I am writing this the day after the president’s press conference about all he’s managed to get done in his first 28 days in office. According to him, he inherited a mess. The other party hasn’t confirmed his cabinet choices, yet he claims that other countries have been delighted with his progress and that his administration is running like a well-oiled machine (in spite of what the dishonest press and the lying leaks from the intelligence community report). And – I almost forgot – he asserts that his ban on immigration was stymied by the so-called justice system.
While I was listening, I kept thinking of a story I first heard a long time ago. A loving mother had sent her son Johnny to the Army, and she was watching as his unit paraded down Fifth Avenue. The symmetry of the march was disturbed by one trainee who got out of line, marched to a different beat, dropped his hat, and in numerous ways was obviously the cause of the disruption. The loving mother commented to her friend watching the parade with her, “Isn’t it a shame! Everybody’s out of step but Johnny!” That must have been the difference in opinion between the reports from Mr. Trump and other observers of his first 28 days.
Maybe I must adjust my opinions. For all my time as a news junkie and a patriotic citizen – and that’s a lot of time – there have been people whose theories I respected, even when they turned out to have been mistaken. Everybody can make a mistake, and it’s not always the fault of somebody else (except in Mr. Trump’s case). To see things differently from him must mean that I must be uninformed or deluded by the lying news – he is infallible, everybody is out of step but Johnny. All the authorities I have trusted and believed for all my life have been out to do my country in, and only people who think as Mr. Trump does are aware of that!
I know we pushed the president to have a news conference, and when he finally did, I listened to every word. His refusal to have one was the most correct decision he has made. It was a continuation of his campaign. It betrayed his ignorance of what’s expected of the leader of the free world – I surely hope it is ignorance, as I would hate to think it’s vanity that leads to his oft-repeated statement that only he can solve the problems of the world. Could it be that the renewal of his campaign is the beginning of his seeking a second term, because he now realizes that four years are not enough to do what he promised to do? He just learned that the United States is governed by three equal branches of government – think what else he has to learn!
Harriett Rose is a native Lexingtonian, a retired psychologist and an avid bridge and Scrabble player. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.