted entrance are those he will somehow determine who love the United States and are on our side, and deny everyone who is out to harm us. He has called for a "registry" to track those already living here to “make them wear special ID’s.” “We’re going to have stop all Muslims from entering the country. We’re going to get rid of all 11 million illegal ‘aliens.’ Get them all out so they can re-enter legally.” Trump also clearly demonstrated a reckless disregard for the safety of others, when he suggested that since Clinton is so hell-bent on taking away our Second Amendment right to bear arms, she should be taught a lesson. He commented, “She ought to ‘disarm her team of bodyguards and see what happens.’” The next day I read that Mass. Senator Elizabeth Warren had targeted him for "inviting his followers to commit a terrible act of violence on his opponent. Only a little bully who can't win in a fair fight" would do such a thing. An example of Trump’s impulsivity, failure to plan ahead is the statement we’ve heard from him more than once, “We’re going to win the war against ISIS by bombing the shit out of them.” In response to these kinds of statements from him, we’ve heard Hillary express a valid concern when she posed the question, “Whose finger do you want on the button of a nuclear weapon? A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." …lack of remorse He exhibits no remorse ever, as though he’s incapable. He says that he has no regrets, as if he is infallible and could never make a mistake. He never second-guesses himself. This translates to a gross lack of remorse. Where there is a gross lack of remorse, there is going to be a gross lack of humility, empathy and self-awareness. There’s also going to be a disregard for human life and spiritual disconnectedness. This emotional limitation makes for an extremely dangerous person and situation.
The most incriminating and irrefutable evidence of Trump’s misogynistic, sexist, bullying, assaultive, predatory behavior and sociopathic/anti-social nature came out a few weeks before the election. This string of bombshell revelations more than puts the finishing touches on ‘unfitness.’ First, there is the famous audio recording on a private bus having a lewd conversation with Billy Bush about how he sees and relates to women and bragging about what he’s able to get away with because of his celebrity status and power. He presented himself as someone who routinely hits on woman, jumps right into their space, in boorishly hitting on woman and trying to have sex with married women, which translates to condoning and committing blatant sexual misconduct throughout his life. This recording served to undress the Wolf. Here he is under the guise of running for President of the United States, and we get to hear how he really thinks and acts in the world – who he is - especially towards women. We hear him in his own words objectifying women, talking like the misogynist we already knew him to be, and has no clue that he is recklessly crossing boundaries and violating women. He seemed to feed his ego with every conquest, and he condoned his behavior when he said that he’d only behave this way with the most beautiful women, attractive enough to be worthy of his advances. It also made it clear that he does not respect or regard women, or treat them as equals, no matter what Melania (his current wife) says. The tape also served to corroborate his notorious history of philandering and deceit. Then, if that weren’t enough, shortly after that tape was released to the public, there were no less than twelve women who had direct contact with Trump, who reported that they felt violated by his inappropriate and unwanted advances. Some of these women worked for Trump and shared experiences of being sexually harassed. All their stories were credible, with specific details and often with witnesses to corroborate their stories.
