Donald Trump won the presidential election. That was last year. He already IS the president, yet it seems that everywhere you look and on all the news channels, there are those who still talk about him as though they are trying to discredit him from “winning the election.” Or maybe they’re just hoping that if enough voices are raised in protest against him — across the land, online, on TV, on campuses, in the streets, wherever they can find any of like mind — that maybe they can somehow correct this giant mistake that seems to have been made. Well, “giant mistake” or not, he IS the president and wishing it were not so will not make it go away.
I have made it clear in this column that I don’t particularly like Donald Trump, and that has been based solely on his own words and his own presentation of himself on TV during his campaign for president, since I don’t know him personally and never even met him by chance or at one of his many business seminars or such. I have no way to “judge” him other than by his own words and actions, since I refuse to just “follow the crowd” — be it the “for him” or “against him” crowd, trying their hardest to either praise him or discredit him at every turn. But “knowing” him as president is a whole different matter. And I still do not know him well enough.
The anti-Trump camp is so cruel in its ongoing verbal slaughter of Trump. The signs, protests, demonstrations, and venomous postings online and elsewhere say more about the protestors than about our president. It’s really as though in not accepting Trump as president, they feel they can make it not be true. Even if one was not in the pro-Trump camp, seeing how the anti-Trumpers were behaving could be enough to make one feel sorry for him, that he was not even being given a chance to show what he could do, clumsily or arrogantly or without presidential finesse — something he showed his supporters from Day One and proudly cultivated as a winning attribute rather than a fault or shortcoming. And it worked.
And the pro-Trump camp is apparently exceptionally pro-Trump, believing in him no matter what he does or says, holding on tightly to his promises and his attempts at fulfilling them. And really, who wouldn’t want a better state of affairs for all, a country that is strong, with a leader we can all look up to? The question, of course, is, will we have all that with President Trump?
I wish I had the time to search through all the historical documents that show what each president believed and hoped to accomplish going in, and what they actually accomplished and what the country at large thought of them after their terms were over. I would imagine that it’s likely this research has already been done, and someone out there has already checked on the number of presidents that have lived up to their campaign promises and — whether they were liked or not — left things better coming out than they found them going in.
Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to see that “chart,” I’m not one to automatically believe what the compiler of such information would put forth. When one studies the history of the Civil War,for example, it absolutely matters who wrote the book. And even today, there are still those who dispute the outcome of the war, the reason for the war, and wish to see the South rise again. If a president somehow contributed to feelings of hate and ill will between opposing factions, even if that were not his intention, how would we view that president? Has there ever been a president that was approved of by 100 percent of the population? Maybe, considering the circumstances, it might have been George Washington. But even George must have had his dissenters.
Back in those days, however, since we did not have instant or mass communication, should there have been major pockets of dissenters, they may not have been well known. The point is that what happened in the past will be told from any number of viewpoints, yet the viewpoint most likely to be true will not be the “official” one.
We’ve learned a lot in that regard by the kind of “official” reports we get from the police, as opposed to what really happened, as Norm Jahn brought up in his column in this issue; he, as well as Gordon Martines, both former police officers and columnists for this paper, can tell us amazing conflicting stories about how what they experienced did not at all correspond to the “official” reports.
The point that I hope all can see is that no president was a saint — not even my favorites: Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln (I prefer the earlier ones, as you can tell) — and no president will have only good reviews. But since all presidents except our present one can now be judged by history — What were their campaign promises? Did they live up to them? And, was the country in better shape after their years in the White House or not?
The good news is that Trump is trying… trying to be a president, trying to fix the perceived or actual “mess” he inherited from Obama, trying to make our country safer, trying to undo some of the governmental restrictions and red tape that cause the people to look down on politicians at large, and so on.
Some, of course, would say that Trump indeed is trying…trying our patience and our nerves and the like.
Well, whatever he is, he is our president, and systems are in place to phase him out if need be, according to legal and constitutional channels, AFTER he has had as much of a chance as this nation would give any other president.
Not liking a person is not sufficient reason to throw our president under the bus, and giving a person enough time and “rope” to make his point will either result in something that will surprise us all in a good way, or will create the circumstances for his presidential “hanging.”
Because he’s already ours — not just a candidate hoping to be our president — let’s root for him to do a good job. Maybe working with him, in whatever way we can, and disagreeing — in a civilized way, if we must — can help him do his best. Only time will tell, as it always does, if those who voted for him made the right choice.
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at email@example.com.