Donald Trump is not the problem. Instead, he is the Washington, D.C. equivalent of the drunk and smelly uncle that no one likes at a dysfunctional family’s reunion. He has many relatives and it is completely unfair to put all of the nation’s troubles in Trump’s tiny hands.

The larger problem facing the country right now is a complete lack of any value or ethical standards that is infecting Congress like a virus. If Congressional leaders had the heart, stamina, and conscience to do what is right for America — rather than the bidding of an impetuous man-child in need of a win — the nation would not be slipping down the global respect ladder. As much as Trump’s erratic race baiting disgusts us, and as nervous as his tweet-taunting Kim Jong-un makes us, none of it would have any impact if America knew its representative leaders had the constitution to put a stop to Trump.

American leadership begins from the ground up. If we cannot trust our closer elected officials who we are supposed to have access to, then how can we trust the one that we do not have the privilege of speaking to directly? With the exception of a few representatives and senators, we are living in a time when America feels like a dangerous place where we should fear our government.

Every member of Congress takes an oath and becomes an officer of Constitution of the United States. The framers, who were fearful of tyranny, anticipated Donald Trump 200 years before his birth. Of course, they likely also expected that elected representatives would be men and women of honor with the strength to stand up to a tyrant in the same manner early colonists stood up to King George.

That is not going to happen.

Congressional members like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is a 20-year veteran of the federal government, have lost their ability to think nationally instead of personally. They have abdicated their responsibility to police the executive and hold Trump accountable for his words, actions, and policies.

12012017 Graham
Eighteen months ago, when he had a spine, Sen. Lindsey Graham was not afraid to call Trump a “kook” and a “jackass.” Photo: CNN

Recently, Graham has repeatedly refused to put Trump in check. Instead, he has given Trump a weak-kneed pass on erratic behavior, failed policies, racial hatred, and the general disrespect of everyone from politicians to veterans. It is as if someone famous grabbed Graham by his pussy.

During Trump’s campaign in 2015-16, Graham had a more pronounced opinion of the former Apprentice host:

“I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office … I don’t think he has the temperament to be the president of the United States … He’s a jackass … You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.”

Graham’s early assessments of Trump leave many unanswered questions. How does a man who eviscerates a boorish and unqualified candidate like Donald Trump go from absolute condemnation to forgiveness? How does a woman like Sarah Huckabee Sanders parade in front of the media each day and lie to the nation with a clear conscience? Why do semi-respectable business leaders forfeit their private sector careers to follow Trump into a swamp of ignorance and failure?

Integrity — or more precisely a lack thereof.

The entire dysfunctional family at the reunion picnic in Washington, D.C. has absolutely no integrity. America used to be a place where a person said what she believed and stuck to it. If she called Trump unfit for office when he acted like an idiot on the campaign trail, she would say it after he stole the election, too.

Last night, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump approached several key members of Congress to end the Russia investigation “as quickly as possible.” Yet, republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to turn their heads to Trump’s inappropriate behavior and refuse to question his ethics, behavior, and abilities. Where is the integrity that used to exist as part of our nation’s overall constitution?

America cannot survive without integrity. Without any cohesive leadership and unity, she is lost and adrift for the first time in her history. The world is quickly turning away from the United States and it is not because of Trump. It is because our dysfunctional family is embarrassing itself in public.

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