Whenever called out to account for these reports, Trump completely denied they ever happened, denied knowing those women, and then lashed out at the media for promulgating such lies. His senior communications adviser released statements labeling them as fiction and accusing the media of “launching a completely false coordinated character assassination against Mr. Trump.” Trump had gone as far as threatening to sue them for defamation after the election. The famous billionaire entrepreneur, Richard Branson shared his impression of Trump during a lunch meeting Trump had invited him to "some years ago." He said that he found himself listening to a shockingly vengeful and desperate businessman. He recalled Trump “rattling on about how he would ruin the lives of five people who had refused his pleas for financial assistance following a bankruptcy.” Seeking revenge and planning a way to secretly hurt someone is an aspect of sociopathy that renders a verdict of unfit and highly dangerous. Not since the days of Goldwater was there a headline of a news agency going out on a limb by declaring a presidential candidate unfit. This was not a clinical assessment as much as an encapsulation of public perception, and commentary from a variety of sources including people in the media, professionals, well-known celebrities with strong opinions, and those who’ve worked with or had some kind of dealing with him, and comes up with the same conclusions regarding Trump’s lack of fitness and risk potential. Trump’s unique blend of narcissism and sociopathy makes him the Little Red Riding Hood of psychological disorders. By the time you realize you’re in danger it’s too late, damage will be done. He is anti-socially motivated and power driven. Power feeds narcissism. Narcissism feeds his inhumane coldness and reckless blindness to who he puts at risk, that he’s putting anyone at risk. Trump exercises his power to feed his sense of superiority, by righteously raging against and viciously attacking anyone he believes has wronged him in any way. There is no room for compassion for such a person. Trump operates under the guise of a cutthroat and powerful businessman turned politician who trumps himself up (excuse the pun) as being the hero America is needing right now. He comes from an upper class background, is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania Business School (Ivy League), wears a suit and tie and looks like a CEO. These characteristics render him more of threat, as there is less reason to doubt and mistrust him. Since there is so much at stake and I am well aware that when it comes to humans, anything is possible. I’m here to forewarn us, like Paul Revere did two hundred years ago. I want everyone to know that a sociopath has been elected to the Presidency. The last time I was this affected by a news story was a little over a year ago. On 24 March 2015, a Germanwings aircraft, an Airbus A320-211, crashed in the French Alps, after a constant descent that began one minute after the last routine contact with air traffic control. All 144 passengers and six crew members were killed. The crash was deliberately caused by the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, who had previously been treated for suicidal tendencies and declared "unfit to work" by a doctor. This riveted my attention in a shocking and frightening way. How does someone who was obviously in no state of mind to pilot a plane get to co-pilot a flight? In his journals found during the investigation after the crash, there were statements of imminent intent, a specific plan carefully laid out, with research into ‘rapid decent’ on the Internet beforehand, to make sure to complete his mission to fly a plane into a mountain. There were numerous signs of questionable fitness, which should have been magnified, given the gravity of the situation, as he was being treated for severe depression and suicidal tendencies, and was declared ‘unfit’ to fly! There were reports that he was begging to be relieved of duty. Yet somehow he was given a ‘pass’ to fly and got on the plane. There were a lot of people in denial. There were people he had to report to and received orders from. There were mental health professionals involved, who must have known or sensed the extremely dangerous risk Lubitz posed, but did nothing to stop him from flying. No one put one and one together – that he’s a pilot in no condition to fly a plane. I read that it was unlawful in Germany for mental health practitioners to break confidentiality by reporting to the proper authorities, even a suggestion of ‘dangerously unfit.’ I also read that Lufthansa was under a tremendous amount of financial pressure and desperately needed pilots to fly planes, and neglected their due diligence. What needed to happen here was for someone, just one person, to make sure that Lubitz wasn’t allowed anywhere near a plane until he was deemed fit. Lufthansa is still picking up the pieces from this horrific disaster. After an investigation, they were criminally charged with manslaughter for the 156 lives lost, and will be civilly liable for hundreds of millions of dollars to their families, which is after the fact. Nothing can ever be done to undo what happened. Trump winning the election is tantamount to Lubitz being given a pass to fly a plane filled with passengers when he was so clearly unfit to do so. It looks to me like when Trump assumes office our country will suffer a similar fate as those aboard that day, when the writing was all over the wall. I shudder at the possibility of witnessing something like that happening again and I shudder to think of myself aboard that plane and not being able to do anything about it.
Trump and Lubitz are almost one and the same. The only difference is that when Trump crashes, the damage is going to be of an unspeakably greater magnitude. The question is, What Now? What are we going to do? How are we going to cope or survive with a narcissistic sociopath in the White House, and our home corrupted and under siege? Who is going to protect us? Who is going to lead us? As irresistible as it might be to get in the ring with him to try knocking him out, when that may not be you forte or style, the challenge is to figure out how to stop him in other ways, using other means. Our only hope for escape from mass carnage is to continue speaking up for what you believe, keep it alive and be around others who you can bond with; sharing your pain alleviates some of the suffering and stress, and mobilize together and unite in unison. And never stop! Stay mindful of the larger picture of impending doom and not wait any longer to take action, speak out to restore sanity, stability and restoration of our democratic bedrock.