Civility needs to return to our national politics as we near transition
As we near the inauguration of Donald Trump, let's hope the future president can extract himself from the political campaign world and project himself fully into presidential mode at least by Jan. 20.
Since the election, Trump has seemingly been more focused on continued election/political battles with comedians and pundits than he is on preparing to be the next president.
Our future president continues to find himself in middle-school-style social media mudfights. His latest came Sunday, slashing America's greatest living actress Meryl Streep, calling her "overrated" after she spent Golden Globes stage time dissing you.
It's simply the latest in a line of entertainment-related tweets from Trump, one which followed last week's lambasting of his replacement on "The Apprentice," Arnold Swartzenegger.
Please, Mr. Trump, stop this nonsense.
Making fun of, castigating our president, is a long American tradition. Is there any doubt that early Americans made fun of George Washington's wooden teeth? It's the president's job, in many ways, to absorb that, to let the public fire arrows at you. It's cathartic to the population, reminds us that we are a republic and not under a monarchy, or worse, a dictator.
Instead of focusing on sending out a one-up-manship tweet that adds fuel to this pit of divisiveness we're currently stuck in, Trump must learn to grin and bear it — and if he can't grin about it, bear it without a social media counter-attack.
Trump became president largely because he emits an aura of capability, a human monument to acheivement. But unless he can find a way to resist the compulsion to counter-shame his critics and opponents, he's going to have a miserable time as the president of the partisan, democratic, multi-dimensional United States.
Like Trump, in 1981, Ronald Reagan faced a nervous population and an opposition that expected the worst. Reagan evolved into becoming one of the nation's most beloved presidents because of a disarming style, without jettisioning his basic conservative values. If he can find a way to become more Reagan-esque, to make his adversaries at least feel respected, to feel at least part of the potential solution, he may surprise the sea of doubters that so confound him.
Trump is president largely because the men and women of rural America made it so. Rural voters made the difference in the key Midwest states that turned the tide. Roughly three out of four voters in Crook County backed him, and that margin was common throughout much of rural America. Rural America wants the future president to succeed.
But the personal counter-attack tweets are akin to a quarterback taking time out from a fourth-quarter Super Bowl drive to banter back and forth with a toxic, cat-calling fan. Please, stop it.
The world is heated and angry enough; division has caused too much pain and heartbreak in our nation. Trump's political enemies will not disappear on Jan. 20, but on that day, Trump will become president. The time for Trump sweating the small stuff — like the whims of an actor or comedian — will be over. Hopefully, his days of tweeting personal attacks will be as well.