Wow! This roller coaster ride is exciting, frightening, angering, intriguing, sometimes entirely different from day-to-day, and it has only just begun to steal part of a song lyric. By roller coaster ride, I refer to our first few weeks with President Donald Trump in the Oval office.
For some, that probably feels like a very short, very exciting time. But, for others, it likely has felt like the beginning of the end. Most of us fit somewhere in between these two extremes and we might find ourselves moving back-and-forth on that continuum from one day to the next.
Virtually everything we felt we knew about Presidents and The Presidency has been challenged to one degree or another by this unique never-before-a-politician person who we wake up to each morning. Some of us awaken feeling as if we’d experienced a fitfully long nightmare, while others of us awaken feeling refreshed and anxious for the day and what it may portend.
I am not sure that we can sum up the experience as either purely Republican or purely Democrat. Many members of both those groups have felt the range of emotions described above although maybe in more subdued ways. But, we have, if we’re honest about it, each had those moments when we step back and say, “Oh Boy”. We’re either smiling or frowning at the time. We’re either excited about what our President Donald Trump has accomplished or we’re certain he will be the ruination of our country. There is not much in-between that I can identify with most people. Extremes are more common than bland careful comments.
President Trump has made some unforced errors. He has bumbled and blustered, and then found his happy face and made some brilliant moves. We cannot compare him to the immediate predecessor in the Oval office for that person had no discernable personality nor did he exhibit any emotion other for a once-in-awhile forced smile. In fact, we cannot compare President Trump to any other until his term in office has ended, and yet we watch as the vaunted press files story after story about this, that and the other thing to fill print space and air time.
It is a bit too soon to be making noises about him being a failed President or about him being a wonderful addition to the list of great Presidents. We simply do not yet know what he will be, although I’d wager each of us has our hope firmly in mind and that isn’t likely to change.
And therein lies the real problem our country seems to be enjoying. The middle ground has far fewer footprints on it than do either of the extremes. And, even more interesting is this: we find people of differing ideologies on both extremes. People we thought we’d pegged dead-on turn out to have different opinions than we’d thought they’d have simply given the issue. Some despise our President in one category but praise him in another. The “Wall” vs. the “Economy” serve to highlight that seeming contradiction.
I have been surprised by and upset by the President sometimes in the span of an hour or two. I generally like his positions on most issues and think he is doing a good job, but there is that twist I hadn’t expected from time-to-time. I wish he were a bit more patient but that marks the world he came from vs. the world he is in today. And, maybe it was time for a little bit of Donald Trump in some of those rock solid contentious areas where we never seemed to get anything accomplished. He can shake things up in an instant.
That trait causes some concern when he is dealing with the issues of this planet Earth. Will he be wise or unwise? Will he be the skilled negotiator or the bungling showman?
Among things that appear to be new constants, is the enmity of the vast majority of Democrats on virtually every issue. The strident tones from the usual suspects are very tiring. The Democratic Party is behaving, unfortunately, as the spoiled child with the temper tantrums that pass for learned debate these days. Their hatred is too often visceral, and that destroys their debate such as that was, to begin with. The crackpot left is nuttier than it has ever been in my many years on the planet. The plots to destroy Trump, literally destroy not just damage politically, are on the front burner.
That tends to evoke the instinct in President Trump to protect himself and his family…and the left-leaning press is ready and poised to jump all over him, thus giving them the opportunity write and talk about short fuses and ill-temperament, and how we need to be concerned about our standing in the world.
There are days when I am reminded of the Tower of Babel when the people were given tongues, languages, that made it impossible for one of us to understand another of us. Our nation’s capital seems very much like that in that everyone talks and no one seems to be able to understand the other.
I don’t quite understand where we think we are going, but we seem in a damnable hurry to get there.