by Clifton Jolley & Robert Rees
There’s no fault in discovering your conclusions need to be re-examined, re-evaluated or revised, whether on account of new data or because you have recognized a faulty initial analysis. This is especially true for our new president, who has so many opinions we wish he would change. That’s why—instead of harping at him (as the liberal mainstream media is inclined to do!) about every little thing he said he’d do and now is discovering needs doing otherwise— we should be encouraging him.
Before he gives up on exchanging his bad opinions for good ones, someone should tell him that most presidents find it more difficult than they anticipated to fulfill campaign promises. For instance:
Obama rethought Gay Rights, then went on to have greater influence for good in the LGBTQ community than any legislator before or—with Republicans now controlling Congress and the White House—soon since.
Hillary championed TPP as Secretary of State, opposed it as presidential candidate, and likely would have moderated her politics back towards it had she been elected.
Mitt Romney pioneered universal healthcare as governor of Massachusetts, but opposed it when he ran for president.
George H.W. Bush said, “No new taxes,” but the power of circumstance and a downturn in the economy caused him to launch a tax hike that may have cost him re-election.
Abraham Lincoln was elected as a moderate on slavery. But who remembers his support for recolonization of freed slaves to Africa? By his second term, he had a clearer vision of which side of history America needed to be on, and he himself had evolved to become the great emancipator.
Most of us try to be realistic when judging politicians who cleverly or candidly announce their “changes of heart,” especially when it’s a change for the better. (Thank God Lincoln didn’t enter the White House as an abolitionist and change into a president who wanted to continue slavery and prohibit the immigration of Mexicans and Muslims!)
But we are inclined to be especially irked by Trump for his will-o-the-wisp, stream-of-consciousness, bafflegabbery and under-informed posturing so empty of content as to be endlessly malleable. No matter what your political opinion, you are likely to find a Trump pronouncement that agrees with you. And at least one that doesn’t.
Most recent evidence: Syria. When Obama was in the White House, Trump tweeted that Obama should stay out of Syria. Even after Asad used chemical weapons, Trump tweeted, “Let the Arab League take care of Syria” When Obama did not enforce his “red line,” Trump tweeted, “Do NOT attack Syria, fix U.S.A.” Just a week ago, Trump’s Secretary of State was saying the Syrian People would have to deal with Assad themselves.
Then Assad again gassed his own citizens, including many “little babies.” Which for whatever reason, this time moved Trump. Some say it was the pictures. Others say…it was the pictures.
There have been other horrible pictures of equally adorable dead children. And all those dead children in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen: Why didn’t they move Trump?
Perhaps it’s best not to look or question him too closely, or he may return to the isolationism that focuses more on children sneaking across our southern borders or on keeping out Syrian children and their parents seeking refuge from the Middle-East madness.
Perhaps Trump needs to see more pitiful photos and videos of “little babies” who suffer and die for want of health insurance, who are swept away in floods caused by global warming, who become ill from polluted air and water due to cutting the budget of the EPA, who are deported to dangerous countries, who suffer and die from diseases because of the defunding of scientific research or who come into the world unwanted because of the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps we can school a president who doesn’t read or worry much about words or the world. If only we can get Fox News to show him the right pictures about everything…maybe we can get him to change everything else about himself.