Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Steve Hansen
Columnist 

School bully not fit for president

 

December 6, 2017



I’ll lay my cards on the table: I do not like President Donald Trump.

I would not like him as a Republican. I would not like him as a Democrat.

Here’s why:

Trump is the answer to what would happen if that opinionated guy down the street, who doesn’t know any more than I do, were to be elected president.

Trump loyalists still think Trump should have some kind of immunity from what we used to call common courtesy and decency, because he’s showing them, by golly, just like they would.

To me, we’ve elected a neighborhood blowhard, who used to be the schoolyard bully, to the highest office in the land.

And no. It’s not a good thing.

The president should not think like me, whether or not we agree. He/she should be smarter and show better judgment than I do. He/she should be more moderate and judicious in his reactions to things than I am, and far more attuned to the ways of political power.

He/she should be much more knowledgeable about government and respectful of differences in opinion than I am, especially if he/she were elected by less than half of the popular vote.

I don’t like government by impulsive 140-character tweets. The world is more complicated than abrupt little knee-jerks, Mr. President.

Working occasionally with brilliant corporate executives in the past, I picked up on a trait that I think was a key to their success. That was their ability to pick up on subtleties that were significant, especially those buried in the tedium of regulatory and legal prose.

In Donald Trump, I do not see this ability. He’s gray-blind. He can only see black and white. Good and evil. For me or against me.

And since he thinks, “I am good” and maybe even “I am all that is good,” good and evil are defined only in terms of what is good and bad for him personally. Revelations that favor him are “news.” Those that do not are “fake news.”

That is a failure to perceive reality that makes me think he should seek psychological help. And what does this say about the millions who voted for him?

Unfortunately, the nation last year was in what I call a “Howard Beale” moment.

Beale, in the 1976 movie “Network,” was the television newscaster who lost his mind on the air and broadcast a live rant that ended with, “I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.’”

In the fictional “Network,” the frustrated nation, reflective of hard times in 1976, shouted from the windows, and Beale’s rants continued, making him a hero in viewership ratings.

Four decades after Howard Beale, again reflective of frustrating times, the people voted, but it wasn’t fiction.

Donald Trump, the 21st Century equivalent of Network’s “Mad Prophet of the Airwaves,” became the president of the United States.

In three years, I’m hoping it will all be over. The Republicans, who have the Trump albatross around their necks, already know they have a wide choice of better alternatives. The Democrats, I hope, will come up with a few.

Next time I’m hopeful for better choices, because I think people are beginning to see they need a president who represents their interests, not one who merely thinks like they do.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

stevenmhansen@plateautel.net

 

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