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Del. Ken Plum: Trump a Danger to Our Way of Governing

by Del. Ken Plum September 15, 2016 at 1:00 pm 33 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is a commentary by Del. Ken Plum, who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

My parents knew of my interest in politics and government from the time I started school. I do not remember their specific reaction in the early 1970s when I told them I was going beyond working for other candidates and was going to run for the state legislature myself.

I do quite clearly remember my mother’s question after the 1972 break-in at Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate and the ensuing scandal that led to President Nixon’s resignation. She asked if I was sure that I wanted to be in politics, a profession that was not too highly regarded.

My answer was straightforward: now more than ever! I explained to her my belief that if honest people did not want to get involved in politics then the running of government would be left to the scoundrels and crooks. I did not want that to happen.

She would probably ask me the same question today and for good reason. While some will dismiss my views as partisan, I want to make clear that my concern here is with Donald Trump, an individual who was able to bully his way to the Republican nomination for President.

He is not like other Republicans with whom I am friends or with whom I work. In fact, my feelings towards him were best summarized in a letter from the Harvard Republican Club that has endorsed every Republican presidential candidate since its founding in 1888. They wrote:

“…Donald Trump holds views that are antithetical to our values not only as Republicans, but as Americans. The rhetoric he espouses–from racist slander to misogynistic taunts — is not consistent with our conservative principles, and his repeated mocking of the disabled and belittling of the sacrifices made by prisoners of war, Gold Star families, and Purple Heart recipients is not only bad politics, but absurdly cruel.

If enacted, Donald Trump’s platform would endanger our security both at home and abroad…He isn’t eschewing political correctness. He is eschewing basic human decency … He speaks only in platitudes, about greatness, success, and winning.

Time and time again, Trump has demonstrated his complete lack of knowledge on critical matters, meandering from position to position over the course of the election. When confronted about these frequent reversals, Trump lies in a manner more brazen and shameless than anything politics has ever seen…His authoritarian tendencies and flirtations with fascism are unparalleled in the history of our democracy…” (HarvardGOP)

If she were alive today I would say to my mother once again that I am glad that I am involved in politics. It provides me an opportunity to publicly stand up against the ignorance of our history, our basic values, and our way of governance that the Trump candidacy represents.

My plea is not intended to be partisan; it is intended to be American. Talk to your children, to your family, friends and neighbors. This election is too important to ignore. It is a challenge to our way of governing.

As the students at the Harvard Republican Club quoted Alexis de Tocqueville, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

  • One Really

    “individual who was able to bully his way to the Republican nomination for President.”
    This whole time I thought Trump won more delegates than the other candidates.

    • Mike M

      Could Trump’s opposition be characterized as bullying in any way? I tell Dems, if you think you elected Hilary you are fooled. She was selected for 2016 by the DNC the moment Obama beat her. Everything else was pro forma except that little Bernie scare which reeked of Democracy. Phew! The real question is who really runs the DNC. It may be that the Clinton Foundation, or Hilary herself picked Hilary.

      By the way, the GOP handpicked Jeb Bush, but Democracy prevailed on the Republican side. Shameful?

  • Ming the Merciless

    “My plea is not intended to be partisan” — yeah right when have you ever said anything that is NOT partisan? Your weekly column is nothing but a non-stop tirade against Republicans.

    Harvard Republicans are… well, about what you would expect. Elitist weasels who plan to join the Beltway establishment as soon as they graduate.

  • Flu Shots Expired

    She should have let us known that she had the cure for pneumonia.

  • Mike M

    So, . . . you are endorsing the Harvard GOP, or are you just cherry picking this one view? Given that you generally disagree with them, why are they suddenly so on target?

  • EliteinReston

    Um, friendly suggestion. I would stick the word “Trump” before “A.” Otherwise, I read this column as Plum is the danger.

    • Meggers

      That is the truth.

  • Mookie Taylor

    Suggestion: If you feel that you need to do something to prevent Trump from being elected, instead of writing yet another editorial telling people how bad he is, write to your favorite media outlets and ask them to cover Clinton’s actual policy proposals and speeches, rather than just reporting on the latest attempt by conservative groups to dig up dirt on her, reporting how much everyone dislikes her, or reporting what she said about Trump or his supporters. I don’t remember seeing a single news article on her proposals, but many on Trump’s.

