November 12, 2016

Coming to terms with President Trump

New York, NY USA - July 16, 2016: Donald Trump speaks during introduction Governor Mike Pence as running for vice president at Hilton hotel Midtown Manhattan

Now that the unthinkable (for me and most of my friends, and the pundits) has happened, and after the initial shock, I am seeking a few things to be hopeful about in a Trump presidency.

First, I remind myself that before he became a Republican and Christian and Conservative a few months ago, he was just a playboy Democrat man-about-town businessman. Evidently not a great one, judging from his bankruptcy record and presumably from his never-to-be-revealed tax returns, but a guy who hopefully prefers that he and his buildings survive, above-sea-level,  in a world of clean air, water and livable climate.

Jim Terr is a singer/songwriter, documentary and film producer and satirist raised in Las Vegas, NM.

So I assume that two-thirds of his bluster and his positions were just that and that he will find a way to walk back much of his pro-gun, anti-abortion, jail-Hillary, anti-immigrant, pro-right-wing-Supreme-Court rhetoric and be forgiven his inconsistency, as he has been so far, by his Faithful.  And I assume he wouldn’t like his family (or himself) to become victims of gun nuts and vigilantes.

Second, he’s a self-proclaimed know-it-all, so when he’s confronted with other powerful egos in the GOP establishment I fully expect him to say, eventually, “To Hell with you all,” and do his own thing. I am looking forward to him having the same experience Barry Goldwater had, when he said in 1994:

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

Third, he’s got a family—children and grandchildren—and would presumably like to see them survive and have a good life in a better world. He’s got a wife and daughter he reportedly relies on who are evidently more sensible and gracious than he is. I assume he’d like to make some truly “smart moves” and leave a good legacy, to the best of his ability and that of his advisors.

One of them, Chris Christie, though hated by good Democrats, won my admiration long ago in a fiery speech  defending his Muslim New Jersey State Supreme Court nominee from the prevailing “ignorance” (as he called it), and if appointed to head the Justice Department, I have faith in his fairness as well as his intelligence.

Fourth, being in the driver’s seat has got to be a sobering experience. The b.s. and electioneering are over, and his extra-long meeting with President Obama tells me he’s probably serious and humbled (if a guy like that could ever be humbled) by the task before him.

I’m hoping that one term as president will be more than enough for him, more than enough on his résumé, and that he’ll be anxious to move on soon. In fact some are predicting he’ll probably take long, George-Bush-like vacations and leave his VP mostly in charge (whether that’s good or bad is another discussion). So I’m hoping he won’t need to keep up the inflammatory and pandering rhetoric for the sake of re-election, because I’m hoping he won’t want it.

I will never forgive or understand those who voted for him, for letting him get away with the secret tax returns, the denials of half the things he said and did, and, mostly, for not repudiating his white supremacist supporters. And I can’t imagine I would like the guy if I ever met him, but I don’t expect to ever meet him. I’m hoping he’s not as vindictive as he has sounded and has encouraged his followers to be, partly because I have made my own anti-Trump views have been very public, and am known to his attorneys.

His sons scare me to death, reminiscent of Saddam sons Uday and Qusay for some reason, but that’s just an impression—maybe in fact they’re great and fair humanitarians.

Time will tell; I will try to be hopeful that President Trump will not upend our world, and will rely on some people experienced in government, and in give-and-take, to do more good than harm.