It’s Time for Americans to Grow Up – Act like Adults – Put Childish Ways Behind Us . . . Our Democracy Demands It

Maturity – it means a quality of state and full development as a human being. It is demonstrated by language, behavior, emotional intelligence, reasoning, discipline, ethical decisions and I would add, moral courage.

We have often heard the comment, “It was the expected mature thing to say and do.” This is what mature adults mutually expect from other adults. We expect fellow mature adults to demonstrate adulthood and maturity.

I posit that Republican Trumpism is in a state of immaturity, consistently demonstrating childish ways.

The immaturity by die-hard believers of Republican Trumpism, and their leader, consistently demonstrates blaming others, name-calling, lying, impulsivity, needing to be the center of attention, bullying, petulance, hostility, insolence, capriciousness, arrogance, narcissism, egotism, rudeness, resentment, avoiding repentance, lacking remorse and sincere contrition.

Incidentally, these are the same attributes and characteristics of past and current autocrats, authoritarians, strong men . . . little-big men.

Lest we forget that in America, we live as mature adult citizens within the reality of a Democracy, not the impulsivity, extremism, untrustworthiness, and delusions of an Autocracy.

A Democracy demands living in the reality of the truth – an Autocracy does not.
A Democracy is constantly authenticating and validating the founding guiding principles and norms of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Rule of Law – an Autocracy does not.
A Democracy values and embraces a free press that pursues the truth ethically and with veracity on behalf of mature adult citizens – an Autocracy does not.
A Democracy is dependent on an educated, informed, mature citizenry that values facts, character, lawyerly civic virtues, open mindedness, integrity and fairness for all citizens – an Autocracy does not.

We have heard ad nauseum, the same immature talking points and witnessed the same immature behavior by Republican Trumpists.
If an election does not go their way, then it is rigged.
If a court case does not coincide with their expected results, then it is unjust and the fault of the judge, witnesses, lawyers, jury and the rigged judicial system.
If they don’t get their way – be in control – or can take credit, then like immature spoiled children, they take the ball home – stop or obstruct the process that they were sent to Washington, and took an oath to do.

Capricious obstruction politics is the child’s game used by Republican Trumpists to deliberately stall, delay or prevent legislation, laws and rights that would enhance the quality of life for all Americans.

Like children, Republican Trumpism is based on generalities, nonspecific empty promises, rumors, concocted innuendos, fabricated accusations . . . always without cold hard substantiated facts and evidence. Never in a court of law and under oath.

When thinking of Republican Trumpism, I am reminded of Middle School children running for class office or student council, promising that if elected they will do away with tests, quizzes and homework – provide free pizza daily with choice of sodas – shorten the school year and extend vacations. It all sounds so inviting, but even children know better.

The current Republican Party features no solutions to highly complex local, national and global challenges. Trumpism rhetoric avoids (by choice and design) the history of causes, effects, content and context of problems, but rather blames others and promises that one man, just one “strong man” will solve the problems of the 21st century.

One “strong man” will quickly solve the war in Ukraine, Gaza and Israel, immigration, health care, economy, women’s rights to choose, climate change and the residue of a multigenerational catastrophic pandemic. All of these problems will just go away in about a week.

To quote Mr. Trump, “I alone can fix it.” This is not only delusional language, but irresponsible, immature leadership . . . and mature adult American citizens should know better.

To believe such bravado requires an audience of uneducated, misinformed, die-hard delusional immature citizens. Why else would a mature adult believe such irrational falsehood?
Or are there other historical insidious -isms and phobias at play?

Mature adults understand that problem solving demands creativity, collaboration, stamina, critical thinking, diligence, research, awareness and empathy required when dealing with the impact of unforeseen catastrophes on stakeholders – particularly the voiceless and invisible – the most vulnerable – the youngest and eldest among us.

Serious problem solving is not an event or a political talking point, but an arduous process founded on reality and constantly in pursuit of the truth. Facing the truth may be uncomfortable, challenging, requiring sacrifices by all involved. But . . . “It’s the expected mature adult thing to do.”

