‘O’beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!’ — ‘America the Beautiful’ ——— This is what America was and should be all about — opportunities and brotherhood where we all care about and for each other. However, since the election of Donald Trump, there is something ugly in America.

Since the end of World War II, Russia has been our enemy. They have had nothing but ill intentions toward our country. Nearly every candidate for president has understood this and has taken the necessary steps to ensure that America has remained safe. Whether it be through negotiations, sanctions or legislation, they’ve let the Soviet leader know where we stand and what we will do protect our country.

From the beginning of Donald Trump’s run for the presidency, his team willingly accepted the attempts of Russia’s to influence our election. He knowingly asked the Russians to leak Hillary Clinton’s emails. His team willingly met with Russians to attempt to receive information that would alter the outcome of the 2016 election.

Is it possible that we may have a president that is a willing agent for a foreign enemy?

Trump associates and many Russians have been charged in connection with Russian interference. Trump sided with Putin over his own country when asked about interference in our country’s election.

There is something ugly in America.

When Trump began his run for president, he referred to immigrants as criminals, murderers and rapists. Since becoming president, he has called Africa countries and Haiti “s—holes” and asked, “Why are we having all of these people here?”

He has continued to take actions against immigrants, of which many have been declared illegal by the courts. He has implemented a policy to separate children from their parents, declared a “state of emergency” on the border and used our military to defend his actions. Trump has taken “executive actions” to restrict immigrants from countries of color.

These actions and his rhetoric against people of color have elevated the level of hate crimes and emboldened white American racism.

There is something ugly in America.

Our system of government was established as a representative government with a system of checks and balances, where one branch is no more powerful than the other. It is a government that should uphold majority rule while respecting the rights of the minority.

Since becoming president, Trump has trampled over the norms expected from our leaders. He has no regard for the rule of law. He has told over 7,000 lies since being elected and refuses to be accountable for his actions. He has criticized freedom of speech and freedom of the press. And his actions with foreign leaders may be detrimental to our country.

There may be conflicts of interest regarding his business dealings, his appointing unqualified individuals, his not filling necessary positions, his overriding security clearances and his abuse of executive action privileges.

For example, he selected William Barr as the Attorney General for his protection, as opposed to the protection of our citizens. Barr has stated that he thinks the Mueller investigation may be illegal and doesn’t believe a president should be investigated. Simply put, Barr has indicated to Trump that he is willing to be his stooge to protect him.

There is something ugly in America.

From the beginning of his administration, whether it be sucking up to our enemies, immigrant hatred, racist rhetoric or abuse of power, this president has shown the ugliness of America.

The “ugly” is Donald Trump.

It is our responsibility as citizens, to make “America the Beautiful” beautiful again.

Gary Clark

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