I’m a bit annoyed.
I listened to President Trump this week as he spoke on Long Island, NY. He was there to discuss what he calls an administration priority — combatting gang violence using the scourge of the violent gang, MS-13, as the example.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for ridding people of the fear and violence this gang brings…and has brought to Long Island. Several teens have been brutally murdered by members of the gang.
At one point during the President’s speech, he strayed onto the topic of another crime: human trafficking. it is a horrible act. But what the president said about it is what troubles me…and makes me wonder if President Trump really has a grasp on the atrocities of America’s history.
Here’s what he said:
At its core..what do you think SLAVERY was? Africans being brought across an ocean against their will to endure a life of servitude. That was about as bad as it got.
There are times I wonder if there is anyone in the White House who can..or will..let Mr. Trump know whether what he’s saying is either factual or..purely and simply..makes sense.
Unfortunately, it has become — to use the golf term — par for the course for this administration.
Is it too much to ask to have the so-called “leader of the free world” ditch the bravado and be the diplomat that we need him to be — not only abroad but at home as well?
Maybe I’m asking too much.
Donald John Trump is the 45th President of the United States. Get used to it. He won..and to the winner goes the spoils.
But..the mood was a bit different. Perhaps because skies were gray and rain spritzed from time to time. Or maybe…just maybe…people just weren’t so excited about it all
Sure there were the merchandisers who were making a buck off the event, but the picture below seemed to show the most glaring proof of American apathy towards the Trump inauguration. It’s a high angle shot of the National Mall comparing the first Obama Inauguration (left) and the Trump Inauguration. It speaks for itself.
It’s impossible to say a presidency is ‘failed’ before it even begins. However, confidence in the new administration can be visibly and vocally measured. Much of what I hear is essentially “Wait and see” with quite a bit of “He’s not MY president” mixed in.
Points I will take away from covering this inauguration include:
- The endurance of the process — the ‘transfer of power’ — despite who won or lost.
- The cordiality of the people (at least where I was near Lafayette Park) for the latter stages of the Inaugural Parade, and
- The class and dignity shown as the 44th president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama exited stage left.
Now it’s President Donald J. Trump. We know what we get with him. But I will echo my wife Karen’s sentiment that she shared with me in our nightly conversation. To paraphrase, she hopes the magnitude of the office brings about some kind of change in him.
Hearing that..maybe those who told me to “wait and see” were on the right track.
Photo credit: radioangulo.com
Fidel Castro is dead!
That is a rather curt and direct quote from the Twitter feed of President-elect Donald Trump in the hours after Castro’s passing.
This got me to thinking about the diplomatic contrast we may soon see between the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama and the incoming one of soon-to-be President Trump.
If you don’t mind a bit of reading…allow me to demonstrate.
Both men released statements on Castro’s death. President Obama’s reads:
At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.
For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends – bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity. This engagement includes the contributions of Cuban Americans, who have done so much for our country and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba.
Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.
Positive and hopeful in tone…expressing support for the Cuban people while not completely hiding the truth that was Castro’s tyrannical rule of the island nation.
The following is the statement from the President-elect
“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.
“While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.
“Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”
In my opinion..two things are wrong with this statement. First, the negativity it begins with (while historically true) strikes a callous tone that hasn’t been emblematic of the U.S. Also, the President-elect is — by appealing to the people who “endorsed me” — is going against his election night pledge of being a President for all people. Most statements from Republicans I’ve seen have adopted the ‘name-calling first, consolation second’ approach.
No one is denying the impact of the ‘boot’ that Castro once ruled the Cuban people with. However..the tone of progress that the United States can strike with our words and efforts to strengthen ties can leave a lasting impression. That’s something the new administration should think about.
As of now..Cuba has scheduled nine days of mourning and a cross-nation tour of Castro’s remains from Havana to Santiago.
So here we are. Donald Trump is our President-elect. The key word here is “OUR”.
I was assigned to be at Donald Trump’s Election Night HQ at the Hilton Midtown in New York City. I went into the assignment honestly thinking about one question: What type of tone would Donald Trump strike on his CONCESSION speech?
Boy..was I wrong.
So..come January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump..that guy from the Celebrity Apprentice..will become the 45th President of the United Stares. How did this happen?
The first thing to realize is that Trump spoke directly to a group of people who had long been discounted in the electoral process: the non-college educated white male. Their numbers turned out heavily for the President-elect.
Also..a constant question from many people post-election was how did a majority of the polls..that had Hillary Clinton ahead until the very end..get it wrong?
I’ll dispute that question.
All the polls..which measure the preferences of likely voters..indicate how those voters are leaning. Hillary Clinton led those polls…and at last count, WON the national popular vote. So, the polls were RIGHT.
But remember…it’s electoral votes that count.
Many Americans are protesting the results across the country. I wonder…as CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley asked on the air..how many of those protesters actually voted.
We can all take a lesson from President Obama..who was the subject of a lot of Trump’s campaign rhetoric..when he met with the President-elect this week. His words about coming together for the good of the nation struck a hopeful chord.
Whether we like this..or we don’t like this, it’s time to show the world what this great Democratic experiment that is America is all about.