Republican Trumpism focuses on promoting fear rather than diligently working on bipartisan solutions. At its worst moments, peddling racism, xenophobia, nativism, divisionism, conspiracy theories, denialism, historical revisionism, anti-feminism, anti-LGBTQIA2s+, anti-democratic institutions, anti-democratic principles and norms – among the most crucial under fire are voting rights, rule of law, an independent judicial system and courts.

Blatant immaturity is not only one man’s pathology, but has become the ethos of a political party and its supporters. Republican Trumpism is now a reflection of its leader, that some argue consistently speaks and acts as a peevish, insecure, snarky, immature child.

While keeping in mind that no human being is perfect, the majority of mature adult human beings understand what it means to act like a child versus an adult. We don’t need degrees in psychology or the social-cultural-political sciences to know the stark differences between childhood and adulthood.

A glaring example is the scenario played out daily during the court trial of Donald Trump before and after each court session. The rants and raves took place outside the court of law . . . always outside the court of law and never, never under oath.

Donald Trump and his political allies lined up to share with America child-like temper tantrums. One after the other expressing unhinged aggressive screams, defensive unfounded accusations, unwilling to deal with the reality of the truth – until they felt that cold slap of adult maturity and reality on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

For most of that day, the Donald Trump hush money trial was seemingly taking a siesta. It seemed as if a verdict on the fate of Mr. Trump was going to be delayed over the weekend. Twelve adult citizens were going to be dismissed for the day and asked to return on Friday morning. Even the adult members of the media seemed to exhale and begin gathering their equipment.

Until 4:20 p.m . . . when 12 adult citizens of the jury sent a note to the judge . . .
a note that hit like an armed-drone missile . . .

“The jury has reached a verdict.” . . .

Followed by a request by the adult jury members requesting 30 minutes to fill out a verdict form -another cold slap of reality for MAGAists.

Twelve American adults found Donald Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsification of business records in the first degree. Twelve American adult jurors unanimously concluded that Trump caused business records to be falsified, and that he “did so with intent to defraud that included an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.” 

It was not a matter of some immature children spewing lies and misinformation on Truth Social or Fox News, but it was about the rule of law – in a court of law – with a charged defendant, with lawyers, a judge, a jury, with witnesses, a process and a verdict of GUILTY – 34 times over – 34 cold slaps of reality . . . one after the other . . . GUILTY.

During the trial each witness was required to raise their right hand and tell the truth – face the jury of 12 fellow adult citizens.

The defendant, Donald Trump, could have decided to testify on his own behalf without prejudice, fear or favor. He proclaimed to his followers repeatedly that he would testify and they believed him. They even boasted about it.

“Just wait until Donald gets on that stand . . . just wait! Just wait!” . . . Well, like so many times before, mature adult American citizens waited, waited and waited . . . still waiting . . .

Unlike Mr. Trump, this is what mature adults do – they show up – they defend themselves to the fullest – take an oath to tell and own the truth.

Mature adults put it on the line for all American mature adults to hear their testimony with defense and prosecuting attorneys asking tough questions. Mr. Trump, as a citizen – as an adult could have told his story to the jury, and more importantly, to the American people that has been waiting.

But . . . ah yes . . . that excruciating and contradictory rub . . . to testify under OATH!
Ah yes . . . to testify as adults do in a court of law – not Truth Social, not in Fox News studios facing soft ball questions – not at a MAGA rallyBUT testify in a court of law and under OATH!

A mature adult leader does not hide behind childish rhetoric that can’t stand scrutiny. A mature adult leader takes responsibility, accountability and owns the truth. A mature adult, unlike a child, does not skirt, avoid, run from, delay and deny the truth.

Mature adults face the truth regardless of how uncomfortable and painful it may be. A court of law is where adults – not children – must demonstrate credibility. A court of law is not a playground where elementary school children squabble, tease and bully during recess.

