The 2020 election will amount to a referendum on Donald Trump, Mark Amodei and:
Honesty. Do we believe our public servants owe us the truth, or should they have license to lie an infinite number of times without accountability? Donald Trump has made, on average, nearly 15 false public statements per day during his presidency, according to the Washington Post Fact Checker. One day during the 2018 midterm campaigns he lied 130 times in two hours. The president tells many trivial lies but also misleads the public in important ways. For instance, he stated that only 3 percent of asylum seekers report for their court hearings. According to Justice Department statistics, the actual number is 89 percent. Mark Amodei believes it is no business of his how many times the president lies.
The rule of law. The notion that no one is above the law dates back more than 800 years to England’s Magna Carta. It is enshrined in our own Constitution. This president asserts that he enjoys immunity from prosecution because of his position. He relies on a Justice Department memo – not a law – to assert that a sitting president cannot be indicted for a crime. If this were the case, the president could enter any home in Northern Nevada and walk out with any property he or she fancied. Mark Amodei believes Donald Trump president cannot be prosecuted and should not even be censured for his rampant misconduct.
Intelligence. Will we continue to tolerate people serving in high government offices whose knowledge of basic history and civics would embarrass a junior high school student? Various bizarre remarks by the president indicate that he believes: Civil War-era abolitionist Frederick Douglas is still alive; the Revolutionary War featured airplanes and airports; the U.S. military has an invisible airplane; a trade deficit is the result of one country stealing from another, tariffs are paid by exporting countries rather than importers, and windmills cause cancer. Mark Amodei has yet to express any concern for the president’s ignorance.
Decency. It is shameful enough that a narrow electoral majority, not the popular vote, handed the leadership of the free world to a man heard bragging on tape that he was entitled to sexually assault women. Since taking office Mr. Trump has referred to non-white countries as “shitholes,” and has continued to taunt his political opponents and even members of his own administration with insults on the level of fourth-grader. He has egged on crowds of supporters chanting racist vitriol. Meanwhile, he literally embraces murderous dictators the world over. One can condone or condemn this president’s shameful behavior. Mr. Amodei has chosen to condone it 100 percent of the time.
The Earth. Will we accept the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists the world over and act to save our planet, or will we believe a man who insisted for five years that Barack Obama was born in Africa? Donald Trump has dismissed climate change as a hoax concocted by the government of China. As with every other ignorant assertion by the president, Mark Amodei has yet to contradict him.
Freedom of the press. Will we honor the free press as an essential element of a democracy, as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison did? Or will we allow a habitual liar like Donald Trump to undermine public confidence in journalism by calling journalists the “enemy of the people,” which was the tactic of dictators like Mao, Stalin, and worse. It’s beyond galling for a man who lies to the public an average of almost 15 times a day to label many of our country’s most respected and responsible news organizations “fake news.” Yet that’s what Trump does, and Mark Amodei says and does nothing.
An independent judiciary. Under our Constitution’s system of checks and balances, the judicial branch is assigned the role of being a check on the executive and legislative branches. Donald Trump has called our legal system a “joke” and the “laughingstock of the world” for guaranteeing due process to anyone accused of a crime. He labeled one federal judge a “so-called judge” for blocking one of Trump’s travel bans on constitutional grounds. Trump has stated his belief that any judge not appointed by him or a member of his party is biased against him. Previous presidents disagreed with court decisions. No president has sought to undermine an entire branch of government and our entire legal system the way Trump has. Mark Amodei, a lawyer by training(!), has said and done nothing to defend our judiciary.
The Gospel of Jesus. Will Evangelical and other Christians continue to support a man whose words and actions contradict the most basic teachings of the Messiah? Jesus preached a preference for the poor. Donald Trump pursues preferential treatment for the rich. Jesus and other biblical figures preached kindness toward one’s neighbors, strangers and foreigners. Donald Trump stokes distrust and hatred of foreigners and refugees. He longs to build a wall to keep them away, and he lied about who will pay for it. Jesus preached non-violence and called on his followers to defuse conflict by turning the other cheek. Donald Trump’s response to any perceived sleight or criticism is to “punch back 10 times harder.” Whatever Mark Amodei’s faith may be, he has shown a religious-like devotion to Donald Trump.
Mental health as a requirement for holding high public office.Thousands of mental health professionals have asserted their view that Donald Trump has a narcissistic personality disorder, which renders him unfit for office. The president describes himself as a “very stable genius.” Will we ignore the mountain of evidence, including the opinions of many who have worked closely with him, that this person is an ”idiot,” a “moron” and unfit for one of the most important roles in a democratic society? Mark Amodei sees no cause for concern.