Posted on February 20, 2017
There are times when you have to step back and separate yourself from all of the confusion that happens everyday and really ask yourself what YOU think about what is going on. Not opinion by comparison to what others think and not afraid to be wrong —— well here it is.
It’s imperative that I stick to my principles and not to any party or politician for several reasons. First is integrity — it’s all a man (or woman) has at the end of the day. Second is trustworthiness. How can you expect people to really know you and trust you if you aren’t consistent and somewhat predictable? That’s why I’m writing this – so everyone understands I support Trump in the things he does well and do not support him in the things he does poorly — and I have the honesty to differentiate between them.
In the past two weeks so much has happened I don’t know where to start. I’m going to break it down into a few sections.
- Firing National Security Advisor Michael Flynn
- Media Bias
- Aggressiveness with the media
- Putting the US on par with Russia
- Republican Party behavior
- Democrat Party Behavior
Firing Michael Flynn was a very strange move on Trump’s part. Please be sure to read my post on that specific issue HERE. If Michael Flynn is guilty of ONLY lying to the president and Vice President – he could have easily dealt with that quietly and not given into media pressure. Now that he has fired him – it raises the question of whether or not Flynn actually did something illegal. Now there is going to have to be an investigation — and it’s going to be nasty, as Trump isn’t going to like the resistance, but it’s something he brought on himself. I sincerely believe that Trump isn’t trying to hide something BUT I do acknowledge that we need to know for sure.
Media bias is out of control at this point — and there is really no room for debate on this. You have articles like THIS that allege things in their title that, later in the article, they ADMIT they have no substantiating evidence for. That isn’t journalism, folks – that’s just plain irresponsible. Most of the sources for all of these articles are “anonymous” and speak as such because “the continuing investigation is classified.” Which means it’s illegal for them to say anything. How many stories in the past based on “anonymous sources” have been debunked? If you ever thought there wasn’t bias in the media I implore you to look around — consider this piece from NBC praying for Trump to be thrown out of office. This, naturally, makes people angry.
Trump has a very hostile relationship with the media (some would say for good reason) — case and point HERE with his 80 minute press conference. There are many moments in the press conference where media bias is evident and Trump does well handling it or deflecting. Sometimes the media deserves a lashing and in no way is that illegal. Reporters are acting like they’re offended by rough treatment …. they can dish it out but can’t take it. That said — Trump has a problem with speaking clearly and it bothers me. Perfect example is the following tweet:
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
This, of course, throws gasoline on the already raging media fire. I am assuming that President Trump isn’t saying the the press IN CONCEPT is the enemy of the people — but rather THIS PRESS TODAY isn’t providing the normal patriotic function of the media. I assume this because of the use of “fake news media”. There is a major problem with all of this though — I am tired of trying to interpret Trump. If he cannot clearly say what he really thinks – why is he saying anything at all? There are innumerable occasions where Trump has said something unclear and criticizes people for subsequently misunderstanding him. A president has a responsibility to speak strongly but with measured words … this is something I HEAVILY criticized Obama for and I am doing the same with Trump. Words have stronger meaning when you are the president of the United States. Trump needs to use them wisely.
Using words wisely was precisely what Trump did NOT do in the Bill O’Reilly interview before the super bowl. (SEE HERE) O’Reilly asks if Trump respects Putin who is a murderer – and Trump responds with “we got a lot of killers – you think our country is so innocent?” This is simply an irresponsible off the cuff statement by Trump signaling that he has very little knowledge of American history and our record of triumph over such horrific regimes like the Soviet Union. He can and should do better than this.
The Democrats are riding this wave of hyperbole and hysteria with true glee. It plays right into the narrative they’ve set up all along. You might even be inclined to believe some of it — were it not for the fact that they have NO EVIDENCE TO PROOVE THEIR STORY. (SEE HERE AND HERE) I’m so tired of hearing things like “Trump has obviously worked closely with Putin and the Russians to win the election” or “Trump is causing a constitutional crisis”. There are absolutely no supporting pieces of evidence for this at this time. These statements can be characterized as no less than intellectually dishonest and boarder on outright lies. You know what would change my mind? Actual evidence … something that the Democrats certainly don’t seem to like. I’ve made it very clear that I understand the need for investigation on what happened with Flynn (as Trump clearly mismanaged the situation). I still believe, however, that President Trump did not work with the Russians to win this election. Hillary lost for reasons of her own making. (SNARKY TWEET)
The Republicans are being suspiciously quiet through this small storm of activity. This is the height of their cowardice — and make no mistake — legislatively the Republicans have been cowardly most of their careers. They refused to stand up to Bush’s Patriot Act, they refused to stand up to Obama’s Affordable Care Act, they refused to commit to Trump after he clearly won the nomination, and they are clearly not challenging Trump to be the best president he can be. They are afraid of him, afraid of what will happen to them if they either support or challenge him. Instead of circling the wagons, Republicans please hear me for once — STAND ON YOUR PRINCIPLES AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE OK. THE PEOPLE WILL RESPECT YOU BECAUSE THAT’S WHY THEY PUT YOU THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. This position achieves the best for either side of the fence ——— if you think Trump is dangerous then Republicans sticking to their core positions (i.e. free trade, foreign policy, tax cuts, spending curtailment etc) will be the best defense against any “wild” Trump proposal. Conversely, if you think that Donald Trump is actually a good representative of the Republican Party, then you will have no problem with conservatives basing their votes on principles rather than on a politician.
There are plenty of things that President Trump could do better and we need to be honest about those in order to make him a more effective president.
- He needs to polish his approach to the media – he can still call them out when needed
- He needs to reconsider the delay the DOL financial transparency rule ( I will write a separate piece on this soon)
- He needs to stay focused on his domestic agenda and push congress to stay unified
- He needs to recognize that not everything he does is perfect and accept constructive criticism
- He needs to live up to his promise to unify the country
I sincerely wish him the best as president and am an unabashed conservative who knows that those principles will see you through only if you are deeply committed to understanding and applying them to your everyday life. I know you can do better than this, President Trump. Let’s get going.
Bonus Material: Bret Stephens (Wall Street Journal) lengthy speech about Trump (trump haters will love this)