Just my opinion, but if you didn't understand a long time ago that Donald Trump, the present White House inhabitant, would be at least an embarrassment to our democratic republic, you likely aren't too smart.
Me, I've had it with Trump, and I've had it with the “gotta have more guns” crowd. There are some psychological similarities. The eight school shootings since Jan. 1 of this year haven't helped my attitude.
Gun-toting, paranoid-fringe Americans, around 30 percent of voters, adore Trump. They see American greatness as needing an AR-15 in each hand. Maybe grenade or two in their hip pockets … and a surface-to-air rocket-launcher close by.
“Well-regulated militias,” as they're referred to in the Second Amendment, are, for some firearm fanatics, better unregulated. That's to “stop the evil gummit from comin' to git all yer guns and lock you up in concentration camps. You gotta be ready.” Well, to some, males especially, paranoia is more satisfying than sex.
And, since the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, the answer is to get all good guys packing heat. Of course, deciding who the good guys are, and when they're good, can be hard. Is it most of the time, occasionally, or you can bet yer britches every second every day? Just ask 'em, I guess. Of course, cool heads are more likely when sober, not mad at somebody — or something. Of course, if you have stock in NRA supported firearms manufacturers and dealers, it's wise to err on the side of profit, right?
Maybe it's religious necessity, part of our Christian nation. Jesus himself was an enthusiastic NRA member who carried a razor-sharp dagger and a .45 caliber sling shot. That's in the gospels somewhere, I think. Speaking of religion …
Last Sunday, for the kids' message (where the little ones gather up front), our preacher shared a personal story: In another city, another driver, suffering from apparent momentary road-rage, heaved a full can of soda at the preacher's windshield. It missed. After the sermon, I asked the preacher if he was thankful the guy didn't have an AR-15. The preacher was.
The rabid 30 percent are joined by an obliging 10 percent supporting Trump wearing their Republican badge as a free pass through St. Peter's gate. You got the R, you're a star. You got the D, you deserve the dump. Stark division rules. Then there's the sadly inactive chunk of eligible voters who sit on their butts: ”Well, voting is too much trouble. All politicians are crooks. Besides, you can't change anything anyway.” Bottom line: 40 percent approval is enough to become president. Sad.
Well, given Tweeter Trump's persistent narcissism and his record-setting lies and routine self-contradictions, maybe that'll get him booted. Maybe scandals about his promiscuity. Maybe his failure to provide tax returns. Maybe all that'll be enough to end his presidency. Maybe not.
Maybe the ever-tightening investigation into Russian efforts to get him elected, or any connections with Trump campaign personnel — or with Trump himself. Maybe not. (Frankly, I've never understood how he won even the primary, with or without Putin's help. But he did.)
I'm guessing Trump is ever more nervous about what is headed his way via Robert Mueller's investigation. You'll remember that President Trump has said he'd be “very happy” to testify under oath for Mueller? Now, Trump-style, he's doing his best to weasel out — unless he or his lawyers get to choose and script the questions, and allow only yes or no answers.
Maybe it'll all get enough Americans demanding impeachment, saying it's time for we the people, owners of our national team, to fire him, to get the S.O.B. not just off the lawn and out of Air Force One, but out of we the people's White House. Then Mr. Trump is free to play all-day-all-year golf at Mar-a-Largo. He can have Fox Snooze running 24/7 and Sean Hannity singing lullabies, sleep with who he wants. After breakfast and before his caddy arrives, he can tweet and tell whatever lies make him happy. It's OK, just so he doesn't have a big nuke button and can't order dramatically distracting military parades
Look, I'm no fan of smug VP Mike Pence, but no way he could be worse than what we've got. Pence is allegedly a god-fearing man; however, he defines that. One thing does seem clear, at least to me: Our nation has seldom, if ever, been in more need of prayer — during the national anthem or elsewhere.
Could be wrong. Just my opinion.
Bob Hooper, a fourth-generation western Kansan, is a former public school teacher who writes from his home in Bogue.