In a recent opinion editorial in the New York Times, Dr. Madeline Albright, a respected former Secretary of State wrote, “At one time or another, Mr. Trump has attacked the judiciary, ridiculed the media, defended torture, condoned police brutality, urged supporters to rough up hecklers and — jokingly or not — equated mere policy disagreements with treason. He tried to undermine faith in America’s electoral process through a bogus advisory commission on voter integrity. He routinely vilifies federal law enforcement institutions.

In a recent opinion editorial in the New York Times, Dr. Madeline Albright, a respected former Secretary of State wrote, “At one time or another, Mr. Trump has attacked the judiciary, ridiculed the media, defended torture, condoned police brutality, urged supporters to rough up hecklers and — jokingly or not — equated mere policy disagreements with treason. He tried to undermine faith in America’s electoral process through a bogus advisory commission on voter integrity. He routinely vilifies federal law enforcement institutions.

He libels immigrants and the countries from which they come. His words are so often at odds with the truth that they can appear ignorant, yet are in fact calculated to exacerbate religious, social and racial divisions. Overseas, rather than stand up to bullies, Mr. Trump appears to like bullies, and they are delighted to have him represent the American brand. If one were to draft a script chronicling fascism’s resurrection, the abdication of America’s moral leadership would make a credible first scene.”

Trump’s behavior permits despots to murder their citizens and extend their power. His refusal to authorize a strong counter attack to Russia’s attack on our electoral process affirms his subjugation to Putin’s will. His attacks on a free press and federal law enforcement are right out of the despot’s hand book of things to do to gain autocratic power. When China’s Xi Jinping grabbed power by becoming president for life he “joked”: “He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great,” “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.” For a president who admires dictators that was less a joke than an aspiration.

Dr. Albright asks and answers the question: “What is to be done? First, defend the truth. A free press, for example, is not the enemy of the American people; it is the protector of the American people. Second, we must reinforce the principle that no one, not even the president, is above the law. Third, we should each do our part to energize the democratic process by registering new voters, listening respectfully to those with whom we disagree, knocking on doors for favored candidates, and ignoring the cynical counsel: ‘There’s nothing to be done.’”

She goes on, “I’m 80 years old, but I can still be inspired when I see young people coming together to demand the right to study without having to wear a flak jacket. To me, greatness goes a little deeper than how much marble we put in our hotel lobbies and whether we have a Soviet-style military parade. America at its best is a place where people from a multitude of backgrounds work together to safeguard the rights and enrich the lives of all. That’s the example we have always aspired to set and the model people around the world hunger to see. And no politician, not even one in the Oval Office, should be allowed to tarnish that dream.” Thank you, Dr. Albright.

-Rev. Dr. Ira S. Williams, Jr., Retired,

Gravois Mills