Dear Readers,

I’m tired of writing about politics. Unfortunately, what I see and hear every day scares me. Jmore prints 14,000 copies every month and has an audience north of 20,000 readers. I feel an obligation to use that platform to discuss the precarious state of our democracy.

I’ll admit I’m a liberal Democrat and that I was no fan of previous Republican presidents. I didn’t love their policies that sacrificed social programs to reduce taxes on the wealthy. I didn’t like the dishonesty that led to the second Iraq War. I didn’t like that young women and men died over non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

But having said all of that about previous Republican presidents, I never questioned their basic dedication to the United States. I never worried that they were eroding our democracy. I never thought that they were totally morally bankrupt and only served their own personal and economic gain.

Mr. Trump scares me. He varies between paranoid and vindictive. He sees the government apparatus as his personal tools to wield for his own benefit. He lacks any respect for the basic institutions of our democracy. The press, to Mr. Trump, is the “enemy of the people.” The Justice Department should protect him and attack his enemies. The Federal Reserve, he believes, should adjust monetary policy to make him and his government look good with no regard to longterm effect.

Mr. Trump caters to science deniers, racist haters, murderous autocrats and other deplorables. Deplorable is a tough word but it fits. He encourages violence against the press and sows conspiracy theories against the intelligence and justice apparatus of the nation. He impugns true patriots without hesitation.

Democracies are rare. They don’t die all at once. Instead, the basic pillars are eroded until you look up one day and realize that what we all claim to value is gone. Mr. Trump is eroding those pillars. He is forcing others to lower their level of discourse to his. Well-intentioned Republican officials, with the notable exception of Governor Hogan who has shown true independence, are scared not to fall into line.

What do we do now? It’s time for Mr. Trump to be removed as president. He needs to go back to his NYC real estate world where he can bully his employees and consort with organized crime figures to his heart’s delight. He can resume his money laundering for Russian banned oligarchs. He can go back to his infidelity and conspicuous consumption. He can hang out with as many racists and haters as he wishes. It’s time to end our long national nightmare. It’s time for impeachment.

Scott Rifkin, MD, Publisher