Make America Sane Again

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I woke up Wednesday morning, got a cup of coffee and turned on the news. I wanted to check the results of the Arizona senate race. Instead what a saw were 3 consecutive ads for “accident lawyers” who would “fight for me.”  I knew officially the midterm elections were over.

 Tuesday night I had gathered an assortment of snacks and got comfortable so I could begin monitoring and scrutinizing the election returns. Sooner than I expected, a picture of the results emerged. As the dust began to settle it seemed to me the numbers were producing a mixed result. The returns were like abstract art.  You could study them intently, then arrive at any conclusion you wanted to see. Pick your “team” and you could find a reason to either celebrate or be discouraged.  Frustrated, I went to bed earlier than I anticipated but my curiosity woke me early Wednesday morning to check the latest news on the senate race.

 For me the big take away happened on Wednesday morning as the President and the White House press staged a mud wrestling match. These events are often called a “press conference.”  Here is some background: While being interviewed Tuesday afternoon the President was asked, I am paraphrasing now, if looking back over his 2 years in office he had made any mistakes or was there anything he would do differently?  He answered, that he might “change his tone.”  I hit the button on my remote to replay that exchange wondering if I heard him correctly. Yep, that was indeed his answer. Wow! That would be a welcomed improvement. A ray of hope in the darkness.  Fast forward, less than a day after that seemingly genuine moment of self-awareness, he was asked about the opportunity for bipartisanship.  The president expressed his desire for a spirit of “unity, peace, and love.” There he was, demonstrating self-restraint yet again. Predictably, the reporters’ questions and the President’s answers grew confrontational.  The tension increased and boiled over following an aggressive line of questioning from CNN reporter Jim Acosta. In a combative exchange with the reporter, the “kinder, gentler” President demanded Acosta stop his questioning and hand the microphone to a White House staffer. Following the President’s directive, a female intern attempted to retrieve the microphone from Acosta. He resisted and in doing so appears to push the young lady away. Always the protector of women, the President said, “That’s enough.” Acosta, however, continued to question him. Back and forth they went.  Finally, the President had enough. Modeling what unity, peace and love looks like in his “drop the mic” moment (see last week’s blog at, the President declared, “I tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them.  You are a rude, terrible person.” Watching all this you could feel the unity, peace and love breaking out all through the room. That was the quote from the commander in chief, the leader of the free world, the man who sets the tone for all of us to follow.

“You are a rude, terrible person.”  Drop the mic.

 My big midterm election take-away is this: Sadly, we must endure at least 2 more years of this narcissistic, egotistical, adolescent and his totally inappropriate behavior. His conduct is inexcusable.  

I have found that privately even his most committed supporters will acknowledge his behavior is offensive. “Granted, he is vulgar, immoral, lacks self-control and is self-centered,” they say, then whisper, “But….” They give him a “pardon.”  His defenders will say, “Look at the Clintons!” “The democrats do/did it!” “The ‘fake news’ is to blame.”  Doesn’t that sound like your kids’ response when you intervene in their sibling squabbles? They plead their case with feeble claims -- He hit me first! I was playing with that first! She gets to do it, why can’t I?  In dealing with your kids, do you find those arguments persuasive?

 Remember we are not talking about three kids in the back seat of a car on a long road trip.  This is the President of the United States. Shouldn’t he be held to a slightly higher standard of behavior? Seemingly, the only two people he treats with graciousness are Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. Oh yeah, and Sean Hannity. To me the President’s behavior appears to be out of control, or worse, and I think more likely, it is intentionally designed to create havoc.  Maybe a bit of both.

 Here’s my plea. You can endorse his policies and at the same time condemn these juvenile antics. Stop trying to justify this deplorable conduct. I understand the economy is booming. I realize monies set aside for retirement are growing. But realize when you defend this mentality, you also lose your moral authority and integrity.  What does it profit a man (woman, church or party) to gain a tax cut and lose their soul (integrity)? Please abandon the attempt to be the President’s defense attorney – although that job is available, as his lawyer is on his way to prison. I noticed when they finally did “drain the swamp,” they uncovered a meeting of Trump’s senior campaign staff. Regardless of how he is being treated or mistreated by his enemies in the “fake news” and others, he needs to set the example and rise above it. 

 Have you found yourself saying to your kids or grandkids, “Watch President Trump and act that way”? Of course not. Me neither. If they did act the way the President does, you would take away their smart phone and put them in timeout. He may be earning an A in his managing of the economy, but he is earning an F in setting the moral and discourse tone for the nation. To me, the biggest unknown is the long-term effects of this neglect of moral leadership. Look around. Fights are breaking out at Costco between 70-year-old men waiting for samples, and frustrated drive-thru customers are assaulting workers at McDonalds. Everything is a battle. If you need proof of that watch anything “talk”….news, sports, HGTV, the Food Network, or Cupcake Wars. (That’s the real title of a show!) All these are marked by people interrupting each other, talking over one another and eventually screaming to be heard, not to be understood, but to be heard. Is he to blame? He certainly sets the tone. He is rewriting the rules of etiquette and code of conduct. This is nuts!


 “Talk” again soon.   

Sharon Coleman