Purely Political, By James Buckley
OK, so you didn’t like Donald Trump. But my gang (the 74 million-plus of us who voted for his re-election) and I still haven’t figured out what it was or is that turned otherwise sensible people into Trump-hating fire-breathing lunatics.
President Trump never drove one of his election interns off a bridge and let her drown as Sen. Ted Kennedy did before he (probably drunkenly) walked back to his cottage to… get help?
No, to get dry.
Sen. Kennedy was way more concerned with what this incident may have done to his career than he was about the young lady whose life he had just ended by driving off the rickety one-lane wooden Dike bridge (with no guard rails) on a small peninsula called Chappaquiddick at the eastern end of the island of Martha’s Vineyard at midnight after an evening of partying. But, not long after the events of that day had resolved themselves in Sen. Kennedy’s favor, his political party had him and his gonads in full control.
He managed to get himself re-elected and became “the conscience of the Democrat Party,” its living “lion” in the Senate. Sen. Kennedy not only caused the death of a young lady (and paid no price, political or otherwise) but years earlier was actually kicked out of Harvard for cheating on a Spanish exam by paying a friend of a friend to take the test using his name.
Who would vote for such a man? The people of Massachusetts apparently, and Sen. Kennedy became, before his death in 2009, one of the longest-serving (47 years) U.S. senators in history.
Mr. Trump didn’t and doesn’t drink. He’s on record saying that alcohol has never touched his lips, and no one has ever introduced any evidence to the contrary.
We can all agree that former President Trump was an … exaggerator. But his “lies,” if you want to call them that, were generally harmless boasts of being the best, brightest, greatest, smartest, most accomplished. Think of a superlative, and no doubt he used it plenty of times about virtually anything and everything he and/or his administration was involved with.
Mr. Trump was America’s super salesman. Even his steaks were the greatest.
But so what? Is that enough to have created such unrestrained hatred among his detractors?
Perhaps it was the Billy Bush episode, wherein just weeks before the 2016 election, a tape of a conversation between Mr. Trump and Access Hollywood interviewer Billy Bush (yes, he is related to the presidential Bush family) was released, during which Mr. Trump (who owned at the time the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants) is heard telling Mr. Bush that beauty contestants will let you “do anything,” to them because their goal is to become Miss Whatever.
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Bush responded, “Whatever you want?” and Mr. Trump answered, “Grab them by (their genitals). You can do anything.”
Now, Democrats are accustomed to voting for sexual predators, such as Bill Clinton, Mel Reynolds (convicted of having sex with a male minor under the age of 16), and so many others that it is surprising that those voters, particularly those in the world of entertainment, would turn their backs on the new president for these crude off-hand remarks.
Mr. Reynolds, you may recall, was not only convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault of a child, he was also charged and convicted of bank fraud and solicitation of child pornography. He was forced to resign from Congress, and he was sentenced to a prison term and ultimately pardoned by President Clinton and given a job by Jesse Jackson.
So Democrats really don’t care what you do in your off-hours as long as you stick to the program. It must be something else.
Rumor has it that Mr. Trump “lied” (exaggerated) to various banks about his finances and the worth of some of his properties. And he may well have done that. But so have many politicians from both sides of the aisle as well as ordinary folks have done that to land a loan, so, no that can’t be it either.
Maybe it was Mr. Trump’s appointments.
As president, Mr. Trump made some truly bad appointments. Two egregious selections come to mind immediately: Omarosa Manigault Newman as director of African American Outreach and Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.
But, but, here’s the deal: The Establishment – let’s call them that (because they are) – almost unanimously, especially at the outset, adamantly rejected the new administration. Qualified directors from every walk of political life refused to even be considered as nominees to the president’s cabinet or other administration positions.
So President Trump was forced to try and find qualified people from other fields who wouldn’t be intimidated by such opposition. His first years as president were filled with rashly considered unfortunate hires and fires, such as the Mooch, Omarosa, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and many others.
Whereas (and another example of the way things are done in Washington, D.C.), after President Joe Biden’s victory, people — especially people from the Obama administration — fell over and stepped over each other in order to be first in line for some kind of presidential appointment.
In the end, President Trump filled his cabinet and much of his administration with successful and talented executives from the American workforce. President Biden’s cabinet is manned (I know, I know, it’s not a term I’m supposed to use) with leftover Obama (John Kerry, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, et al) and Clinton-era hangers-on, nearly all of whom are lifelong administrators, academics and/or government types. And, for the most part, a crowd like that gives peace and comfort to bureaucratic types.
Steady as you go.
So, whatever the cause of this animosity, it is deep. Established actors such as Robert DeNiro can’t get in front of an audience, big or small, without mouthing obscenities to and about President Trump. And, they are not alone: add Jimmy Kimmel, Meryl Streep, Rob Reiner, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Lady Gaga, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, LeBron James, the usual suspects (Jane Fonda, et al). The list is long, and most on the list have been saying hateful, crude, cruel and really stupid things about Mr. Trump for the past five years nonstop.
If you thought I was going to come up with the answer, think again, because the above collective animosity is as baffling to me as is the indifference and incuriosity of the established media that had no desire to examine anything that may have made President Trump look good, lest he get himself re-elected.
Mr. Trump’s detractors accentuated the negative, eliminated the positive, latched on to the negative, and didn’t mess with Mister in-between (with apologies to Johnny Mercer).
And by so doing, they succeeded in removing the man who re-invigorated the American economy and the American spirit as no other had. And handed over the presidency to the shadow of a lifelong bureaucrat.
James Buckley is a longtime Montecito resident. He welcomes readers’ comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.