Restore Truth and Civility

Posted on October 26, 2017


Everyone makes stupid mistakes including the president and his chief of staff.

No doubt President Trump meant well when he called the widow of a soldier who was slain recently in the line of duty in Niger.

But whatever the president intended it apparently came put clumsily and greatly offended the widow. To compound the issue the president denied what he said and kept on defending himself. Chief of Staff Kelly presented fake news in his defense of the president. This is not proper conduct for a president or chief of staff.

In a gentler time, when the norms of courtesy were still being observed, the matter might have been handled differently without any publicity. Someone might have called the White House and explained the problem, and a second presidential call to the widow might have followed smoothing over any hurt feelings.

Then there would have been no need for General Kelly’s extraordinary news conference defending the president’s phone call with many unfortunate misstatements of fact, and back-in-forth that followed would have been avoided.

There’s still time, I think, to restore a sense of civility in our politics. But the president feels he never does wrong.

We should at least accord a measure of respect to the institutions of the presidency, the Congress, the courts, the military and the media. With our present president I do not see that happening.

We might have to wait until these people who temporarily occupy their offices are gone.



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