In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly, they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit, you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit, you will recognize them.”

He got some to believe he was a “great businessman,” but most of the businesses that bore his name failed. He got people to believe he cared about the country and its citizens, but was quick to claim anyone who dared to disagree or criticize him were “enemies of the state.” Not to mention the subtle jibes he hurled at his followers. (“I love the poorly-educated.” “I could go out on 5th Ave. and shoot someone, and they’d still vote for me.”) He made folks think he was going to make America great, but where’s the wall that Mexico was going to pay for? Where’s the massive infrastructure initiative? Where’s the superior health care plan that was always two weeks away?

He’s the definition of a bad tree bearing bad fruit. He’s the definition of a con artist. That’s the reason he won’t admit defeat. If a con artist admits failure or defeat, the con is over. Hence, the con artist will desperately hold to his lies, regardless of circumstance.

With that in mind, let’s look at his claims of voter fraud. Those claims have been presented to more than 60 courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. And more than 60 judges, many of whom were appointed by him (including the three he appointed to the Supreme Court) said there was no credible evidence or standing for his claims.

So on the morning of Jan. 6, when even his own vice president had said there was neither any further recourse nor any reason to contest the results of the election, this consummate con artist stood before a crowd of his supporters (his rubes) (his thug terrorists), and all but invited them to violence and mayhem.

They did his dirty work, while he sat in the Oval Office and basked in it. No, strike that. He reveled in it. But what those people, those rubes, those thugs didn’t realize was they weren’t there to do anything noble. They were there for one thing and one thing only: To stroke the ego of a hedonistic, narcissistic con man.

And worse, later that night, the con man’s Republican toadies took to the wells of the House and Senate to further the conspiracy theories and lies, while at the same time trying to distance themselves from the thugs who earlier desecrated and defaced the seat of OUR centuries-old democratic republic. Think about that. They stoked the fires for the better part of two months (and the preceding four years). and then tried to act innocently surprised in the face of the resulting conflagration.

“Thus, by their fruit, you will recognize them.” A forest of decidedly bad trees.

Forty-four times, men held the office before this con artist, and each and every one of them; the virtuous, the corrupt, the impeached, prosecuted and subjected to scandal, have realized one thing: The office of the President of the United States is greater than the person serving in it. Thus, for 244 years, power always transitioned peacefully.

Until now.

All of those previous presidents: Republicans, Democrats, Democratic Republicans, Whigs and Federalists, would’ve been aghast at what took place Jan. 6. All of them would’ve done whatever they could to end it. Not this one. Not this con artist. Not this orange Caligula.

He reveled in it.

Do you see the zipper on the back of his sheep costume now?

The con man betrayed his country, as did the thugs who performed his will. I hope and pray we can learn the lessons of our descent into the con man’s rabbit hole have taught, and never allow it to happen again.

Craig Carter is an Ontario resident and can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of the Argus Observer.

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