Jerry Kremer

Wanted: a presidential apology that will never happen

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I haven’t seen an official announcement from the White House, but there’s a rumor that President Trump will declare a National Day of Apology, on which all elected Democrats and the media will be required to apologize for insinuating that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. I don’t know where the ceremony will take place, but I’m willing to participate — on the condition that the president apologize for his conduct over the past two-plus years.

Let’s start with the Charlottesville, Va., tragedy in August 2017. Trump’s reaction to this clash involving right-wing extremists and counterprotesters should have brought out the better angels in a caring public official. Instead the president pronounced that “there were good people on both sides,” giving aid and comfort to the racists whose conduct resulted in the death of an innocent woman. It’s time to for him to apologize for that.

I think the true believers who packed Trump campaign rallies are entitled to an apology. How many times did he pledge that Mexico would pay for a wall on the southern border? Mexico said no dozens of times, but Trump kept insisting that the wall wouldn’t cost Americans one dime. In the end, even the Republican-controlled Senate refused to give him the money. If it gets built, taxpayers will pay for it.

Mr. President, isn’t it time to apologize to America’s sick and not-so-sick, who are worried about losing their health care? On the campaign trail, candidate Trump pledged that no one would take away coverage for pre-existing conditions or touch Medicare. That was then, and now he is once again spearheading an effort to kill the Affordable Care Act.

How about all those Americans who believed that a Trump in the White House would lower the cost of prescription drugs? Last June, in front of a group of pharmaceutical executives, he pledged to lower our drug prices within months. Time flies by, and the $2,000 pill for diabetes is still a $2,000 pill. Just another broken promise.

The notorious Republican senator Joseph McCarthy once said, “Judge me by the people I keep company with.” To date, eight people involved in the Trump election campaign have either pleaded guilty or are awaiting trial for lying under oath. Isn’t it time for the president to disavow his campaign team as a way of sending a message to America that there is no place for corruption in the house of Trump?

Remember that campaign pledge to “drain the swamp”? Mr. President, you filled it up with cabinet appointees who were forced to resign due to conflicts of interest, allegations of theft, costly taxpayer-paid airplane rides and furnishing offices elaborately at public expense. That’s worth an apology.

Almost every living, breathing American knows that Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 election. And there’s no question that he’ll try to interfere in the 2020 election. Even if Special Counsel Robert Mueller didn’t find Trump guilty of collusion, it’s time to stop coddling a murderous dictator who wants to undermine our democracy. But in the case of Russia, there is only love from Trump.

Since 2017, America has suffered a bloodbath in our schools, our places of worship and our outdoor arenas, all caused by easy access to assault rifles. Not one of these tragedies has moved the president to pledge to end the carnage with background checks of potential gun buyers. It’s a simple solution that wouldn’t deny anyone his or her Second Amendment right.

How many times in the past two plus years has America waited desperately for the commander in chief to utter words of compassion at a time of national tragedy? During those dark hours, we hoped that our nation’s leader would express his heartfelt sorrow in a meaningful way that would soothe the wounds of those in need of a little love. But those moments have come and gone, and Trump continues his brash, uncaring ways.

I would be more than happy to join the media and the opposition party to say that he is entitled to a collective apology for unkind statements and the prediction of his political demise. But before any American gives Donald Trump that satisfaction, it’s time for him to apologize for failing America at a time when our country desperately needs a real, feeling, caring president

Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? JKremer@liherald.com.