On July 4, 1776, our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, which set forth a series of findings about the unacceptable acts committed by King George III and which ended our relationship with England.
In less than two months in office, President Donald Trump already has committed his own series of unacceptable acts. He has shown a failure to understand or respect the rules, norms and democratic values that lie at the heart of the Constitution.
The following findings illustrate the unacceptable acts of President Trump and why his authoritarian approach to governing our country will be resisted every step of the way during his presidency.
Trump has unjustly attacked the integrity of judges and the credibility of the judicial system and challenged the system of checks and balances provided in the Constitution.
He has undermined the legitimacy of our electoral system, falsely claiming as a candidate that the presidential election was rigged against him and falsely claiming as president that three to five million people voted illegally for his opponent.
He has recklessly attacked the media as an “enemy of the American people,” rejecting a founding principle embodied in the Constitution as stated by Thomas Jefferson who said, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press” and by John Adams who said, “The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state.”
He has repeatedly made false and misleading charges and statements, and has attacked accurate statements about him as “fake news,” in a dangerous attempt to delegitimize the media and undermine the coin of the realm in a democracy – facts and truth.
He has undermined a core First Amendment provision that protects freedom of religion, inciting public anger and discriminating against the world’s second largest religion.
He has repeatedly used the power of the presidency to attack at will and without basis individuals, ethnic groups, companies, officeholders, the military, intelligence agencies, allies, and the like.
He has violated a cardinal rule of American governance and ethical conduct by refusing to give up ownership of his global business enterprises and thereby has created limitless opportunities to use the presidency for private financial gain.
He has made it impossible for citizens to know when presidential decisions are being made to advance the interests of the American people and when they are being made to advance his own financial interests.
He has refused to comply with the prohibition on his receiving payments and benefits from foreign governments that was established in the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause to prevent foreign governments from corrupting the president and other government officials.
He has opened the door to foreign and domestic interests providing financial benefits to his global business enterprises in return for corrupting influence over his administration’s decisions.
He has refused to disclose his tax returns, becoming the first president in 40 years to hide his returns from the American people.
He has appointed wealthy friends to presidential advisory positions that will permit them to misuse nonpublic, government information to increase their personal wealth.
All of this has not been lost on the American people.
A Gallup Poll found that a majority of Americans disapproved of Trump’s job performance after just eight days into his presidency – the fastest time for a president to reach majority disapproval since this tracking polling began in 1945. It took President Obama 936 days in office and President George W. Bush 1,205 days to reach majority disapproval.
A Quinnipiac Poll found that Trump, less than five weeks into his presidency, had reached a disapproval rating of 55 percent and an approval rating of just 38 percent, and that 55 percent thought Trump is not honest.
Nevertheless, Donald Trump continues to govern as if he has unrestrained and unaccountable power, and can do anything to anyone at any time.
Our country will not succumb to Trump’s undemocratic, un-American, authoritarian ways. We will remain Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” long after Trump is gone.
I declare independence from President Donald Trump.