Boomer opinion about partial truths and falsehoods

Donald Trump, a leading-edge baby boomer, was elected to the presidency a year ago today. Compared to previous presidents, some of the cheers are even louder, but so are the jeers. So which way is his star moving right now? BoomerCafé’s co-founder and executive editor Greg Dobbs, who has covered several presidents as a journalist, has this boomer opinion.

“Congress must govern with a president who… is often poorly informed and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct.”

“Reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as telling it like it is when it is actually just reckless, outrageous and undignified.”

“He will probably tell an awful combination of partial truths and outright falsehoods.”

“I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him.”

“We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty.”

“He’s a blowhard.”

Former President George W. Bush

Damning quotes indeed about Donald Trump. The thing is, they’re not from the mouths of Democrats. Heaven knows, the way Trump has bashed the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, you might expect them to throw these bombs. And after last week, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer too, who the president all but blamed for the New York City terrorist attack. But no, Mr. Trump’s discordant critics are fellow Republicans. Four senators — John McCain, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, and Bob Corker — and two former presidents: George W. and George H.W. Bush.

Nor are they borne of ideological differences with the president. With the exception of Senator McCain’s dramatic thumbs-down vote on healthcare, these senators have pretty much voted the Trump ticket in Congress.

Senator John McCain

But while they might give him decent marks for policy and possibly the state of the economy, they all give him thumbs down for integrity. For character. And no matter how this current Asia trip turns out, for fitness to serve as leader of the free world.

Some analysts say that since three of these senators won’t be running for reelection, they pilloried the president because they have nothing to lose. Maybe true, but all that tells me is, other prominent Republicans also would dart through the door these dissidents have opened if they weren’t terrified to be the next targets of a Trump tirade on Twitter.

Sure, some Republicans truly like the president, if not for his behavior, then at least for his agenda. That would include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has an agenda of his own and knows firsthand what happens if you get on the wrong side of this president. Nowadays, reportedly, McConnell explains to detractors that Donald Trump is the only American who can sign a bill into law. As if that’s reason enough to sweep the president’s profuse personal imperfections under the rug.

Senator Bob Corker

What it comes down to is, Republicans in Congress are scared stiff. The threat they see doesn’t come from the aggregate of American voters, which (lest we forget) went for Hillary Clinton by a margin of three million; it comes from the anger of their party’s “base.”

Former Republican senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma last month put it this way: “We have a leader who has a personality disorder, but he’s done what he actually told the people he was going to do, and they’re not going to abandon him.”

No they’re not, not the base. But don’t forget, the Electoral College put Trump in the White House; the aggregate of Americans didn’t. And those numbers aren’t getting any better for the president. Between his performance on issues from the National Football League to arguing with the widow of a fallen soldier to the nuclear threat from North Korea, the base might still praise him, but his approval rating in last week’s polls sank to the lowest point so far after one year in the White House. The criminal indictments of former campaign cohorts surely won’t drive the poll numbers back up.

Greg Dobbs

The power of the base is not overstated when it comes to the party. But it is when it comes to the country.

So depending on where you stand on Donald Trump, there is a lesson in all this. If you support him, beware his behavior because it is not winning him new backers. If you oppose him, take comfort; positive-sounding economics notwithstanding, he has yet to resonate with the majority.

And that’s after only the first year in office.

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10 Comments

  1. Trump is a national disgrace and you know it. He is not fit to be President. His temperament, his intelligence, his integrity, his constant lying each is an embarrassment to the nation. Worse is that we elected him. No Republican candidate can be given a pass, no matter how strong or moderate their beliefs until we have corrected this national travesty.

    1. At least Trump and his followers are logical. It only stands to reason that if you love lies you will hate the truth!
      Voted dem. In Virginia.

  2. Note: Leading-Edge Baby Boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1955; Trailing-Edge Baby Boomers are individuals born between 1956 and 1964 (per Wikipedia).

    I make this note because in my experience Trailing Edge Boomers do not have much in common with Leading-Edge Boomers. What a difference a few years make.

    Also, IMHO, the selection of Trump as a candidate seemed anti-survival.

  3. Let’s hope the recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey bespeak a nation starting to come to its senses, Greg. There is merit in the old adage “we get the government we deserve.” We the people need to start demanding better from our elected representatives–be they Rs, Ds or Is–by becoming more civically engaged and letting them know that they work for us, not vice versa. Unfortunately, many of them appear to be working for themselves, especially members at the highest levels of this current administration. It’s got to stop!

  4. I totally agree, Trump is a disgrace, as is his family. Hypocritical and ignorant…every day there is some new negative revelation. I feel like the ball in a pinball game…

  5. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble but if I heard right Trump just gave North Korea an ultimatum. Give up your nuclear weapons program or else! If Trump and or whoever is calling the shots in this country think that Mr. Kim will back down they are crazier than he is. I hope unnecessary loss of life won’t be Trump’s answer to this but I didn’t think he would do most of what he’s done up till now.

  6. I agree with your comments except for the one about the popular vote vs. the electoral college. Take away the four Boros of Manhattan and LA County, and he also wins the popular vote. This is why the electoral college works. One other note, if he had run against any type of competent and honest opponent, he would have lost by a wide margin.

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