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I have always been a big fan of Ivanka Trump. It is hard to figure out how Donald Trump, an intellectually challenged and relatively ugly creep, could produce the divine Ivanka. But then you ask, how could someone so divine actually marry a dumb putz like Jared Kushner? Frankly, the answer is difficult to come by. Ivanka seems to be in love with her father, and he seems to be in love with her. This wouldn’t leave much room for Jared, unless the Donald and Ivanka affair is just father/daughter stuff. And what of the lovely Melania and porn star Stormy Daniels?**

My book with the full and true story will be out before long. While you wait, to keep you occupied, there is the sordid Trump tale crafted by a couch potato reporter of middling repute who digs down in the dirt to find gold. I am trying to follow in his gilded footsteps.

Next up for me on my search for the true Trump is the Dr. Phil of psychodrama, Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a Yale University psychiatrist. She had a recent séance with some Congressmen to wallow in the mental morass that is America’s president. She went so far as to say: “He is becoming very unstable very quickly”*** Yikes, who knew? Unfortunately, the good doctor may be crashing head first into a professional ethics wall since she has never actually examined Trump, but she thinks that someone should. In short, she seems to have issued a mental Code Red for the entire world to see.

Since the truth seems to have died as a medium of exchange in the last couple of years, the lovely Ivanka, Donald (“a stable genius”), and the charming Jared will continue to party at Mar-a-Lago free of worry about the contents of my future book. And Dr. Bandy can continue her Congressional tour with head held high, free from the quandary posed by professional ethical standards.

But the rest of us have some real problems. Even with the Code Red sirens blaring, the right-wing Republican high priests and those who mindlessly follow them into their soiled baptismal bowls appear fully ready to continue their assault on the institutions of the US Government with Trump at the helm. Lining their pockets at the Trump altar is apparently far more crucial to them than putting a stop to Trump’s dangerous game.

And, then it really gets dicey – no one seems willing or able to pull the plug before Trump pushes the button. The best thing the world has going for it in this context is that Trump seems to believe that there is a button that he can actually push to blow up whatever he wants.**** Please, somebody give this lunatic a button to push that will blow up something small before he finds out that the button he thinks he has won’t blow up anything at all. And then keep weapons of mass destruction in their silos and tubes while they cart Trump off to Dr. Lee for that long awaited mental evaluation.

For those of you keeping score, Trump is winning the war against governance but losing the war to “make America great again.” Trump is doing such a good job of leading the way to a more comprehensive domestic and international understanding of just how “great” America isn’t, and hasn’t been, that the American exceptionalism crowd has been reduced to a band of rich capitalists, Christian crusaders, and venal racists.

Even the press and the surrounding gaggle of commentators that populate cable news coverage are choking on their “this is not who we are” mantra these days. Trump is a walking billboard for the worst that we are as a nation. Since he became America’s duly elected “leader” and chief spokesman, his almost daily assault on honesty and decency is creating space to examine what we really are as a nation, how we got to this point, and the detritus that America has left in its wake in getting there.

Trump has managed to identify his “shithole,” and by doing so may be opening a path to some intellectual integrity from the rest of us. It is possible that more Americans will see a shithole and recognize that that shithole is us.

As Trump and his acolytes seek and find new chasms of moral bankruptcy, we can only hope that there will be a renewed and persistent demand for accountability from all who claim to toil for a better America. Who knows, this could even lead to an examination of the real America that embraces some of the good that we can be while working to exorcise the bad that we have become.

Hungry and homeless Americans will welcome this examination, sick and injured Americans without access to meaningful healthcare will welcome this, families of those slaughtered in a hail of bullets in America’s schools and on our streets will welcome this, immigrants seeking a better life will welcome this, and many more of the under-served needy will welcome this. But be clear, to make any forward progress, America must first confront the most destructive demons in our midst - racism and racial injustice.

Abroad, a silence in America’s killing fields will be welcome, a renewed quest for global environmental and economic initiatives will be welcome, and a search for new cooperative paths to global security will be welcome. To be her best, America must embrace cultural diversity at home and use the resulting empathy and understanding as a foundation for assisting willing international partners in relieving human suffering and promoting human decency.

This is the vision of a better America that can be realized only if those who excuse Trump start to accuse Trump. He is a symptom of the worst that we can be, but only a symptom. The disease runs far deeper and has infected the core of the nation.

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