Letters to the Editor: President Trump
Trump needs discipline now to help him be productive
To the Editor:
“The Miracle Worker,” currently in an excellent production at Twin City Stage, has a message for all Americans who want to help our President be productive.
Annie Sullivan knew that civilizing Helen Keller required the move from coddling to training, and the story emphasizes the task faced by every parent. At first we delight in our children as charming and able. Then we observe that they must gain knowledge and skills to avoid disaster, so we carefully teach, even when discipline may seem unfeeling.
Here’s the timeliness of the drama: As an Entertainer, Trump was welcomed like an enchanting Infant. He gave voice to the indignation of many people who realistically feel left out. Now – whatever our special interest or fear – we have a Toddler on our hands!
We better seek a training approach that all political factions have in common, and here’s a suggestion: Parenting. All segments have babies, whom they love and are responsible for raising. When they start to school, we insist that the teacher gets to ring the bell. To teenagers, we explain the connection of gas price to driving time. Annie Sullivan knew that restraining Helen could introduce her to realities she was indeed capable of learning.
If he chooses, Trump can learn. It’s time for the country’s adults to be peacefully clear that we expect our President to acknowledge facts, build creative relationships, and communicate respectfully. He is our President, so we must be mature enough to seek and encourage maturity in him.
Ellen S. Yarborough
Fake News? Fake President!
To the Editor:
The Donald Trump “way” is to shout foul any time he is criticized, for as we have discovered, this man is innately incapable of acknowledging error, much less apologizing.
The media are an easy target because Trump, like all presidents before him, knows that the power imbalance in his favor makes it very costly for the media to fight back when the president punches. Whereas Trump has no problem crossing the line in saying that the media “are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth,” the media – at least the mainstream media –respects the line. Can you imagine the Washington Post calling Trump the most dishonest person on the planet – even though he certainly is? (OK, he’s merely one of the most.)
Except that now many in the media are fighting back, actually calling a lie a lie. And it’s obvious from Trump’s and his team’s responses that they have been hurt. Note not only Trump’s silly, childlike charge of “fake news,” the now-familiar “you’re failing” (shades of Meryl Streep), and the lie about an apology.
Also note the time of his tweets –five o’clock in the morning, for goodness sake. The Times and the Post are keeping him up at night! Even after his alter ego, Steve Bannon, said the media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile.”
“The failing @nytimes has been wrong about me from the very beginning. Said I would lose the primaries, then the general election. FAKE NEWS!” (5:04 AM – 28 Jan 2017)
“The coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost has been so false and angry that the times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers. They got me wrong right from the beginning and still have not changed course, and never will. DISHONEST.” (5:16AM, 28 Jan 2017)
We should encourage a sharp response to a disrespectful president and dictatorial administration. In fact, I’d like to see the media issue a collective message to Trump that upholds freedom of the press, recites the intrinsic importance of speaking truth to power in a democracy, and in the strongest possible language vows to resist any attempt to muzzle the media or any government agency.
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Portland State University Portland, Oregon