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I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet. -Rodney Dangerfield
As we approach the end of first year of the Trump Administration, I thought it would be fun to review the impact that President Trump has had on my life and the country’s life, as I see it, both the presidential and the unpresidential.
The first thing that comes to mind is the improving economy, which is showing signs of life after 8 years in a semi-conscious state. For many, especially young people, the impact of the Obamacare economy was largely part-time employment. Because anything over 30 hours a week required an employer cover their health insurance, we got hourly workers who had to work 60 hours at two jobs with zero benefits and zero free time, or others, kids mostly, who had to commit to one part-time job exclusively or lose it. This put moving out of their parents’ nest beyond reach financially, and gave them wasted unproductive time largely spent eating and playing video games. Of course, Obamacare allowed them to stay on their parents’ insurance (assuming they had any) until they were 26, but the period after that was apparently not considered important enough to give any attention to, so they languished.
But now, under Trump, it seems like more and more “Help Wanted” signs are showing up, and not just part-time. I’m not sure about where you’re from, but from where I sit, opportunity is starting to knock again and full time jobs are becoming more available. I hear the unemployment rate may even go below 4%, which would be interesting, considering it never did count those who gave up looking for jobs. I wonder what happens when they all start getting hired again. I suspect the move from part-time to full-time jobs is making a difference in real dollars, and I can certainly attest to that in my world, as my own kids have better jobs now than they did last year. A new sense of confidence seems to be wafting over things, and even if President Dangerfield continues to moronically tweet his way through the Halls of Government for the next 3 years, his overall impact on the economy so far is proving to be a positive one. Even his detractors have to grudgingly admit that stocks are up and things look brighter, economically speaking.
I’m not saying these detractors don’t have anything to complain about when it comes to the sometimes juvenile Trump. He is one of the most thin-skinned and transparent man-children I’ve seen in years. That said, I still get a chuckle from watching grown adults attempt to deal with being so wrong last year, especially the ones who can't see any redeeming qualities in him at all. Like those dealing with a death in the family, these Trump haters now range from resigned bitter acceptance to continued rage at the man, even after all this time. On both the Left and the Right, people still wail and moan about how ‘unpresidential’ he is, and how so-and-so would have been so much better.
We were taught that the President of the United States was to be gracious and genteel...quick to laugh and slow to anger, at least in public. We were taught that the President should be always patient and kind, and whether blessed with a sharp wit or dull, to be temperate in his speech and manner. The President was to be a gentleman (or woman) and wise...deserving of the respect of the Office as well as deserving of the respect for the character of the person holding it. The President must have the heart and will to do good for the sake of the country, with humility and modesty, to shine as an example of what any American could achieve.
At least, that’s what we were taught.
In reality, we've had our share of cads and scoundrels living in the White House, and a Free Press more than willing to hide their sins from the public for the Public Good. In Trump, we have the opposite...an orange, bumbling big mouth and media on both ends of the spectrum that are more than willing to showcase every flaw this president has, which are many.
In the past, we’ve had presidents who were vicious, vindictive, and violent. With sometimes temperamental egos and much arrogance, these men thought nothing of stepping on anything that kept them from power. But the public at large was always shown the softer side. The Statesman, the Calm Leader with the serious demeanor of resolute wisdom, at least for the most part. But Trump is the layman president, and while being wealthy and mostly respected before being elected, still comes into meetings like a Regular Joe, with a comfortable easy-going humor that, by all accounts, immediately breaks the ice. Of course it also occasionally backfires as he tosses both good taste and tact out the window for the sake of a cheap laugh, usually at someone else’s expense. His enemies leap to showcase these moments, hoping to bring him down for being a lout.
Politics has always been messy. George Washington may have been the last person to occupy the Oval Office with so much distinguished high moral character and so few political enemies. However, even Washington probably had moments when he would have rather been fishing than dealing with the realities of the political process he was burdened with.
With Trump, we have two things most presidents had: his ego, which is massive, and, I believe, the heart and will to want to do good for the country. He wants to be the best President he can be. On the other hand, while he may be a very smart man with good sense in many ways, he has also proven that he's an adolescent in many others. No one can mangle a comment or phrase like he does when he's riffing at the worst of times and places.
Remember, even he didn’t think he was going to win the election. So while he makes mistakes and shoots his Twitter mouth off like a WWE trash-talking wrestler, I figure he has the heart to try to fix what he sees as broken, and is learning to have sense enough to listen to people he trusts who may know more than him. That doesn’t make him less of a gaffe-prone diplomatic amateur, but it does make him redeemable. I remain presidentially optimistic, but realistic enough to expect mistakes as he plods along wanting to be right all the time.
Yet amid all this distraction, his administration is not standing still. His appointees and Cabinet are burning through regulations, enforcing laws, and filling judge positions at a quick rate, undoing much of what the narcissist Obama and his corrupt bunch were trying to advance. Sure, the next bunch can undo this activity if they gain power, but Trump has at least 3 years to make permanent what he can, and hopefully Congress will soon start making some good moves in that direction as well.
On the world stage, Trump’s global trips have been successful, despite media ill-will and unflattering spin to make him out to be more of a President Dangerfield than he actually is. He’s charmed various leaders while alienating others, but we expected that. At home, he continues to keep his base happy while his chagrined enemies fester and fume at his latest ‘mistake’ as they see it. As of this writing, Mr. Mueller could not be reached for comment, but even with an investigation under way, Trump is not letting it or ‘Fake News’ stop him from doing what he thinks is right.
Like Rodney Dangerfield, Trump gets no respect, no respect at all. To many, he could easily fire off a nuke and blow us all to Kingdom Come, but he probably won’t. He could easily offend world leaders potentially causing global mayhem, and probably already has. He could also do some good and listen to people that others still ignore, and he probably is. None of these are mutually exclusive.
No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but President Dangerfield, imperfect but amiable, is doing pretty good so far if you ask me.
Classic Rodney Dangerfield: