After nearly two years of distortion, lies and deceit that rivals anything by the fictional Gordon Gecko, or at a Flat Earth Society meeting, Donald Trump is beginning to sound boring.
I used to get lathered up with his antics. I wanted to shout from the highest rafters he was full of it. I wanted to scream on equal footing with him how he’s wrong. Now, even as the stakes seem to be increasing, I confess I want to yawn.
He rants. He raves. I’m the enemy of the people. We’re “Fake News”. The Democrats are the anti-Christ. Trump is the light and torch of everything good and great. George Soros is paying me (He’s not). I’m an undercover CIA operative (I’m not). The “Deep State” is behind everything – it’s not.
You’ve heard his pitch a million times and like a cheap Formica countertop, it’s wearing thin.
But Trump has successfully sent us chasing these meaningless and ridiculous stories and many of us continue to fall for the bait. Meanwhile people die while shopping for groceries or worshipping at a synagogue while bombs are planted by mentally deranged supporters who believe the president’s rhetoric is a call to action like Charles Manson thought the Beatles White Album was a signal to instigate a killing spree.
A quick reminder, therefore, is necessary to remind us of what the real issues are. In the nearly two years of this administration many reporters, including myself, have asked the real questions and not gotten any real answers. Among those questions:
How are you going to handle the growing budget deficit? What do you plan to replace “Obama Care” with that guarantees universal coverage? Do you support Universal coverage? How have you been treated unfairly? What is your answer to Russian hegemony in Europe? Do you think you’re above the law? Do you have any empathy for refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.? What are your plans to deal with climate change? Who do you plan to hire to replace (fill in the blank)? Are you a racist? Do you care about anyone who doesn’t agree with you? Do you care about anyone but yourself? Are you concerned about the corruption charges against (fill in the blank with any cabinet member of staffer)?
For every issue there are literally dozens of unanswered questions. And there are literally dozens of unaddressed issues, from the EPA debacle to Director of OMB Mick Mulvaney wearing two hats (that are engaged in conflict with one another – remember he fired all 25 members of a consumer watch dog advisory board) to “Space Force” to Russia, China, the trade wars, the military, racism, the alt-right, Nazis, rising divisiveness in the country and his own conflicts of interest that occupy every waking moment of the day.
Then there is the Mueller investigation. This particular bugaboo drives Trump crazy. He tears into a feeding frenzy, like a vampire at a Metallica concert, every time this issue is mentioned. The more he tosses out his standard stump speech meant to deflect and the more his dwindling audience eats it up, the more we need to avoid his arguments and cover the real issues.
For too long we’ve played to his strengths and when he calls us the “Enemy of the People,” we feel obliged to “educate” the public on what we do.
I’m done with that. The public knows what we do. I’m not defending it. I’m doing my job. I want answers from the president about the issues we face – and I don’t care one whit what he thinks about me or for that matter what anyone in the press thinks about me.
The rest of the media needs to get over the attacks and get after the issues. I am not advocating putting our head in the dirt and plowing ahead without a care for his accusations. I’m saying enough is enough of this blatant blarney.
You can only indulge children for so long in their recalcitrant behavior. The president is an overgrown child. We need to set him straight on what he does and some in the press won’t or can’t and some people in the general public will get angry that we do it. They’ll see it through partisan eyes because we question and criticize the president. So be it. I don’t care. I’d do the same no matter who sits in the president’s chair. And when he does things right, I’ll report them as quickly as I’ll report what he doesn’t do right.
We cannot take our time trying to convince the believers we are not the enemy of the people. We cannot educate them. We report news. We offer informed opinions.
By doing our job we put the notion to rest that we are the enemy of the people. By confronting him on his baseless lies we show who the true enemy of the people is.
By standing toe to toe and demanding answers on the issues we show our relevance. By refusing to buy the president’s daily bowel movement blast, we can retain and enhance our relevance.
For those who continue to think I’m part of the “Deep State” or out to get the president I can only say God Bless. Think what you want. Do what you want.
I’m here to offer commentary, ask questions and hold the President of the United States accountable for his actions on the issues. That he thinks me an enemy of the people only means I’m doing my job. My questions remain unanswered so I will not seek asking them.
That’s my job. Mr. President go and do yours.