Guest Columnist

Iowans know character counts, and Trump has no good character

Recalling the pillars of Character Counts championed by former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray

President Donald Trump thanks supporters at the end of a #x201c;Make America Great Again!#x201d; campaign event at Muske
President Donald Trump thanks supporters at the end of a “Make America Great Again!” campaign event at Muskegon County Airport in Muskegon, Mich., on Saturday. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Salwan Georges

This is National Character Counts week, per a presidential proclamation.

The character education program has special connections to Iowa. Former Gov. Robert Ray was a major advocate for the curriculum, and the Ray Center at Drake University last year became the global headquarters for Character Counts.

So, Iowans know a few things about character — enough to know the sitting president has no good character to speak of. Let’s take a look at the six pillars of character championed by Ray:

• Trustworthiness — Don’t deceive, cheat or steal; Be loyal — stand by your family, friends and country.

The president lies all the time — about his business record, his accomplishments in office, his associations with shady dudes and much more. Perhaps most despicably, he lies about the infectious disease pandemic ravaging our nation, potentially putting lives at unnecessary risk.

The Washington Post Fact Checker, which is more balanced than other prominent fact-checking outlets, in July marked 20,000 false or misleading claims made by the president while in office.

• Respect — Be tolerant and accepting of differences; Use good manners, not bad language.


The president exhibits constant disrespect for almost everyone around him, but especially those he perceives as different.

He criticizes people’s personal appearance and intelligence, especially if they are women. He says immigrants are criminals and that their home countries are “s*** holes.” He thinks military veterans, especially those who were killed or captured, are losers.

• Responsibility — Be accountable for your words, actions and attitudes; Choose a positive attitude.

The president routinely flouts accountability and fails to follow through on his promises. After four years as president, the wall still is not built, Obamacare is not repealed nor replaced, and the federal debt is soaring higher than ever.

• Fairness — Play by the rules; Don’t blame others carelessly.

The president is a cheater who doesn’t care about the rules. As the election approaches, he is trying to set the expectation that he can only lose if the contest is rigged.

On a recent trip to Iowa, Trump said he would hold it against us if he loses in November: “I may never have to come back here again if I don’t get Iowa. I’ll never be back.”

• Caring — Be compassionate and show you care; Be charitable and altruistic.

The president’s record on charitable giving is littered with allegations of fraud and mismanagement.

Trump’s charitable giving is small compared to other Americans who are as rich as Trump says he is. It’s also the subject of scrutiny, facing questions about whether Trump enriched his own businesses through philanthropy schemes.

• Citizenship — Stay informed; Vote; Obey laws and rules.

The president is an occasional voter, who is actively undermining confidence in the election system.


Trump sporadically participated in elections before being elected, but often made donations to both Republicans and Democrats and their affiliated special interests.

As president, Trump has promoted conspiracy theories about voter fraud and mail voting, threatening to dissuade eligible voters.; (319) 339-3156

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