Guest Opinion: A more presidential Trump is necessary
A parody Twitter account has popped up that imagines what President-elect Donald Trump’s tweets would look like if he suddenly acted presidential.
When @realDonaldTrump lashes out on Twitter, @MatureTrumpTwts restates it in a calm, conciliatory way. This from Sunday, for example: “I recognize there’s anger & fear in our country right now. My goal is to heal the divide, not fuel it. I’ll work tirelessly to unite us all.”
Unfortunately, by inauguration time Friday, Trump is unlikely to become thoughtful and measured, careful in his public utterances and willing to admit that there are huge gaps in what he knows about the world. That Trump spent his last weekend as a private citizen lobbing bombs about health care coverage, a civil rights icon and American security alliances suggests that Trump the president will be very much like Trump the celebrity: in your face.
Perhaps, like Saul on the road to Damascus, Trump could be hit by a wisdom-inspiring bolt of lightning on Inauguration Day. But don’t count on it. He is 70 years old, very wealthy, proudly un-read and convinced that wisdom already resides in his gut.
On Friday, things get real. A president simply cannot blurt out in an interview with European reporters that NATO and the European alliance should be rethought. The merest reading of history, as opposed to watching George C. Scott in “Patton,” would tell him that millions of Americans and Europeans died to bring that alliance about. It helped end the Cold War. More recently, after America was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, NATO forces went to war in Afghanistan; more than 850 non-U.S. NATO troops were killed in the conflict.
A president cannot simply boast in a Sunday night phone interview that he’s nearing completion of a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with the goal of “insurance for everybody.”
Not that this wouldn’t be a good idea, but the ACA took 14 months to hammer out and — as Trump himself never tires of pointing out — still has multiple flaws. Trump’s spokesman tried to walk back the “insurance for everybody” comment the following day. But he who would tinker with 17.8 percent of the U.S. economy shouldn’t go off half-cocked.
Trump’s skin won’t get any thicker after he takes the oath of office. Regardless of why Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., plans to skip his inauguration, Trump cannot respond by denigrating the life’s work (and entire Atlanta-area congressional district) of a hero of the civil rights movement.
The fake @MatureTrumpTwts suggested this:
“I respect @repjohnlewis, civil rights hero, his opinion & all he fought for. Shows the work I have to do. We can only move forward together.”
Whoever is behind @MatureTrumpTwts, Trump needs to hire them and hand them his cellphone.