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Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Patten, all close friends and associates of Trump's have been convicted or plead guilty of criminal behavior, some for conspiring with the Russians.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney is currently under investigation for illegal activities. Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief executive and campaign adviser, arrested for misusing charitable donations. Sounds similar to Trump paying a $2 million dollar court-ordered fine for using money from his televised fundraiser for veterans and charitable donations to the Trump Foundation for personal use.

Where is the character, good judgment or moral compass of a billionaire who defrauds students out of tens of thousands of dollars at his Trump University and uses charitable funds from the Trump Foundation to pay business debts and legal fees? Why no lock them up chant from the law-abiding conservatives and religious right? The silences speaks volumes about values, morals and willful acceptance of illegal behavior. Such disconnect, such hypocrisy! Can't “Make America Great” with criminal behavior!

Maryanne Trump Berry said “younger brother, Donald has no principles, is cruel, changes stories, lacks preparation, the lying, Holy (expletive).” When I hear someone say “Trump speaks for us” or see cheering, supporters at Trump's political rallies, I don't think the liberal socialist named Jesus Christ would get their vote if He were running for president. It appears Trump's supporters have found someone whose values align more with theirs.

A wise person said “the righteous hang out with the righteous, the morally bankrupt hang with their kind and you will always find rats where there is sewage.”

Remember the phrase “Drain the Swamp”? With all the indictments and convictions, violations of the Hatch Act, Emoluments Clause along with 20,000 false/misleading claims by Trump to the American people, it appears the People's House (White House) and the halls of Congress have been turned into a sewage pit since the 2016 presidential election. Democracy rots when political corruption, abuse of power and lies at the highest levels of government become acceptable and supported by party loyalist. Violence rises from a decaying democracy!

A recent poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reports 80% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Is it because 80% of Americans think there are individuals in the White House whose values, character and good judgment doesn't match theirs, or were they one-issue voters becoming aware of the repercussions of past voting decisions?

We cannot pick family, only our friends and politicians; do so wisely because they reflect who we are as a country, as an individual, our values, character, judgment and morals. We have a solemn obligation to vote in honor of those who gave their lives on the battlefield defending our democracy. Our children and grandchildren will live in a world, not of their making, but ours. Vote wisely in 2020, so future generations will live in a more caring and compassionate world.

Glen Weber

Prior Lake

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