A court of law follows specific rules, guidelines, principles and norms. This is one reason why a court of law – the rule of law – has been declared enemy # 1 by Republican Trumpists.

Republican Trumpism is not centered and focused on telling American adults the truth, but instead promoting misinformation, fear, chaos, social anxiety, extremism and divisionall historical autocratic characteristics and strategies.

Owning the truth, particularly under oath, in front of a jury of adults, is what Republican Trumpists fear the most. Mature adult American citizens now have living proof that libelous lies and crimes result in serious consequences. Fox News-Dominion court case reached a $787M settlement over false election claims. Other legal action is pending.

Lest we forget as adult citizens, the number of legal cases involving Donald Trump. The cases reflect a legacy of acts of immaturity, expedient behavior, ill-advised choices. Choices that serious mature adult citizens should consider before voting.

  • In the fall of 2022, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil suit against Trump, his adult sons, and his former aide Allen Weisselberg, alleging a years-long scheme in which Trump fraudulently reported the value of properties in order to either lower his tax bill or improve the terms of his loans, all with an eye toward inflating his net worth.
  • Donald Trump and the other defendants are ordered to pay more than $450 million in total, which represents $363.8 million in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest;
  • Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg, and Jeffrey McConney are each banned from serving as an officer or director of any New York company for three years;
  • Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney are additionally banned from serving in a financial management role in any New York company for life;
  • Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump are banned from serving as an officer or director of any New York company for two years;
  • Donald Trump and his companies are banned from applying for loans from any New York bank or financial institution for three years;
  • A new, Independent Director of Compliance role will be created at the Trump Organization to ensure the company establishes internal protocols and meets financial reporting obligations;
  • The current independent, external monitor will continue to oversee the company’s financial dealings and ensure this fraud cannot continue.
  • In May 2023, a jury concluded that Trump had sexually assaulted and defamed E. Jean Carroll, and awarded her $5 million. A second defamation case produced an $83.3 million judgment in January 2024.
  • Jack Smith charged Trump with 37 felonies in connection with his removal of documents from the White House when he left office. The charges include willful retention of national-security information, obstruction of justice, withholding of documents, and false statements. Trump took boxes of documents to properties, where they were stored haphazardly, but the indictment centers on his refusal to give them back to the government despite repeated requests.
  • In Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis brought a racketeering case against Trump and 18 others, alleging a conspiracy that spread across weeks and states with the aim of stealing the 2020 election.
  • Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and recently Wisconsin have filed criminal charges against fake electors claiming that the 2020 election was rigged. Some fake electors have pleaded guilty and some regret signing phony documents claiming that Trump won the 2020 election.
  • Lawyers filed three separate lawsuits from 2010 to 2013 against Trump University for, among other claims, “deceptive practices.”  Donald Trump agreed to pay a $25 million settlement to the people who attended Trump University in 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010. The evidence was clear that the president, Donald Trump, was involved in key decisions surrounding the educational initiative, and that Trump engaged in “patterns of racketeering activity,” and did so “knowingly, willfully, and unlawfully,” through the management of the fraudulent organization.
  • Trump was forced to pay more than $2 million in court-ordered damages to eight different charities for illegally misusing charitable funds at the Trump Foundation for political purposes.
  • The Trump Foundation was shut down for its misconduct and the president forced to pay $2 million for misusing charitable funds for his own political gain. “Charities are not a means to an end, which is why these damages speak to the president’s abuse of power and represent a victory for not-for-profits that follow the law.” Funds finally went to eight credible charities. Those charities are Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of National Capital Area, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Additionally, Trump was forced to reimburse his namesake foundation $11,525 for sports paraphernalia and champagne purchased at a charity gala, which was added to $1,797,598.30 already in the foundation’s bank account. The combined $1,809,123.30 was split evenly and recently transferred to the eight agreed upon charities. Each charity ended up receiving a total of $476,140.41.
  • The various claims of evidence alleging a stolen 2020 election were exhaustively investigated and litigated in multiple state courts. Judges heard claims of “stop the steal” illegal voting and found they were without merit and evidence.
    There were 60 court cases where judges, including judges appointed by President Trump and other Republican presidents, looked at the evidence and concluded that there was no widespread fraud.
  • Aside from the “Access Hollywood” video, the following women have publically alleged sexual misconduct by Donald Trump: Jessica Leeds, Kristin Anderson, Jill Harth, Lisa Boyne, E. Jean Carroll, Temple Taggart, Cathy Heller, Amy Dorris, Karena Virginia, Karen Johnson, Bridget Sullivan, Tasha Dixon, Melinda McGillivray, Matasha Stoynoff, Juliet Huddy, Rachel Crooks, Samantha Holvey, Ninni Laaksonen, Jessica Drake, Summer Zervos, Cassandra Searles, Alva Johnson.
    Mr. Trump has denied all of the allegations and has said all of the women were liars and meant to hurt his presidential campaign.

