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Albuquerque Journal 

Trump needs to stop tantrums, start leading


February 15, 2017

Last week, President Donald J. Trump channeled former President Harry S. Truman — and not in a good way.

Trump tweeted “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”

The high-end department store chain said it dropped Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and accessories because, well, it didn’t sell.

More than half a century ago, in December 1950, longtime Washington Post music critic Paul Hume wrote a less-than-stellar review of a singing performance by Margaret Truman, daughter of the president. That review included: “Miss Truman cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time. … Miss Truman has not improved in the years we have heard her.”

Truman was livid and the morning after the performance he used his generation’s version of Twitter, writing:

“Mr. Hume: I’ve just read your lousy review of Margaret’s concert. …. Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below! …”

When news of Truman’s rebuke became public, the president was overwhelmingly criticized for denigrating the presidency by his response.

How little times have changed.

Trump’s presidency is proving to be an ethics minefield, particularly in regard to his multi-tentacled business empire and those of his family. Ethics experts and the media find themselves jumping from one tweet, executive order or presidential utterance to the next in an effort to determine whether it constitutes illegal personal enrichment, an ethics breach, both or neither.

But taking a retailer to task for an apparent business decision is, well, decidedly unpresidential — not to mention the antithesis of capitalism.

While Americans were disturbed by Truman’s knee-jerk bullying of a music critic, which was never supposed to be made public, they should be distressed by Trump’s knee-jerk bullying of Nordstrom on social media for all to see.

The message to the White House in 2017 is laden with higher-tech verbiage, but the core sentiment is the same: Stop with the tweets, taunts and tantrums and start leading the country, President Trump.

— Albuquerque Journal


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