  • Scott H

    “Danger to Our Way of Governing”
    By “our way,” do you mean ignoring the constitution, exploding the federal debt, circumventing Congress, legislatures more concerned with reelection than results? Maybe this danger is good

    “was able to bully his way to the Republican nomination for President.”
    Remind me again Ken how Hillary gained the nomination? Was it collusion with the DNC to hurt Bernie coupled with the media who was more interested in a coronation of their Queen? Tell me how Hillary’s nomination is any better.

    Look Ken, it’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just that you are ignorant on almost every topic. You write a column that slams Trump, which is fine – there’s a lot to slam – but you leaving out Hillary on this topic is inexcusable. She is a bad candidate and a worse human being who fundamentally threatens “our way of governing”. Tell me again how a couple who has spent their entire adult life (after being fired from the Rose law firm) in public service is worth $100M? Tell me again how Bill Clinton’s speaking fees tripled the day Hillary became Secretary of State from foreign entities with Business before the State Dept? Pay for Play, Negligently handling classified info, lying about lying – This is Hillary’s way “Forward”.

    The fact that you think Trump is a threat but have no problem with Hillary, speaks volumes about your concept of what “Our way of Governing” is. Some might call it deplorable!

  • Mike M

    Psst! Congress. The Constitution.

    • meh

      Mike, you made your point. Any attempt to use logic will be deemed mean and hurtful and you’ll be banned.

    • Psst do you think that Italy had no governmental structure when Benito took over and abolished the legislative body and replaced it with a group of business executives…called a Fascist government. We could get that ….a lot of strong historic nations have. fallen to that “Make Italy Great Again!!”

      • Mike M

        I don’t see where I said Italy had no governmental structure when Mussolini took over. But I did say there is the US Constitution and the US Congress to check the Prez. It’s in the design. We are a little more advanced than 1930 Italy, but most Ls don’t get that.

        • drb

          Hard to prove that with what we see with the current Prez. Or what you could expect from a Hillary one. She violates laws now without being held accountable by Congress or the Judiciary.

          • Mike M

            She does. But take over the country as in Mussolini. Not an issue. We are not Italy of the 1930s. We are fundamentally different, even thought the recent immigrant waves and hipster metrosexuals are trying to reduce that difference. They have a long way to go. For example, we still have the Second Amendment for precisely this reason. But there are many working checks and balances before that one would be necessary. My point is that the anti-Trump hysteria is nothing but hysteria. Meanwhile, Hillary looks even worse to me.

          • drb

            It seems a long way off. Let us pray it is so.

          • Mike M

            I look at like this. Sometimes needed medicine tastes bad. Sometimes, as in chemotherapy, it hurts in the short run. I am no fan of Trump, but Hillary is of the dynasty ilk – the same sclerosis that brought us the last Bush. The Parties need a wake up call. GOP might have just heard theirs. If they don’t, they are toast. Let’s hope the DNC is savaged too.

          • drb

            My personal take on Trump being the nominee is that the “Tea Party” gave the Repubs the House and nothing was done nor was Obama stopped from pushing the horror on the county the way he has. Then they gave them the Senate as well with the same result. A thumb in the eye to those that gave them the majorities and ran Romney as insult to injury.
            I think Trump is the thumb in the eye to the “Party” from the “Tea Party”. If the “Party” does not shape up then they will never be a majority again. I know it is suppose to be because of Hispanics but it is not. It is because they fail to produce results. The “Party” has not learned the lesson even now.
            We will probably not get much out of Trump if he makes it in but his purpose is to be a punishment not results.

          • Mike M

            Agreed! The GOP became like the DNC. All talk and no action, as if no one noticed. Dems don’t notice. Conservatives did! I would also add, as I have said before, if you didn’t respect anything about the Tea Party, you might be amazed at what comes next. Trump came next. If he loses and Clinton wins, you will be astounded by what’s on deck!

        • After WW I Europe went into depression earlier then USA did.

          And the place was iin turmoil economically and politically.. European nations ended up with two non traditional choices Communism and Fascism. Lenin won out in Russia while Hitler imposed National Socialism (Nazism) and Italy ended up with Benito and Fascism. People voted alll these guys in. England modified their government some as did France and Spain. But the march of Nazism and Communism led to World War II and terrible consequences. Stalin kept Socialism alive and well in Russia.
          The USA may be facing that choice and that is why I am voting for Governor Johnson. And it is much because we ignored the founding fathers warning about Wars abroad. (PS and WW I was all about oil as the Turks had control of the Mid-East oil fields and Europe had none in 1912 back when Churchill converted the British Navy from coal to oil.)

