OPED: Trump supporters, what are you feeling?
Dear Supporters of President Trump:
Just a quick note to check in and see how you're feeling now that we are a couple weeks into the Trump administration. I'm dying of curiosity.
Some of you know — or Google will tell you — that I am not a big fan of President Trump. I am, however, a big fan of our country. So let's agree to disagree. If it helps, I'll admit, "I just don't get it." I am "part of the problem," part of the rotten media, a secular humanist and even a cog in the establishment elite.
Despite my handicaps, I do want to better understand what you think of the new world order. If so inclined, my email is email@example.com. Courtesy and family friendly language much appreciated.
I'm guessing most of you are pleased with Trump's takedowns of political correctness. I mean, look at this Cabinet! All white except for Ben Carson and Sen. Mitch McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, who is Asian but a super-rich shipping heiress. No diversity pandering in the new president's Cabinet room.
But I wonder what you think about the fact there are so many zillionaires in Trump's Cabinet. Several are probably worth more than The Donald. Some say this undermines his promise to take power away from the privileged establishment and the fat cats who have been buying and selling Congress. Several appointees inherited jumbo bucks just like Trump did and have never spent one minute of their lives outside the 1 percent. Do you have concerns they might not have a good feel for the needs of the rest of the population? Or do you tend to agree with Trump that the best way to measure smart, winning people is by their wealth?
What do you think about Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury nominee? Born to a Goldman Sachs dad, he made his mark at that same investment banking firm, and then got mega-rich buying a company that ended up foreclosing on a ton of families who were sold some pretty low-rent mortgage schemes. He also is a big movie producer. He has no experience in government or "public service" and no expertise in economic policy. Is he the kind of guy who can drain the Washington swamp and put Main Street ahead of Wall Street and Rodeo Drive?
The first issue that got President Make America Great Again jazzed up, besides the fracas over the size of the inauguration crowd, was voter fraud. Trump says millions of people — and lots of illegals — voted fraudulently. There's no smoking-gun evidence of this; actually there's no evidence — period. But facts aren't facts like in the old days, right? So what do you think? Was Trump smart to obsess about voter fraud in his first days in office? Is that a top issue for you?
And how about the whole immigration ban deal that has become such a feeding frenzy? Was Trump right to move so fast and so hard? Is it one huge message to the Muslim world: You're fired, loser enemies? And do you think it will actually make your neighborhood any safer? Is it a smart domestic security measure?
And how about the judges who aren't cooperating? It's one thing for judges to monkey with Affordable Care Act (remember, that's the failed brand name for Obamacare) — it's only insurance bills. But should judges stick their robes into serious national security stuff?
Trump and some of his top gurus have taken a boatload of grief for lying a lot, using fictional statistics and even making up a story about a terrorist massacre that never happened. They are heavy into "alternative facts" — a super cool new high concept —and consistently argue that almost all reporting critical of POTUS is fake news. The Trumpers' position is straightforward: We get to make stuff up because we won. Do you think this is a problem?
I am curious what you think because I am so confused. A lot of the presidents I have covered got into big trouble when they lied, mangled key facts or showed ignorance about a big issue. The Donald seems to have transcended that. Is that a virtue or vice, in your book?
As a young naif at CBS News years ago, I answered the phone to hear the most famous voice in America say, "This is Walter Cronkite and there's a big question mark over my old grey head. I wonder if you could help me out."
My head is grey now, with lots of question marks over it. I wonder if you could help me out?
— Dick Meyer is Chief Washington Correspondent for the Scripps Washington Bureau and DecodeDC (www.newsnet5.com/decodedc). Readers may send him email at firstname.lastname@example.org.