Well, now more than a few elephants are leaving Trump roost.
A year ago following late night declaration of Trump's Electoral College victory, I agonized that the bars were closed and my liquor cabinet was empty. I wrote about it instead. A few days later, an irate reader emailed me:
“I had to laugh at the utter stupidity of your article in the Nov 18 issue of the Salina paper. You really should have gotten drunk and just kept yourself in state instead of writing such garbage for public consumption. I am betting … most all of us were rejoicing … . “ (Actually, the column appeared in The Hays Daily News, not the Salina Journal but ... )
The emailer continued.
“Why would anyone in their right mind (which you don't fit in to the classification) vote for a woman who is vile, a thief, totally fully of lies, and who hates America so much she would compromise it to feed her greed?”
So, OK, Trump carried the Kansas popular vote by a landslide — for two reasons. One, he had the “R” up thar and herd Republicans traditionally follow the rut. Two (and arguably more important), thanks largely to social media — and the same herd mentality — Hillary was satisfying to hate. More than once, I was told something like, “Well, I don't really like Trump but I just can't vote for Hillary.”
However, nearly 3 million more Americans voted for Hillary than for Trump (which The Donald says is hooey since he knows millions and millions more actually voted for him). Five presidents in U.S. history have lost the popular vote, most recently George W. Bush and Trump. Both set records Bush lost by “just” half a million votes, Trump by five times that many.
Something close to a third of Americans still like, or at least support, our new president — despite his pomposity and erratic behavior. However, whether in fear of losing votes in 2018 or genuine embarrassment, more than a few otherwise staunch Republicans are bailing out.
From an Aug. 8 column by Ronald Reagan's son, Michael:
“We’ve written about how important it is for a president to have an adult like Kelly in the Oval Office, but the real issue is whether our president will listen to advice from the adult. President Trump is never going to change his personality or stop thinking he makes the sun come up every morning. But if he wants to fulfill any of his campaign promises, or even if he wants to push his poll numbers back into the low 40-percent range, he has to become disciplined.”
In other words, he needs to grow up.
In his Aug. 20 column, Michael says Trump is really a Democrat. I suppose that's because The Donald is a global warming denier, or wants big tax cuts for the wealthiest? Or has been married three times, promises Mexico will build a border wall? Or opposes civil rights for gays? Or can quote piously from “Two Corinthians?”
I'd say Michael Reagan is desperate to distance himself however he can. He has more and more company.
In the leading and historically conservative National Review (Aug. 20), correspondent Kevin D. Williams has this to say: "If what you want is chaos, then Donald J. Trump — a retired game-show host who apparently believes there were 'a lot of good people' at a neo-nazi rally that ended with a political murder — is your man ... . He's a lousy executive, high on rage and none too bright, venal, vain and vicious, but we knew that when we elected him ... ."
Williams stops short of calling for Trump's impeachment. Maybe that's from embarrassment at any role in getting him elected. Who knows. Frankly, I'm not sure VP Pence is someone I'd want running things either. His hair is neater, and he doesn't seem crazy.
The Donald's underlying mentality is that since he's very, very rich, it's exactly the same as being very, very smart. And thus very, very, fantastically important. Believe me. Well, I can't prove Trump was born in Kenya, so I guess we might be stuck with him for a while.
Let us pray.
Bob Hooper, a fourth-generation western Kansan, writes from his home in Bogue.