          • Mike M

            I know history and I stand by my assertion that comparing the US to Europe is a mistake.

  • meh

    Ever notice how so many comments require approval. How accepting and tolerant

  • ProxiesForDays

    LOL, everything this man spews is partisan. Vie & delusional as well

  • Rational Reston

    Yes, Mr. Trump is not a good candidate for President. But he is the byproduct of the hyperpartisan political world. A hyperpartisan world that one Del. Plum seems to foster and enjoy.

  • Phil Lilienthal

    A well thought out exposition and explanation about what responsible citizenship is all about. There will always be people who delve into issues of one candidate or another, but when the entire tenor of the campaign is about division and negativity toward segments of the population without regard to their merit, it should be a disqualification. His promises of “I will negotiate a better deal. Trust me.” are so much hot air that they would be laughable if the office sought was pest control.

    For President, he has yet to come up with anything substantive and has no advisors with any serious thoughtfulness. The arrogance of his campaign is magnified by his family being his spokespersons and policy advisors. Is he going to run the government from Trump Tower and call everyone with ideas corrupt and immoral? The embarrassment is magnified when talking to people from other countries who simply cannot understand how we could come to permit this to happen. It is clear that they read and listen more than a lot of our electorate.

    • One Really

      “A well thought out exposition and explanation about what responsible citizenship is all about.”
      Are you serious? I am not a Trump supporter, but at this point with a two party system he is a the lesser of two evils.

  • Jon Cooper

    I am not a lib (and definitely NOT a hil supporter), but come on…

    “He uses the IRS, FBI, and Dept of Justice to harass, intimidate, and more than likely threaten any opposition.” Bold statement, got any evidence? Love the thug dictator line BTW – you clearly need to research Checks and Balances (go ahead and plug that in to Google). May as well look up “Thug” and “Dictator” while you’re at it.

    “Unlike Hillary,Bill, Chelsea and the Obamas – Trump has worked his tail off to be rich.” He started off with $1 million from his father. Is that not considered rich? How many people can say that?

    “He has produced thousands of jobs” Estimates suggest that he has created roughly 34k jobs in the US, with a number of those being foreign workers – “According to a Reuters
    analysis of Labor Department data, a number of Trump’s companies have
    applied for hundreds of temporary visas for foreign workers since 2000.
    Nine companies, which Trump has majority stakes in, have tried to bring
    in at least 1,100 foreign employees to work as cooks, wait staff,
    vineyard hands and other miscellaneous laborers under a short-term work
    visa program.” Also – trump associated companies have declared bankruptcy at LEAST 6 times. How many jobs cuts do those account for?

    Again, Hilary is not any better. Please, please, please educate yourself (I do not mean via fox news or msnbc, these will only make things worse) before berating others.

    • One Really

      Can you list Hillary’s business experience as well? I was waiting and hoping you would list it at the end.
      Oh that’s right she is a career politician.

  • Newport

    WOW its amazing how many democrats you need to screw in a light bulb. Mr. Ken, scare tactics only work on weak individuals who can’t see beyond their own noses. Hillary has consistently lied to everyone since day one of her life oh and don’t get me started on that Bill guy. She is greedy and wants nothing but her own name in lights. She has ruined the woman cause by staying married to someone that doesn’t respect her or any woman. Did we forget her ‘I will not stay home to bake cookies’ comment but she is a big supporter of the family go figure. And what about CNN… how high up her butt is that station? I had pneumonia… took me 2 weeks to recover and i lost 5 lbs. Can you say liar liar pants on fire……

  • Newport

    So it seems you are also referencing that we have a depleted government.. oh wait we already have…. How many more executive orders will be signed? Hillary will make sure she one ups that count…..and put herself ahead in the history books THAT IS HER ONLY GOAL….. So sir, the Declaration of Independence states the following: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.’ Bring it on…..

  • taraspry

    I totally agree with your article. Trump is not qualified to be president. He is not honest, is not a good businessman and is ignorant of all issues that a president must deal with. He reacts emotionally not intellectually. Hilary, on the other hand, is experienced and has a record of fighting for the causes that benefit the middle class and the poor.

  • Jon Cooper

    You’re the Trump supporter and you say I’m an Elitist? SMH.

  • Guest

    Wonderful Gish Gallop you have here. It’d be a shame if anyone were to fact check it.


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