President Trump is not an unprincipled person. His actions are not random; they are driven by principles. Unfortunately, his principles (self-centeredness, greed, racism, personal infallibility, lying as justifiable, hypocrisy, and so forth) are seriously at odds with the principles on which the United States was founded and on which it has striven to move forward. But in this, he is predictable; in the sports vernacular, he is what he is.
Other members of government, a majority of Congress, don’t fare as well under scrutiny. They are often not what they are. They are hypocrites, collaborators, enablers, falling meekly in line behind a president they disagree with. Professing noble principles — principles opposed to those of the president — they will not act upon those pronouncements. They condemn the white supremacist actions in Charlottesville, on which the president was at best ambiguous, but will not go the next step to declare the president’s remarks intolerable. They condemn the president’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, a bigoted criminal, but will not go the next step to call for the president to reverse his decision. Hinting that the president is unfit for office, they will not act on that conviction and seek his removal.
As despicable as Trump’s words and actions often are, they are not as unforgivable as the words and actions of those who know better, who have high principles but will not act on them. Members of Congress, we look to you to set our country back on its principled path. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (Edmund Burke).