I saw this pop up on my Facebook feed today.
Though I didn’t care for all his politics, I enjoyed listening to President Obama as a public speaker. I’m sure some of that credit belongs to good speech writers, but still… I felt like here’s a guy who can make a coherent case for the position he holds, even if I don’t agree with him.
I tried to imagine how this interview might go with the current administration:
“Have you ever read Reinhold Niebuhr?”
“Who?” Trump smirked. “Is that an op-ed guy from some fake news media site? I don’t—“
“He’s a philosopher, Mister President.”
“Oh.” Trump shakes his head. “The thing with those guys is—I mean, it’s great to have people who sit around thinking really deep about stuff, but in business you don’t have time for, you know, I’m going to—what about the human condition and how does it play into—you’re there to win, and be great, and make good deals.”
“Of course,” I respond. “But wouldn’t you say there’s—“
“You know, we have a lot of guys that want to read this or that guy, what does he think about, I don’t know, poverty or diplomacy or whatever. But as a successful businessman, I learned the value of fast action—you just go after it and get it done, which—I think that’s kind of a philosophy of it’s own. Maybe the best philosophy. I wrote a book about it, you know. The Art of the Deal. Have you read it?”
He flashes a grin. “I’ll turn the tables on you. What do you think of Donald Trump?”
Before I can come up with an appropriate response, he laughs, waves me off with one hand, and goes on. “Not that it really matters. I know how many copies it sold. One of the best books in America, the best. What was your question again?”
To any of my friends on the Right, #sorrynotsorry and I hope some day the President proves me wrong. I look forward to that day like a thirsting man in the desert crawling toward an oasis.
To my friends on the Left, don’t become what you hate about the Right—because there’s a lot of mindless groupthink on your side too.
I long for the return of politics where we can communicate with one another and actually discuss the merits and concerns of any given policy or change.
I’m beyond tired of party-line foul-atics, where all that matters is your slavish devotion to whatever your party’s gods and goddesses deem correct. “I support this initiative.” Why? “Because it’s what’s best. I saw a piece by (Alex Jones / Rachel Maddow), so I know this is what the country needs.”
Whether it’s Tomi Lahren getting fired on the Right because she disagreed with the party norm about abortion, or people dog-piling something Bill Maher or Jon Stewart says which goes against the flow, tribalism fuels this kind of “politics” instead of thought.
We have had eloquent Presidents in the past, and we can again. Fair point.
More importantly, we also have been an eloquent, educated, considerate people in the past. We can become that again.