President Donald Trump’s coarse and disgusting remarks at his Minneapolis rally were an embarrassment to our country. Never has a U.S. president publicly spewed forth such a barrage of barnyard language in vilifying his political opponents. It was the kind of outburst that in former times earned children a washing out of their mouths with soap.

Unfortunately, this was completely in character for Trump. When his actions are questioned, he immediately resorts to the infantile name-calling and personal insults for which he is famous. Everything he touches is dragged into the gutter because that is the only environment in which he seems to feel comfortable. Rational debate becomes impossible.

Our political system depends upon civility and mutual respect in political discourse. But this seems to be utterly beyond the capacity of our thuggish and dishonest president. He has bragged about not paying taxes and grabbing women. He has mocked the disabled and disrespected veterans who shed blood for our country. He has publicly asked at least three foreign governments to produce dirt on his political opponents. He has kowtowed to ruthless and bloodstained dictators while insulting our political allies. And his administration is the most corrupt in history, as he daily profits from foreign actors trying to curry favor by staying at his hotels.

When President John Adams moved into the White House, he stated, “May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” With respect to Trump, he was wrong on both counts. Our Founding Fathers never imagined the office of president could devolve upon so shameless, immoral, and vile an individual as Trump. If they had entertained any such thought, they might very well have wondered whether King George might not be so bad after all.

James J. Amato