How am I going to write about President Elect Trump? What standard will I use to determine how I react to the way he conducts his office, moving forward?
I am going to answer that question as clearly as I can because there is so much operatic emotion surrounding this election that I think it’s necessary. I have veered off into the operatic myself.
I did not support either of the candidates in the election just past. I do not support pro abortion politicians and I do not support misogynist, race-baiting politicians with the personal morals of a libertine. That means, de facto, that I did not support either of them.
That’s a fair enough position. But it’s also not an entirely honest description of what happened with me. The truth is, I’ve never been as upset by an election as I was this one. I felt as if this election put me in an emotional vise.
When I thought about Secretary Clinton, the agony of what a baby goes through in an abortion engulfed me. When I thought about then candidate Trump, the horror of being hated simply because you are you that he directed at Hispanic people and women almost overwhelmed me.
My reaction to the things Candidate Trump said about wanting to “date” his daughter, calling women vile names and bragging about sexual assault were so strong that they created a kind of white noise in my mind. Then, when I read the connections between Russia and the DNC hacks and considered the parallel policy changes Candidate Trump was espousing, I pretty much lost it. We’ve had bad presidents before. But we’ve never had one I honestly thought might be a traitor to this country.
I’ve been in meltdown mode since these things happened. Candidate Trump was a lot of things that I cannot abide. But he is the president elect, and he will be the president of my country. To the extent that I am capable, I am going to try my best to write about him with clarity.
I will never support him in any of the things I’ve mentioned. I will oppose him with my last breath on these things.
But I will write about President Trump the same way I wrote about President Obama. When I agree with him, I’ll say so. When I disagree with him, I’ll say that. I am not going to excuse, gloss or pretend when he tries to weasel his way around doing what he should.
I also — and this is a critical factor in what I say and write — do not believe he means the things he says. What that means is that I expect him to change positions as the need suits him and rely on people to forget he did it. That will inform how I write about him.
I am going to back him as hard as I can if he actually nominates pro life justices to the Supreme Court, and — I may be naive for thinking this — but I really think he’s going to rescind the HHS Mandate. But, again, if he tries to weasel out of it at any time in the process — and I’m fairly good at seeing through political weaseling — I’m going to call it, and be hard against it.
So, how will I write about President Elect Trump? I will write about him without hero worship and with the very jaundiced eye of someone who understands politics and who has a long memory. He can’t say one thing on Tuesday and another thing on Wednesday and bamboozle me into forgetting. I’m going to hold him to it.
I will also write about him with the skepticism of someone who is appalled by his behavior in the campaign and the way he has lived his life. I can’t pretend that I think he is a good man. I may be wrong, but right now, I am so negative about him and the kind of person I think he is, that I can honestly say that he scares me.
That said, I hope he manages to govern this country effectively and with justice. He is the president elect. He will be our president for four years. If he does not rise above the campaign he waged to win this office, we are all in very deep waters.
I will write about President Trump without backing off or backing down in my honest assessment of his actions as president. I sincerely hope that I have a lot more to say in support of his actions than in opposition. But whichever way it goes, you can rely on me to say the truth as I understand it without flinching from it or glossing it. I think you deserve that.