Mature adults learn from their mistakes. Mature adults don’t repeat contemptuous, disrespectful and criminal deportment. Mature adults don’t establish a legacy of bad decisions and choices, and double down on them.

If they do, then the pathology of the individual or institution takes on a different manifestation of its identity, its agenda, its intent, its motivation and its definition of reality and truth.

When adults fail the test of adulthood, society responds and rejects. Adults that have a history of acting like irresponsible children tend to not get hired or lose their jobs. By the way, has anyone seen George Santos lately?

Adults that speak and act like irresponsible children loose the highly sought and treasured elements of credibility, believability and respect. Parent(s), teachers, mentors avoid making immature adults models for children to emulate.

The developmental process for each child into adulthood is highly complex and imperfect, but ultimately centers on the child-like or adult-like choices, decisions and accepting mature adult responsibility – ownership for the consequences of choices and decisions.

The motivations, intentions, beliefs, values and ethics behind the daily choices and decisions we make as mature adult citizens, are at the core of our identity . . . and should be on every ballot.

  • Those who speak and act like mature adults. That is, responsible, educated, well-informed and well-intended adults willing to collaborate with other adults to solve highly complex problems in order to enhance the quality of life for all. In turn, as mature adults, this means respecting the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Rule of Law and Democracy .

    Or . . .
  • Those who constantly rant, rave and attack others as spoiled, stubborn, inflexible, misinformed, low information children, who believe in self-righteousness, superiority, entitlement, supremacy and lean towards an autocracy.

Donald Trump is now running for the office of president of the United States. A man whose resume warns institutions that he is a risk of not demonstrating the character and competence to be a mature adult.

So what should we expect as mature adult citizens from mature adult candidates?

  • Character: Proof of being a truth teller demonstrating ethical virtuous principles and standards.
  • Intent: Proof of the will and motivation to deliver on promises, policies and selfless service and duty to all citizens.
  • Ability: Proof of knowledge, experience, expertise, having the skills and abilities to perform.
  • Results: Proof of being a problem solver with proof of bipartisan outcomes.
  • Decency: Proof of being a leader who demonstrates and acts with awareness of the frailties of the human condition and empathy.
  • Democracy: Proof of defending Democracy – its founding principles of inclusivity, equity, rule of law and inalienable rights for all citizens.

Mr. Trump is asking mature adult citizens to entrust him with believability – with credibility and to endow him with the power and control over the quality of each American life.

Mature adult citizens don’t ask for much. At a minimum, mature adult citizens ask and expect that a candidate will speak and act with integrity and demonstrate an honest sense of duty and service. A deserving candidate does not consistently insult the intelligence of fellow mature adults citizens with misinformation and lies.

The majority of mature adult citizens want a knowledgable, reliable leader that will lead with moderation, self-control and moral courage. – in other words lead with MATURITY, CREDIBILITY, DECENCY and INTEGRITY and who will diligently continue to validate, secure and defend the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Rule of Law and our venerated Democracy.

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