An open letter to President Trump

Dear President Trump,

By now, you’ve been criticized by just about everyone for yesterday’s immature, sexist tweets directed at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” And, deservedly so.

In my childhood, my schoolyard bully said nicer things about me.

Most of us long ago gave up our hope/wish/prayer that you would all of a sudden kick into “presidential gear” and begin to be above the fray as you lead the U.S. and the world to a higher place. Okay, I never thought that you could lead us well but I did pray you did.

Yesterday, still, there were people hoping/wishing/praying that you could give up tweeting and become presidential. I have lower expectations, sir. I want you just to act like an adult human being — one who can disagree with but respect other views, even if those views are not complimentary to you. Someone who can put aside personal feelings and work beyond those for the benefit of the American people who elected you to be a different kind of leader, but not operate in a childish, impulse-driven way. (And, no, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, he was not chosen because of all his faults he was chosen because of all Hillary Clinton’s faults.)

I hate to lower my expectations at all because I have huge respect for the Office of the President. You’ll note that I always refer to you as “the President” and even call you sir now and again — out of respect for the office.

I gave up on you a long time ago, however, and even gave up my registration as a Republican because you were the straw that broke that camel’s back. You, for me, were a step way too far.

Your tweets did distract attention from a few things that would have been — and should have been — better covered yesterday. Among them:

  • A meeting you held with senior advisors during which you reportedly decided to levy heavy tariffs on imported steel, which likely will start a trade war, which will damage the world and U.S. economy, but keep your base happy because they don’t think in macroeconomic terms. And reports are that a majority of your Cabinet is against those tariffs but your close White House advisors — who are bent are destroying the government — are for it
  • Your travel ban initially was put in to give you time to figure out the right way to handle blocking immigration to this country. You said you wanted 90 days. Well, it’s been 90 days and we haven’t heard a word about your review or plans
  • And this morning you tweeted that if the Congress can’t repeal and replace Obamacare it should just repeal it. Think about those ramifications on your base for a minute, if you have a minute to take your eyes off cable news and think about other peoples’ needs and wants and not your own

Believe it or not, as much of a political addict as I have been my entire adult life, I had never watched “Morning Joe,” until this morning. I find such shows pretentious and tell me little that I can’t figure out on my own. Not that I’m so smart, Mr. President but I learn little from those shows because their talking heads simply take the positions they are paid to echo and easy to anticipate. I know what Jeffrey Lord is going to say as much as I know what ex-Clinton staff will say.

I know, though, that you learn from the Sunday shows because you’ve said you learn all you need to know about foreign policy from watching them. By the way, how’s that working out for you?

On the other hand, not many others watch “Morning Joe” either. They average a little under one million viewers a day — that’s .03% of the viewing public. So count me among the hundreds of millions of people who do not watch that show and still seem to live fruitful lives.

You might try it.

I watched this morning because Joe and Mika delayed their vacation to appear to respond to your childish, name-calling tweets. Even at that, I could only take about 10 minutes of it because — while what they said about you is important and news this morning — to me it became a calling out for help with you as President and for ratings for their own show. I’m a cynic like that.

I do agree with what they said, though, about you. You scare them, and me. As you prepared this morning (I hope you prepared anyway) to meet with the president of South Korea, who is under imminent threat from the nuclear-armed North Korea, you too were probably watching “Morning Joe,” despite you saying you no longer watch it. Time better spent on preparing for statesmanship and avoiding an international conflict that endangers millions in Asia, and possibly millions here too.

My mind sped to the Constitution which allows your Cabinet and Vice President to bench you if they believe you can’t handle capably and competently the duties of your position — and wishing/hoping/praying that they did that. But they won’t. These are the same men, and a couple of women, who attended a Cabinet meeting a couple of weeks ago and went around the table praising you and your leadership, like sycophants hoping their rich uncle won’t write them out of his will.

I pictured you sitting there with mirrored sunglasses and in military garb like any other two-bit dictator. But you actually let in the media so they could record the praise, so I know you just wore your standard suit and too-long red tie.

And you are the President of the United States, a duly elected (not overwhelmingly as your press spokesmen and you like to say) official of the United States who in fewer than six months has given away the title of Most Powerful Person in the World to Angela Merkel, ironically, a woman.

I have little left to say. I’ve given up wishing and hoping you’ll step up and be an adult human being, not a baby-man, but I’ll keep praying.
Sincerely,

B. Jay Cooper

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: bjaycooper.com.

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