Saturday, January 26, 2019

LETTER TO MY KIDS: TRUMP LESSONS # 1

Dear Coneybeare Kids,

There are only two things to do with a bully when he's down: kill him, or let him save some face.  Then, when he comes back, he might think differently about how he's going to handle things.  He's the dog who still has the scars from the porcupine quills.

What you don't do is gloat.  You don't jump up and down like those assholes who spike the football in the endzone and crow their arms like chickens, which, by the way, is what chickens do when their heads are cut off.   Be a grown-up.  Have grace.  Have style.  Have cool.

American media has none of this in the face of Donald Trump's re-opening of the government.  From CNN to the New York Times to the Washington Post, the cry is "Trump Caved!" There is talk of a crater on the White House lawn where once stood his ego.  With this capitulation to Empress Nancy (a woman!), he is apparently now revealed as a fool, a buffoon, a mountebank, a fast talking flim-flam man -- as if further proof were needed.

Don't misread me: Trump is a charlatan who needs to be hoofed off the back of the train.  He has surrounded himself with the most odious creeps one can imagine, none of whom have any idea how to run even a hot dog stand.  He is a liar and wholly unfit to be President, and he has shown us that there are roughly thirty million Americans who are desperately in need of a civics class.

But the government is now open.

To me, that means one thing: folks are soon going to have that unbelievable relief of driving home with a week's worth of groceries in the back seat of the car; groceries that were earned --  to say nothing of aircraft not crashing into their homes.

This isn't just a perk.  That's the whole picture.

I'm not saying Trump re-opened the government for anything resembling altruistic reasons, or even anything resembling a fulfillment of his Oath of Office.  Nor am I saying that he didn't invent the crisis in the first place.  What I am saying is that there was a touchdown.  Forget the dance.

Second lesson: don't be a hypocrite.

For the entirety of the Trump Presidency, the guy has been castigated for never negotiating.  In fact, we've discovered that the subject of 'The Art of the Deal' doesn't actually know what negotiating is, or that some form of capitulation is required by both parties.  Now, finally, he has capitulated.  So to crow about he's "caved" is hypocrisy.

There's also a practical side to shutting one's yap.

If you want to keep the government open, let him get a taste of the sweet side of said capitulation: he has friends he didn't have before, and average citizens are relieved.  If you persist in "He caved" and "Nancy Showed the Old Misogynist Who's Boss", you only raise the odds that this most infantile of egos is going to make sure he never capitulates again.  Why would he?  Where's the reward?   I propose giving the rewards-oriented guy a reward.  Annnnd....

Keeping the government open.

Final lesson: put yourself in your opponent's shoes.

Trump's getting it from both sides now.  Ann Coulter, who seems to have craftily based an entire career on being a creator of nothing and destroyer of everything, who has never thought about kitchen table people once in her life, is all over the President for being a wimp (her word) simply because she wants to see the government shut down again in three weeks, while the rest of the wingnuts go into overdrive to attack their own guy for putting the country back to work (with friends like these, right?)

Sadly, the centrists, progressives, and card-carrying Democrats are behaving no better; they're exhibiting all the aplomb and dignity of schoolyard goody goodies, hiding behind Mrs. Pelosi's skirts and sticking their tongues out at the dirty-faced bully boy.

Neither side apparently cares or knows about the groceries in the car.

I want you, my kids, to know that this is not the way to handle any conflict or any victory.  And remember the following:

Stephen Douglas held Lincolns hat at his inaugural so that the new President could hold his speech without it blowing away in the wind; Hubert Humphrey telephoned his old nemesis Richard Nixon in his literal last days of life, to make amends;  less than a few months after their hard fought election, FDR asked Wendell Wilkie if he would please act as his emissary as the war began; Senator Robert Dole demanded to be lifted from his wheelchair so he could salute the casket of George Herbert Walker Bush, the man who beat him for the Presidency.

Have grace.  Have style.  Be cool.

Your ever loving,
Dad

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