Some people love President Trump; others hate him. That has been true, to varying degrees, of every president, with the possible exception of George Washington.
Unfortunately, for the sake of the unity of our country, the traits and habits that the haters hate most seem to be the ones the lovers are most proud of.
Again unfortunately, one of the primary duties of the president is to unify the nation – to help us all overlook what we perceive as a failing here, a weakness there and to meld our individual opinions into one big stew of national determination.
That is almost surely the one duty President Trump can’t seem to embrace. To the unrelenting despair of most (according to the polls) of his constituents, he’d rather be right than president. Or rather be president than right.
Compounding this personal peccadillo in his own character and personality are political opponents Schumer and Pelosi, who have taken the bait along with certain members of the national media, who continue to dig away at the national divide by furiously arguing for their side, which only fortifies the wall between us.
It’s no wonder average citizens avoid talking politics these days to someone whose views they don’t know; it might ignite a ferocious debate or even violence.
The reaction to the Robert Mueller report was a classic example of how, rather than trying to find common ground with each other, people tended to read into it something that satisfied a need to prove dissenters wrong.
The Republicans pounced on the fact that the report cited no direct culpability of Trump for collusion or obstruction; the Democrats rejoiced that it specified that if the investigation had found him not complicit in these transgressions it would have said so.
Trump undeniably set the tone for this kind of discord himself by insisting he was in every instance right about everything and refusing to give credit to anyone who ever disagreed with him.
We have all been infected with at least a touch of that quality.
And the president doesn’t civilly disagree. He is hostile. His tweets are bitter rebukes rather than encouragements for greater understanding.
He gives the impression of being more sympathetic and engaging toward America’s most dangerous enemies than toward any countryman who dares to criticize him.
Clearly, something needs to be done to change our own individual and collective tone. We would encourage our congresswoman, Republican Elise Stefanik, to try to express this notion to her peers in Congress and the president himself.
Instead, all we can ask is that each of us avoid the name-calling (Trump the other day called potential presidential opponent Joe Biden “a dummy") and insulting attitudes ourselves, in hopes that a ground-up cleansing will wash over Washington.
But we acknowledge it’s doubtful.