I received an email asking why I have been uncritical about President Trump’s character and words. His rough and vulgar way of talking is in direct contrast to my emphasis on refined speech. I wouldn’t tolerate his brash boastfulness in my circle of friends and to top it all off, my correspondent notes that the President’s history of adultery runs counter to my values.
My correspondent is correct in all her facts. I wrote about my struggles in coming to terms with supporting Donald Trump during the primaries and I wrote about why I chose to support him in the election. Once he was elected I have stayed silent about his “outrages” for a number of reasons.
First of all, while I would have liked a more cultivated manner I didn’t really expect a man in his seventies to change. I also do not think that he is crazy, anti-Semitic, racist, a fascist or any of the other charges endlessly lobbed at him. I look at his actions, not at his words.
We have sadly become accustomed to politicians and celebrities who use teleprompters and speechwriters to deliver obsequious speeches full of noble words which a gullible electorate eagerly gobbles up. That same electorate then ignores the gaping chasm between beautiful words and despicable actions. Failed consequences of ideas that sounded wonderful likewise go under-reported and disregarded. I prefer someone who is not a politician; who does not use a teleprompter and whose words are often ugly but whose actions are mostly successful and refreshing.
I also dismiss any critic who ignored and ignores equally ugly words when uttered by someone he or she supports. Most Americans never even hear when an adored liberal says something “wrong” because it is covered up or appears only fleetingly in the news.
Unfortunately, President Trump’s colorful personal life is not unique among occupants of the Oval Office. Anyone wanting to criticize him on that basis needs to gather the troops to change the name of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts among many other sites named for past presidents. What’s more, his outrages pre-date his presidency while a good number of others’ transgressions occurred during their presidencies. It would be nice if upright marital behavior matched with being a good president but history does not show this to be true.
I have no sympathy for people who have made a crusade for, and often make a living from, vulgarity all of a sudden needing smelling salts when President Trump opens his mouth. Furthermore, since his election too many people in powerful positions have been intent on toppling him. That objective is more important to them than truth, objectivity and even their sanity. I have stopped paying any attention to what they say.
We have come a long way since George Washington, whose personal sins seem minute when compared to many of his successors. The country he helped establish, for all its flaws, has provided more opportunity and been a beacon of light more than any other country in history.
I believe that for the past few decades we have been tending towards losing what has made this country so special and capable of improving so many lives. Donald Trump with all his coarseness and uncouth language stepped on the stage of history trying to reverse that trend. I look to him as a warrior, and ignore the equivalent of his muddy boots. I didn’t get to design the president of my choice—none of us has that opportunity. I am immensely grateful for the one we have.