A recent survey revealed that 53 percent of Republicans believe that Donald Trump is a better president than Abraham Lincoln was. I told Tina that I was going to write an article about that survey. “Don’t,” she said, “that’s too awful!” Some other good friends agreed with her.

Sorry, good wife and good friends, such a finding deserves to be exposed for what it reveals: Those who still support Trump have slurped this con man’s snake oil, immune to facts and bereft of judgment. They’ve sworn undying allegiance to his cult, and I use the term “cult” advisedly. They’re all too happy to be led by a dictator, even though they won’t acknowledge that that’s what’s happening.

Clearly, those who favor Trump over Lincoln know nothing about history. In fact, presidential historians typically rank Lincoln at the top of the list and Trump at the bottom.

Incidentally, there’s something more than cultism going on here. It’s called racism. I recall the time nearly 50 years ago when my family visited a museum in Richmond, Virginia. During the tour, my son David (then age 5) said to the museum guide, “Why didn’t you say anything about Abraham Lincoln?” Her response, “Abraham Lincoln isn’t very popular around here.”

Racism played a big part, no doubt, in Trump’s victory in 2016. It’s no accident that Trump is most popular in the deep South. And, though they won’t admit it, racism and sexism — along with promises to nominate “conservative” (meaning anti-abortion, anti-gay rights) justices — helped bring white Christian evangelicals over to Trump’s side, even though he’s as unChristian as any human being could possibly be.

As we enter the upcoming presidential campaign, several major questions come to mind. “Why is Trump so deferential to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and other dictators like Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia?” “Why hasn’t he expressed concerns about election interference by the Russians?” “Why does he praise Vladimir Putin, while bashing members of the FBI and our own State Department?” “Why does he remain so scared about releasing his income tax returns?”

With Trump, as anyone with a brain has already figured out, everything comes down to money. Trump’s followers, however, seem blind to this fact, or at the least, unbothered by it. They’re with him, right or wrong, the facts be damned.

Trump has managed to remove anyone in his administration who will stand up to him. He has surrounded himself with a cabal of toadies, yes men like Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to name just two. Trump obviously has no concern for the rule of law or the system of checks of balances.

I deeply fear what will happen to America if Trump is allowed four more years in office to flout Constitutional norms and further entrench himself as America’s dictator. Strong words, these, but I write them not as someone who hates Trump — although I do — but as someone who loves America.

Some Trump supporters might read this article and dismiss it as merely the rantings of a squishy liberal, a snowflake. Before they do, they might want to read what some leading Republicans had to say about Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Lindsay Graham: “The more you know about his business career, the less successful he seems. We should have basically kicked him out of the Republican party.”

Mitt Romney: “A business genius he is not. Donald Trump lacks the temperament to be President. Dishonesty is Trump’s hallmark. His personal qualities are bullying, greed, misogyny and third grade theatrics. Trump is a con man and fake.”

Ted Cruz: “Donald Trump is a pathological liar.

Marco Rubio: “Donald Trump is a con man. He’s asking us to be a nation of a man instead of a nation of laws.”

Here’s a question for Lindsay, Mitt, Ted and Marco: “Were you lying when you said those words or are you lying now by having joined Trump’s cult?”

Finally, some questions for readers of this column, wherever you fall on the political spectrum: Do you yearn for the days when we had a person of

integrity in the White House, someone who really cared about doing a good job for all Americans, not just the base? Do you wish we had a president to whom our children and grandchildren could look up to, rather than a lying con man? Did you approve of the way he totally obstructed the impeachment process, although — in true Trumpian fashion — he would deny that he did? Does it bother you that our allies now laugh at our President and dictators like Putin delight at Trump’s apparent willingness to be manipulated? Incidentally, did you know that Germans believe that Trump is a much greater threat to world peace than Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean Kim Jon Un, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; and Chinese President Xi Jinping? By the way, that survey was taken before Trump’s impulsive assassination of Qarrem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander, a stunt which, while it makes for fine Trump rally fodder, is already creating chaos in the region. What would our Founding Fathers say about Trump’s trampling of Constitutional norms? What would Jesus say about Trump’s words and behavior? Are you concerned about the future of America if Donald Trump is re-elected? If so, what are you going to do about it?

America is on the brink. It’s time to decide where we stand. Our very future depends upon it,

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” columns. [email protected].

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