EDITORIAL: Trump’s deceptions and erratic behavior signals voters must choose brave, trusted candidates for Congress, state offices on Election Day

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About nine weeks from Election Day, it may never be more important for all eligible citizens to become voters, and for all voters to push back against an increasingly alarming president whose own party can’t or won’t rein in.

Although the country’s electorate has become numb to the tsunami of histrionics pumped out by Trump and his regime almost hourly, Trump’s erratic behavior recently has reached even more distressing levels.

Under siege by a bevy of illegal, illicit and ill-conceived legal ghosts haunting him to the point of indictment or impeachment, this irrational and irresponsible president is lashing out in dangerous ways.

At a White House dinner this week where he was courting the faithful support of conservative Christian clergy and donors — an excruciating irony all by itself — Trump warned that if Democrats take control of Congress, expect Democrats to become violent.

They “will overturn everything that we’ve done, and they’ll do it quickly and violently,” according to attendees and audio of his closed-door remarks obtained by media outlets, including The New York Times, as reported by the Associated Press.

He later stood by those warnings, saying he wants the nation to avoid violence.

No longer speaking in dog whistles but all out howls of lunacy, the president increasingly insists that he alone speaks the truth. While the president regularly lashes out at almost every media outlet in the country, other than sympathetic TV personalities on Fox News, his attacks during the last several days have reached fever pitch.

Trump’s most recent false and baseless assertions insist that journalists are, “enemy of the people” are “totally dishonest” “horrible” people who lie and produce “fake news” in a concerted effort to undermine his presidency. The now shrill attacks have created a new wave of parroting by social media trolls, some who have threatened violence against newspapers and journalists.

Trump is increasingly asserting that actual video and audio recordings of things he says and does are contrived or outright fabricated. He has told Americans not to believe allegations coming from inside his own government. These are allegations reported accurately by hundreds reputable, often conservative, media outlets across the country.

Alarmingly, many inside his dwindling inner circle cover for Trump’s deceitful, irrational behavior. Some even are complicit by perpetuating Trump’s fabrications. Republican  leaders and the rank and file increasingly either look the other way during Trump’s baseless charges and delusions, or, astonishingly, they back his tirades.

It is unmistakable that Trump is adopting a despotic culture of corruption and authoritarianism in an effort to preserve his power and position if even more serious allegations arise. Based on what the nation’s learned so far about this president, that’s become a regular and distinct possibility.

The biggest danger to the nation, to Colorado and to metro Aurora isn’t just that Trump tries to undermine the media and can’t keep from telling obvious lies about a wide range of issues, it’s that he has worked against things critical to all Americans.

Trump, with the aid of almost all Congressional Republicans, has tried fervently to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Unable to do that, he’s worked to undermine it, affecting the lives of millions of Americans. While the so-called Obamacare legislation was flawed at its inception, Trump and the GOP have purposely made a bad situation worse, and Americans now must suffer because of it.

Trump continues to pursue the folly of his border wall, which is obscenely expensive and repeatedly declared an ineffective way to address illegal immigration. Trump has pressed for inhumane and illogical bypasses of U.S. immigration law, cruelly and purposely separating children from their parents as a scare tactic to potential refugees.

He has abandoned common sense and sound advice in drawing the United States into a trade war, which will only create losers out of American workers, businesses and consumers.

He has recklessly embraced known and relentless American enemies and antagonists, and he has just as foolishly antagonized our allies, even treating them as enemies.

His cabinet has been a carnival of incompetence and corruption, only deleting members when they are exposed for astounding levels of malfeasance.

The FBI investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russians continues to expand and advance. Meanwhile Trump continues to make repeated attempts to obstruct the investigation as it circles his team. All the while, Republican leaders have increasingly signaled they would act to protect the president instead of allowing justice to take its course.

During the relentless, almost daily assault on the free press and the rule of law, there is a growing fear from Republicans to oppose this president and his relatively small but strategic Republican base.

Trump warned this week that Democrats are spinning the November election as a referendum on his presidency.

He’s right there. But it’s more a referendum on what an unbridled Trump has already done and can continue to do with a Congress too afraid to reign him in and hold him accountable. For a man only too willing to show how he admires and envies despots, a cowardly and complicit Congress is a recipe for disaster of historical proportions.

Voters must pay close attention during the next several weeks to candidates seeking power in Colorado and Washington. Voters must choose state and federal lawmakers who have shown they understand the danger and are willing to use their votes and their voices to thwart Trump’s undeniable behavior.