Herald USA

When Will President Trump Ever Be In The News For The Right Reasons?

Miami, Trumps favorite city

As President Trump approaches his first anniversary in office, he faces a ruthless political outlook. Every word he says and every action he takes will help him keep a group of supporters or a growing criticism.

It is the binary world in which Trump lives and also the perspective he’s been seen. The furor over the President’s derogatory remarks about Haiti and other poor African countries lends more credence to his critics’ branding of him being unfit and unworthy in character as a president. This also aids his opponents in their goal of hobbling if not ending his presidency

Although he has denied using the words “shithole countries”, most of the media immediately called him a racist. After a few days of saturation coverage, polls will show a disapproving public and the ritual beat-down will be complete. Then we’ll be on to the next crisis because this is life with Trump in the White House.

That’s been the pattern for a year, and the president has managed to keep his head above water. But past performance is not a guarantee of future results, especially in a congressional election year when passions against him are already overheating.

The comment hasn’t gone down well with some legislators of note such as Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia and an icon of the civil rights movement. In his words, “I think he is racist” referring to Trump’s use of the derogatory word “shithole”. Lewis was asked by a moderator on a live TV show how he reconciled remarks Trump made Friday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day with his “shithole” comment, reported to have been made during an immigration meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Thursday.

“I don’t think there’s any way that you can square what the president said with the words of Martin Luther King Jr. and what he said about Dr. King,” Lewis said. “It’s just impossible. There’s not any way you can do that. It’s unreal. It’s unbelievable. It makes me sad. It makes me cry.”

“We have come so far. We made so much progress,” Lewis said of the country. “And I think this man, this president, is taking us back to another place.”

Lewis reiterated that he won’t attend Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.

“In good conscience, I cannot and will not sit there and listen to him as he gives the State of the Union address,” he said.

It’s not been up to a week that this same president in the person of Donald Trump reportedly said that the most populated black nation on earth Nigeria, live in “huts”. According to him, “when they come to America, they refuse to go back to their huts”, even though the White House has come out to deny he said that

This is the same president that kept on asking repeatedly of an Asian American analyst that was briefing him on the release of a family held hostage in Pakistan “where are you from? No, really, where are you from?”

For many who are reading this narrative, it seems to be another example of Trump’s pale ignorance and racism, especially if you are not Caucasian with curly and silky hair but that’s actually what some Americans face from fellow Americans who belong to the Donald Trump school of thought.  It’s penetrating. They ask you all the time, you compose yourself and try to avoid the question as best you can. Is this supposed to be a compliment or just innocent curiosity? You move away from the scene, keep it in your brain and continue with your life. But then it will spring up again and think about what it really means. For some, this means that their mind’s picture of the American does not include someone like you. This means for some that your ethnic origin must define your interests and experience. It means for some, that face is an express permission to question your loyalty to the United States.

To some of those people, you are limited even in serving the nation in select capacities. Your interest in working in national security, for instance, is suspect. How could you possibly be dedicated to the strength and security of the country in which you were born but where your ancestors are not originally from? That’s how some of them think and I hate to classify the president of the United States among that category.

For these people, it does not matter if you have family members who were here even before the American Civil War. It does not matter if your grandfather helped get Neil Armstrong on the moon. It’s not important to them even if for at least three generations, your family has devoted their all to the US to strengthen national security and integrity

Consider that the phenomenon of an open-mouthed president is not a totally new thing. John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon said much worse things, not to mention the words Bill Clinton could possibly have said during the period of his Oval office scandal. But Trump is in a unique position.

Not because of what he says or not, but because of the reaction and attention it draws. More than half of the country needs more reason than his election to demand his removal from office, and with many Democrats having sworn to impeach him if they assume power after the mid-term elections, every mistake is potentially very costly and irredeemable.

However, although a biased media over exaggerating is not a virtue, Trump’s greatest mistake is that he continues giving them the ammunition to fire at him. At one point, he is winning, the next minute he is taking cover for dear life

This “shithole countries” brouhaha is a perfect case in point.

Still basking in the euphoria of getting tax reform passed, Trump confidently convened a bipartisan group of congressional members for a televised meeting Wednesday on the “Dreamers” and related immigration issues.

The next day, the president boasted about the compliments and then acted as if he were the delight of every American right now. At a follow-up meeting, he unleashed the furies with his derogatory remarks.

Did he forget that his critics are out for his blood? Didn’t he learn anything from the torrent of White House leaks that bedeviled his early months?

In my honest opinion, “shithole countries” is not by itself a racist remark. It’s certainly crude and shouldn’t be said by a president, but those countries are a total mess. Central America is the murder capital of the world, and Haitians have been fleeing their country for years because they’ve given up hope it can be fixed.

And the context matters: Trump and Congress were bargaining over the fact that Haitians, El Salvadorans and people from African countries who were admitted years, and in some cases decades ago, after emergencies were allowed to stay indefinitely.

It is not necessarily racist to conclude that it is not a healthy immigration policy and that the United States should choose immigrants who can contribute to its prosperity and security. In fact, there is a growing bipartisan consensus here, which is why schemes like the diversity lottery visas were introduced

As I said, Trump has an impressive list of accomplishments, and his presidency marks a major correction for the United States. The growing economy, which is reflected in the growth of jobs, increase in wages and the dynamic growth of stocks, continues to be the highlight of his administration as regards the campaign promises he made.

But that’s not all that needs to be done. To have a successful presidency, Trump needs to finish what he started and that means keeping a truly satisfied and non-sentimentally happy pool of supporters and Americans in general for four years. For that to happen, he must start behaving as if his future depends on every word he says every day, because it does.

And if he needs to blow off steam without blowing the lid off his presidency, he ought to remember the sage advice often attributed to President Harry Truman, “if you want a friend in the White House, get a dog”.

 

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