Infidelity at its worst

1/26/2018, 1:56 p.m.
Not surprisingly, one of the latest revelations about 45 is the report that, in 2016, his lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid ...
Dr. E. Faye Williams

Dr. E Faye Williams

Not surprisingly, one of the latest revelations about 45 is the report that, in 2016, his lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid adult film star Stephanie Clifford (aka “Stormy Daniels”) $130,000 to secure an agreement preventing her from disclosing the details of a 2006 sexual liaison with the reality star now politician. 

Unfortunately for 45, Ms. Clifford already had memorialized the details in a 2011 magazine interview. She disclosed that a yearlong affair began four months after Melania Trump gave birth to Barron, 45’s youngest son. The most ardent Trump supporter must admit that these circumstances fall well within the definition of infidelity.

That this $130,000 payoff has caused so little public concern also is not surprising. After all, President Trump offered that he could shoot someone in Times Square and not lose support. 

Maybe I have become inured to his bad acts, but I find that any discussion of his behavior only informs or reinforces my evaluation of the nature of his character — or should I say lack of character.

The definition of infidelity is a breach of trust or disloyal act. Using that, infidelity is not uncommon to the personal life of President Trump. His affair with Marla Maples while still married to his first wife, Ivana, is an event that has been well-publicized and enshrined in the public record. Later, while married to Marla, he began an affair that ultimately led to his marriage to Melania. 

Since becoming a public official, news reports and self-admissions have connected him with numerous affairs and improprieties with random women. His tawdry behavior shapes my evaluation of his relationship with his wife/wives. This same behavior shapes my evaluation of the character of one given the sacred responsibility of making decisions for the well-being of 324 million-plus Americans. In that context, I have determined his character is devoid of any moral compass. He has shown himself to be a narcissistic opportunist without values. His values are connected to his own enrichment. 

More disturbing is the fact that any infidelity involving his wives or family is insignificant when balanced against the infidelity to which he has subjected the nation. 

Let me explain.

Every president swears an oath “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic” and to adhere to “the rule of law.” As chief executive, 45’s job is to provide for the lawful defense and security of all citizens of this nation without regard to race, gender, religion, creed, color or national origin. It is his job to preserve the institutions that form the foundation and provide for the orderly conduct of the nation’s business.

In these responsibilities, 45 has demonstrated infidelity far worse than that which he has shown his family. Most commonly, he has: • Inflamed and fomented racial hostility and divisiveness with his rhetoric and actions.

• Violated emolument laws and continues to use the influence of his office for the enrichment of his family and himself.

• Demeaned and discredited every branch of government, agency or person who would not acquiesce to his demands for special favor or consideration.

• Attempted to shape the legal process in order to evade prosecution for violations. • Failed to protect our national electoral process from the threat, as identified by national security agencies, of tampering by a hostile foreign adversary.

Viewed in the aggregate, his conduct suggests his intent to move our government away from democracy to the establishment of an authoritarian regime akin to the nature of his businesses. That effort must not succeed.

We must not forget that 45 was rejected by a margin of 3 million votes in 2016. If it were not for the outdated Electoral College, we wouldn’t have to endure this ongoing atrocity. We must take the recent lessons of the value of our votes and use them wisely.

The writer is national president of the National Congress of Black Women Inc.