Donald Trump: Maintain the rage until the final tweet

I’m a big fan of Blue Bloods, a US TV series about an Irish Catholic family of police in New York City, featuring the Police Commissioner; his father, a former commissioner; his two sons, a detective and a patrol cop, and his daughter, an assistant district attorney – their blue blood runs deep.
As well as the violence, arrests, interrogations and courtroom drama involving the Reagan family and miscreants, Blue Bloods zooms in on a Sunday dinner where the whole clan can discuss the moral rights and wrongs of policing the Big Apple. It’s motherhood, apple pie and 1950s America brought up to date. They even say Grace before dinner: “Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts, which we are about to receive from your bounty. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.” (Disclosure: Yes, I still remember the words!)
Each episode has a morality theme, and last Thursday night, anger was the issue (how appropriate after Ten’s Cricket Big Bash League), particularly that of Detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg), who has been known to bash a criminal to get crucial information. He was angry about a ten-year-old boy who had been shot during a confrontation with gang bangers in a tough neighbourhood. His rough handling of one of the suspects prompted his sergeant to order Danny to take anger management courses.
Danny was the prime suspect in a circle of cops in the first session when the counsellor said everybody needed to develop coping mechanisms. He asked Danny if he had any. “I don’t have mechanisms, Doc, I just cope.” “So, Danny,” the counsellor asked again, “what do you do with all your anger?” Danny replied: “Why is anger such a problem? Seriously, when does anger become such a bad thing in this world?” The counsellor said: “Anger is not a problem. It’s what you do with it.”
What would I do with it? Well, I’ve been struggling with the imminent inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States (Photo above: Carolyn Cole, LA Times). I was depressed about the election (that’s an understatement), but mostly angry about the fact that so many Americans voted for him. I’m not having a go at them, because their anger was justified to a certain degree. In the rust-belt states like Pennsylvania and Michigan which helped Trump win the election, factories closed, workers lost their jobs and they felt abandoned by their government. But Donald Trump is not going to get their jobs back. Technology will take over factories, and while infrastructure projects will help for a while, it won’t last forever. Look at what Donald Trump did in Atlantic City. Four Trump-related companies filed for bankruptcy in the historic New Jersey resort town, leaving thousands without jobs. But he did nothing to help them. He got out of the city before it was also on the edge of bankruptcy, congratulating himself on his perspicacity. Trump told Nick Bryant, the BBC correspondent in Washington, that he still had a “warm spot” for the people of Atlantic City. But they don’t have a warm spot for him, with the city voting against him in the election. It’s classic Trump. He pretends to have empathy for the workers, but he wouldn’t put himself in their shoes.
I have been watching the swearing-in of presidents for more than 60 years, and have covered inaugurations as a journalist since the 1970s. This one is different. Like Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 and his re-election in 1972, there’s a sense of foreboding about a man you can’t trust. Al Franken, a comedian turned Democratic Senator from Minnesota, said: “It’s really hard to trust anything that Donald Trump says … you can’t rely on anything he says.” Barbara Lee, a Democratic Senator from California, has decided to boycott the inauguration, and she’s not the only one. At least 12 California House Democrats will not be attending, along with a number of other members of Congress, including Georgia representative and long-time civil rights activist, John Lewis. The 16-term Congressman has been involved in a war of words with Donald Trump after he said the president-elect was not a “legitimate” president: “I don’t plan to attend the inauguration. It will be the first one that I miss since I’ve been in Congress. You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.” Barbara Lee’s reasons for not attending the ceremony should make Donald Trump cringe (instead it just makes him tweet): “Inaugurations are celebratory events, a time to welcome the peaceful transition of power and honor the new administration. On January 20th, I will not be celebrating or honoring an incoming president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House. Donald Trump ran one of the most divisive and prejudiced campaigns in modern history. He began his campaign by insulting Mexican immigrants, pledging to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and then spent a year and a half denigrating communities of color and normalizing bigotry. He called women ‘pigs’, stoked Islamophobia, and attacked a Gold Star family. He mocked a disabled reporter and appealed to people’s worst instincts. I cannot in good conscience attend an inauguration that would celebrate this divisive approach to governance.” And to make matters worse for Donald Trump, thousands of civil rights activists have gone to Washington to protest against the inauguration. Many will be taking part in a Women’s March on Washington to demonstrate against Trump’s poor record on women’s rights on Saturday (Sunday Australian time), with an expected crowd of up to 400,000 people.
Last month I wrote a post wrapping up the presidential election, explaining why I could never trust Donald Trump – mainly because he will be the worst president since the disgraced Richard Nixon. I was determined not to write about him again until the inauguration this Friday (Saturday Australian time) when he will try to act like a president but you know he’d really like to say things like: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for Donald Trump.”
I had to write something after watching the Golden Globes Award Ceremony in Hollywood where the odd pot shot was taken at Trump over the election result. For example, host Jimmy Fallon’s one-liner: “This is the Golden Globes. One of the few places left where America still honors the popular vote.”
Meryl Streep (photo above: Paul Drinkwater NBC) provided the piece de resistance in her acceptance speech for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Okay, it was political, but Meryl Streep has always been political and she wears her heart on her sleeve. More importantly, she tells it like it is.
She looked around the room, and pointed out that Hollywood was just “a bunch of people from other places.” Streep was born in New Jersey; Viola Davis in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina; Amy Adams in Vicenza, Italy; and Natalie Portman in Jerusalem. Streep couldn’t resist a Trump joke about the last two celebrities: “Where are their birth certificates?” She summed it up neatly: “So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”
Meryl Streep described the many powerful performances by the actors in front of her as breathtaking and compassionate: “But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.” I can understand why many commentators criticised Streep’s speech. As mentioned above, ordinary Americans are angry about the way their government has treated them, and Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” quote didn’t help her campaign. As journalist Caroline Overington, an award-winning journalist for The Australian, wrote on the day after the speech: “Trump won because the average American has had it to the back teeth with pious celebrities like Streep … telling them what to think and how to act, and what to do … Donald Trump has tapped into that feeling, and if the liberals, weeping and wailing since he won, don’t get a grip, Trump will get re-elected.” But I have to say many of us have not been weeping.
I mentioned to my daughter after the speech that Trump shouldn’t tweet about it, just be quiet for a change, but he couldn’t help himself. He called Meryl Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood,” and “a Hillary flunky who lost big.” In other tweets, he denied he had imitated the reporter: “For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him … “groveling” when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!” There is evidence to the contrary. Here’s a link to a CNN video which clearly shows him mocking a reporter: Talk about a president-elect in denial! I ask again: Can you trust him? And I am not going to mention Russian hacking, prostitutes, Vladimir Putin, Cabinet choices, conflicts of interests, racism, walls and phony billionaires.
Okay, that’s enough about Donald Trump. It could be a long four years, although I’m hoping he will be impeached or forced to resign by August 9, 2018 (Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, 201 days after his re-election).
And if a New York police counsellor asked me what I was going to do with all my anger, I would reply: “Maintain the rage until Donald Trump has posted his final tweet.”

2 thoughts on “Donald Trump: Maintain the rage until the final tweet

    • Thanks for reading my post and commenting. I made the point that Hillary wasn’t a good candidate, but I would certainly trust her more than I would trust Donald Trump. My major concern is that the soon-to-be president of the United States will be a disaster, and while I understood why so many voted for him, I think he will be worse than Richard Nixon. If that makes me an idiot, I plead guilty. End of my story!

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