Letter to the Editor: Raising Trump

Letter to editor

Raising Trump 

Raising President Trump is not a easy chore.  It’s like parenting a surly teenager.  I don’t think either we Americans, or the world, signed up for this parenting work, as we hoped that our president would have come already equipped with the maturity, temperament, intellect and common sense that would be expected of an adult and a American president, but so be it.  We elected him.  We knew what we were getting into, unfortunately, the rest of the world didn’t.  Well, maybe the Russians did.  

But we knew The Donald.  We watched him devolve over the years from a military prep school boy, to a draft dodger, a Manhattan tabloid socialite playboy, real estate developer, philanderer …and now he’s President of the United States.  Go figure.  We hoped he would grow into the job.  It’s not happening, however, he’s getting worse, revealing who he really is.  A nutcase.  He needs to see somebody.

For better or worse, Donald Trump is our teen to raise, our dirty laundry to air …our row to hoe. 

So, what do we do with him?  Well, first we can thank him.  Thank him for bringing us all together.  Together discussing issues at a level that we would never have unless Trump stepped in, hair on fire, saying what he thinks about issues we tend to take only so far until we become despairingly politically correct toward a dead end.  We try so hard not to offend anyone in our best mannered offensive posture on important, sensitive social and political issues, whereas the subject matter deserves better and more focused discussion.  Sometimes that means taking the gloves off and saying the things we really feel and think.  Getting it all on the table.  Which means people on both sides of the issue will be offended.  Sometimes you have to do that to get to the bottom of things …to the truth.  

Really, think about it.  Take the race issue and immigration, for example.  The word Trump apparently used recently to describe the countries where Haitians, Africans and people from El Salvador come from was totally back room talk, talk among guys smoking big cigars, drinking whiskey, playing cards.  The quintessential smoke-filled room.  It was probably not smart to use the term or express the sentiment in an official meeting in a room with senators from both parties.  No reasonable adult would do this.  Making disparaging, expletive, remarks about people trying to escape from these roguish countries, to make a better life for themselves, to survive in the world, is unconscionably immature and cruel of our American president.  We are all better than that.  Self-discipline and self monitoring, self-censorship, is the hallmark of an adult, and is required of a United States president.  Period.  So, bad on him.    

It doesn’t matter that there was a certain truth to what Trump was saying, or apparently said.  I wasn’t there.  You weren’t either.  But we can imagine, we have seen the pattern over the past year and years, and The Donald is predictably unpredictable and relentless at it.   As vulgar as the word and terms were that President Trump used to describe these countries and people, he insists that he is not a racist.  And to be honest, even with all the facts as they are, I am not sure he is a racist, or at least he honestly doesn’t think he is.

Here’s why.  A cat doesn’t know it’s a cat.  A dog doesn’t know it’s a dog.  They just are what they are.  They are born that way and never question it.  I think it’s the same with Trump.  It’s in his DNA.  He doesn’t even think about it.  He is what he is.  Calls ‘em like he sees ‘em.               

(Racist: a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.)

We know racists.  They’re the ones carrying the nazi flags and chanting “Jews will not replace us!” like they did in Charlottesville.  I think Trump may just honestly be trying to solve an impossible immigration problem for America.  I mean, if idiots were a race, I’d probably be prejudice toward them, then I’d be a racist.

Trump may be a jerk, a womanizer, a bully …he may have conspired with the Russians.  He may be a rogue, a scoundrel and shyster.  An elitist.  You may not like how he rolls, you may not like him personally.  You may even think he’s a monster.  Some will say he’s a martyr.  If he is a racist, he may not even know it, just like he may not think he is any or all the above …which is no excuse.             

So, Trump is either really stupid, really calculating, or painfully honest.  Or, just like a surly teenager, he just doesn’t care what he says, where and to whom he says it.  His hair says it all, really.  

He’ll pay the price, but it won’t be our displeasure at his behavior.  He likes being a bad boy, he likes being on the spot and in the spotlight, and he self-admittedly “likes the heat”.  You can almost understand that.  Either way, however, his racist tendencies as interpreted are getting him in hot water even though he insists he is not a racist.

Give this some thought, turn off the television for a minute, and interpret for yourself.   

Just as in parenting a difficult teenager, we all become better people in the process.  So, in my opinion, we can thank The Donald, Our Donald, for giving us a new reference point for the higher level of continued dialogue on this and many other important issues.

 …every clown has a silver lining.


— John Kushma is a communication consultant and lives in Logan, Utah.