OXFORD — President Trump, after a rousing State of the Union speech and an impeachment acquittal last week, has been celebrating in typical Trump fashion.
If it were a football game, he’d be dancing in the end zone and taunting his opponents enough to draw an unsportsmanlike penalty. If it happened in the Democrats’ end zone, he might even pull a stunt such as that performed by Ole Miss players at Mississippi State last November and two years earlier. For non-sports fans, that was imitating a male dog by a fire hydrant.
Trump is like today’s athletes, who have long-ignored legendary coach Vince Lombardi’s admonition to a celebrating player: “When you go into the end zone, act like you’ve been there before.”
Nobody ever accused Trump, though, of being long on humility.
Conservative syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, joining the Trump cheering squad, opined on the State of the Union speech: “This was more than a victory lap for the president. It was a celebration of all he and Republicans have accomplished the last three years. The latest Gallup poll reflects the public’s recognition of those achievements with 49 percent of those polled approving the president’s performance, up 10 points since November. Yes, 50 percent still disapprove him, based on what?”
Well, Mr. Thomas, here are a few things that probably come to the minds of some of those in the 50 percent.
The president is a habitual liar and twister of the truth. Fact checkers at The Washington Post claimed back in December that he had made 15,413 false or misleading claims since taking office.
Granted, The Washington Post is what Trump and his defenders call the mainstream media, which they think is trying to bring down the president. But cut 15,000 in half, and that’s still a lot of lies to tell in less than three years.
You can get on the internet and check several sources for misstatements the president made in his speech last week.
Some in the 50 percent worry about Trump’s seat-of-the-pants foreign policy, including cozying up to leaders of our adversaries, such as North Korea and Russia, and insulting our friends; also abandoning those who fought with our troops in Syria.
They question whether Trump, in what he considers his own wisdom, knows more than professionals in the intelligence community and the military.
Of course, there are many in the 49 percent who approve of the president’s performance who apparently think he is smarter than the generals.
Something else not to like about Trump — at least for some of us — is his denigration of people who have served this country longer and better than he has — people with better character and morals than his.
This includes military people who have bled for this country. It’s a shame to see their service ridiculed by a Vietnam-era draft dodger.
Then there is the growing divisiveness and incivility in this country, which is fueled by the president, who seems to thrive on it.
I doubt Trump has ever put much study in Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus admonished his followers to “turn the other check” and “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
In Trump’s defense, though, the only modern president I recall who paid much attention to the Sermon on the Mount, to which I find impossible to fully adhere, was Jimmy Carter.
Ironically, some of the same Christians who now love Trump detested Carter.
In this country, many of us like our pastors to act like Jesus and our political leaders to act like Caesar.
As for the divisiveness and hate in this country today, the Democrats can share the blame. In my view they made a mistake impeaching Trump in the House without any bipartisan support and knowing he would be acquitted in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Nancy Pelosi shouldn’t have ripped up he president’s speech on national television, but then he should have shook her hand when she offered.
Yes, it goes both ways, but the president is the one with the bully pulpit.
If the Democrats, in their bumbling fashion, end up nominating an admitted socialist such as Bernie Sanders or socialist-lite Elizabeth Warren, Trump probably will be reelected for four more years. Then he can celebrate some more.
• Charles M. Dunagin is the retired editor and publisher of the Enterprise-Journal in McComb. He lives in Oxford.