President Donald Trump is the rabble rouser still looking for his Super Hero moment.
We all want one. I remember mine well. I was delivering pizzas in college and had just left a girl’s dorm at Stevens College and was running down an icy sidewalk. I hit a short flight of stairs and jumped to the bottom only to slip and fall – because you know I was running on ice. But I didn’t get hurt. I tucked and rolled and ended up in a Super Hero pose then got up quickly and kept running.
No one else was around but boy did that feel good. It felt so good it’s ingrained in my memory nearly 40 years later. Very cool.
And Trump had his Super Hero moment once – throwing a football through a tire from 30 feet on national television. But he still wants another one.
He had his chance with helping out people in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria – but so far he's blown it.
So, he screams and he rants and he raves – and he divides us in his desire to rouse the rabble and for the glorification that comes in doing so. He wants his Super Hero moment to be revoking every project his predecessor successfully passed. If it happened under former President Barack Obama then Trump wants it gone. Whether or not it is because Obama was our first African American president is up for argument –but Trump has proved if Obama was for it then he’s against it.
He also doesn’t like the NFL too much since his apparent failed bid to buy an NFL franchise.
When The Donald attacked the NFL – first at a Nuremburg styled rally in Alabama where he called players who take a knee “S.O.B’s” and later in the clutter of his infamous twitter litter, he definitely struck a nerve and angered both sides of the political spectrum.
Those on the Right became more enraged with people who are engaged in a legal form of protest. The First Amendment protects our freedom of expression and as John Kennedy said, if you suppress non-violent revolution you make violent revolution inevitable. But that matters little to those who claim to support the country by denying rights to others. A lesson in civics is in order for those people.
The Left is angry because after one person took a knee to protest the treatment of people of color, the right went nuts. The president said taking a knee wasn’t a racial issue and that may technically be true. It is in fact a First Amendment issue – regarding someone who wanted to protest racism. So, if the president countered that it isn’t a race issue – my question remains is he trying to modify the First Amendment? I really don’t know. He hasn’t said anything other than we should all show respect and stand. If it’s just his opinion, well he’s entitled to that – as uneducated about civics as it may be. If he’s trying to put on his crown, declare himself King and issue an edict he’s got another thing coming.
“We have to respect our national anthem. We have to respect our country.”
Trump doubled down on the South Lawn on Wednesday about his distaste with the NFL. “We have to respect our national anthem. We have to respect our country,” he said – completely ignoring the First Amendment implications of forcing people to stand.
Meanwhile, since he denied race was involved people of color all across the country are angry and wondering what kind of protest is available to them under the Trump regime. It’s a good question, but since an injustice on one of us is an injustice to all of us we must contemplate the larger picture of what protest is available to anyone under the Trump administration. There appears to be little his band of miscreants with limited understanding of our Constitution would welcome – unless it includes fealty to our feudal lord Trump.
Never mind millions of Americans are suffering in Puerto Rico after being ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Trump told us from the Rose Garden on Tuesday that Puerto Rico is an island and you “can’t just drive trucks over there,” so it’s going to be a long hard row to hoe to clean up the island. But this disaster is a microcosm of everything wrong with the Trump administration.
"Other than repealing everything former President Obama was able to accomplish and playing to a maddening base of woefully misinformed Americans it is hard to find anything this administration stands for that meshes with what informed people call the American Ideal."
The White House and FEMA have been slow to respond to Puerto Rican residents' concerns - at least according to the Mayor of San Juan who said - even as Trump patted himself on the back - that Puerto Rico was facing a humanitarian crisis. FEMA Director Brock Long told me at the White House Tuesday that this disaster is a "Gut Check" for the preparedness culture in the U.S. FEMA is certainly overwhelmed with an unprecedented disaster. Good people want to help and good people in Puerto Rico continue to suffer. It isn't that people aren't trying to help. It isn't that the president doesn't care. But listening to volunteer relief workers on a teleconference Wednesday, it appears it is a very confusing situation made more inexorably angst ridden because different parts of our government don't communicate too well with each other.
"We have millions of pounds of supplies. We have doctors. We're trying to follow the rules, but there are people sitting and sleeping on the roofs of their homes for days and we can't get there to help. It's maddening," said Tambra Karns of GuardianANgelsSAR.org. "We're just looking for a way to cut through the red tape and get things done."
After a phone call Wednesday night to FEMA, Anthony Stephens with the Guardian Angels group said after a week delay said the group would now be able to help people in Puerto Rico.
It would be extremely helpful to the Republic if the Commander in Chief, our President and the supposed leader of the free world spent less time dividing us by whether or not we decide to take a knee or stand for the National Anthem at NFL games and spent more time on saving those ravaged by natural disasters, providing healthcare for all of us and insuring we all have the ability to speak and argue freely our ideas and desires.
But you will not find this sentiment high on the president’s priority list. Other than repealing everything former President Obama was able to accomplish and playing to a maddening base of woefully misinformed Americans it is hard to find anything this administration stands for that meshes with what informed people call the American Ideal.
Hillary Clinton is called a crook for using private email, but it’s okay for six high-ranking members of the current administration. President Trump is “bringing us all together” by making us all stand up against our will, limiting transgender Americans from participating in the military and worse.
The current administration doesn’t even have adequate staffing to meet its needs – and that somehow too is the fault of everyone but those who can hire the help. The administration is criticized from within and without its ranks as being disorganized and confusing. That’s also not the fault of anyone in the administration. A representative of the EU told me at a reception Tuesday night, "We can't always get McMaster on the phone. But there aren't many assistants in place. It's very hard to work with this administration because there aren't enough people in it."
But, hey, Trump loves us. Trump will save us. Only Trump can help - if not for those scheming naysayers.
At the same time, in the background, the Mueller investigation continues. The president’s opponents are praying for indictments while his backers are calling it high wind in the trees and they say Trump has never done anything wrong – he’s merely being persecuted.
Meanwhile Trump still wants his Super Hero moment. I don’t see it happening - unless he cleans up some the disorganization in his administration.
The people in Puerto Rico could sure use it.