Waiting for the punchline to Trump fan piece

By Jim Sack

When I read the recent commentary by Phil Grant [“Why do we like Trump? Here’s why,” June 6], I admit that I found myself looking ahead to the place in his writing where he would say he was kidding, or even “April Fool.” It never happened and that puzzled me. A man with his obvious credentials seemed unable or unwilling to recognize that there might be some flaws in Donald Trump, both as a person and as a president.

Let’s take a look at the points made in Grant’s commentary.

  1. Trump is characterized by Grant as “agenda-driven” and is described as following through with “focus and tenacity.” He also states that “his work ethic is unparalleled.” One knock on Donald Trump has been that he is so easily distracted and spends so much time reacting to what others say, rather than conducting presidential business. As to his work ethic, Trump at one time stated that he wouldn’t have time for golf, but I think even his supporters have to acknowledge how much time he has spent at his own golf course and doing things that are certainly unrelated to his work as president. Now, we can disagree on how much Trump has accomplished, but it’s hard to defend his work habits.
  2. Looking for an area to agree on here, I believe that Donald Trump has advocated for more money for our military. Other than that, the President being a supporter of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence? I just don’t see it, for many reasons, with just one being his apparent disdain for our system of checks and balances. You know we have a problem when he appears to be such a strong supporter of dictators such as Duterte in the Phillipines, Kim Jong-un in North Korea and Putin in Russia. Fairness? Personal responsibility? I don’t know if he’s ever acknowledged making a mistake and I find it hard to believe anyone views him as fair in his dealings with others. Finally, Trump has nominated judges based solely on their conservative credentials, often picks who aren’t themselves viewed as strong legal scholars — exactly the opposite of judges whose personal feelings don’t come into play.
  3. I can’t speak to Donald Trump’s “feelings” regarding America, nor can anyone who hasn’t spent considerable time with him. I do believe that Donald Trump’s actions since being elected suggest he cares more about himself than our country. Just one example is that he continues to run his business and claim money from taxpayers for expenses during his frequent visits to his properties.
  4. I’m certainly not an economist, nor am I versed in this field. However, if Donald Trump was such a successful businessman, why didn’t he prove his business successes by releasing his taxes? Showing how successful he’s been would’ve been the perfect way to shut up his critics. As to his tax plan, my concerns are that the wealthiest Americans appear to receive the greatest benefits, and somewhere between $2 trillion and $3 trillion were added to the deficit. Unnecessary regulations? I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t believe some regulations are not needed. However, using that premise to gut agencies whose purposes are to ensure Americans have clean water, clean air, a healthy environment, etc. is not acceptable.
  5. Certainly, we want a president who will defend America and will call out false claims. However, Donald Trump has shown that he views any negative comment or report directed at him as wrong, inaccurate, or “fake news.” He considers himself to be an expert on every subject, which is impossible, and denies any responsibility when shown proof as to false claims or mistakes he has made. I’m not claiming that Donald Trump is always wrong. I’m simply claiming that he’s not always right. Attacking those who call him out isn’t about truth, it’s a sign of immaturity and insecurity.
  6. I would guess that Trump being “for capitalism” isn’t really an issue for most Americans, including those who do not support him. The issue is how he goes about employing principals of capitalism, both as a businessman and as the president.
  7. “The President is performance/merit-based in his approach to management.” This sounds fair and I would guess what most Americans believe— do a good job and you’ll be rewarded. However, when Donald Trump took office he had between 300 and 400 lawsuits filed against him by individuals/businesses that claimed he simply refused to pay for services rendered or threatened to go to court unless the costs agreed upon were not significantly lowered. He’s had multiple bankruptcies, appointed many individuals to positions they weren’t qualified for or took advantage of their position before being caught in one scandal after another. At what point do we understand that the principals of good business simply don’t apply to Trump?
  8. The author’s statement about Donald Trump’s “strong sense of fairness” has simply left me speechless.
  9. I agree that Donald Trump is an outsider and that he doesn’t appear to be “constrained by antiquated norms and protocol within government.” Whether he is beholden to special interest groups and can be bought off by lobbyists is open to debate for a number of reasons, one of which is that he has never shared his personal financial information. In other words, he hasn’t released his taxes, so we don’t know who, if anyone, he owes money and/or favors to.
  10. Trump certainly doesn’t handle adversity well, as Grant suggests. He acts out like a child, threatening those who challenge him. I do agree, however, that Trump doesn’t give up if it appears to him that an issue is important to his base. The border wall was a promise made during the campaign and is still being pursued by Trump, yet it will certainly not be paid for by Mexico, as he promised. Grant’s article goes on to deny that Donald Trump is a bigot, racist, etc. He blames the so-called “liberal media” on this characterization and suggests that there is much information contradicting this image of Trump that is never acknowledged. I don’t know Donald Trump personally, so I certainly don’t know how he really feels, but I’ve listened to him and read his statements since he began his presidential campaign. I believe he’s made his feelings toward others quite clear.

I’m sure it’s clear to the reader that I’m not a supporter of Donald Trump in any way. However, I do believe that there are reasons why a person may like him and be pleased with the job he’s doing as president. Trump’s campaign and presidency has gotten more Americans to sit up and take notice. There have been improvements in the country’s economy. His emphasis on our borders has brought questions about immigration to the forefront, and, perhaps most important, Donald Trump’s presidency has encouraged Americans to take a good hard look at who we are and what we stand for. However, the recent commentary by Grant, in my view, couldn’t portray a more positive image of the 45th president unless he wrote it himself.

Jim Sack is a retired teacher and principal turned writer. He lives in Surry.

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