It is hard to imagine that there is a line from George Washington to Donald Trump, that we could have so squandered the legacies of past generations.
A corrupt and fraudulent family foundation. Hush money to mistresses to help swing an election — felony violations of campaign finance laws. Seeking and embracing the help of an enemy to win an election. Repeatedly obstructing justice to cover up those crimes.
Selling out American interests to patrons overseas. Profiting from the presidency. Helping foreign murderers cover up the murder of an American permanent resident. Attacking our allies. Destroying the international architecture that has been the foundation of our strength.
Lying to or misleading the American people on average 10 times a day. Celebrating Nazis as very fine people. Building detention camps for children on our borders. Racist policies that turn away good people from our shores. Serial misogyny. Upwards of 20 allegations of sexual harassment.
At least one accusation of rape from an underage minor. A massive, decades-long record of income tax fraud. Seventeen investigations into his activities. Virtually every major organization he has run for two decades under investigation.
An international record of celebrating despots and autocrats and kleptocrats and brutal totalitarians and enemies. Unprecedented isolation from America's friends and a repeated record of insults of them and international rejection of him as a trusted leader.
Attacking America's law enforcement institutions. Attacking America's intelligence institutions. Collaborating with fellow travelers in Congress to circumvent the laws and to undermine decades and decades of regulation. Irreversible damage was done to the environment.
A campaign to take health care away from the neediest Americans. A systematic effort to deport productive contributors to our society who have lived and worked here for decades. Hypocrisy. Vulgarity. Deceit. Mounting evidence of criminal behavior. Serial violation of his oath of office. Serial betrayal of his country.
This is our president. This is the heir to Washington and Lincoln. He stole the office with the aid of our enemies, and he has done grievous damage to this country ever since.
Sometimes I walk through Alexandria, Virginia, where I live, past the places Washington walked, and I have to admit it, it makes me physically ill. It is hard to imagine that there is a line from George Washington to Donald Trump, that we could have so squandered the legacies of past generations.
What would Washington and Lincoln say about Trump?
Read this list of wrongs and crimes and missteps and compound it with the ignorance and the incompetence and the absence of principles and the deficiency of character of this man. Think how each and any of them might have disqualified past leaders.
Think how you wouldn't allow such a man into your home or contact with your children and then of the power and prestige he has been given, the precious gifts of heritage that have been placed in his hands.
It is easy to grow numb to this. It is possible to become distracted by rage. But remember what is at stake, we must focus on undoing this great wrong that took place in 2016 and seeking justice for the crimes that contributed to that and have unfolded since.
Imagine what Washington or Lincoln would say were they to see this. Worse still, imagine what our grandchildren and generations to come will say. This is the history we bequeath to them. Let it, in the end, be an affirmation of our institutions and our ability to repel the danger.
Let it, in the end, be worthy of the best of the legacy that came before. We're an imperfect society, but we should not elevate the worst among us as we have done with this man Trump and the corrupt crowd of enablers surrounding him.
David Rothkopf is CEO of the Rothkopf Group and host of Deep State Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @djrothkopf. This column was adapted from a Twitter thread.