October 23, 2020
One of the biggest problems of being an aspiring writer (and, believe me, there are a lot of them, big and amall!) is trying to be fair and totally objective in writing political commentary. This is especially difficult when a person like Donald J. Trump is the dominate subject of so much of the media concern that almost anything I write may seem redundant or just a ‘parroting’ of others—more experienced than I—have said or written. However, if ‘I’m guilty’ of anything I’ve written about Mr. Trump, it is only that I have not expressed my personal belief in his gross in-adequacies—as President of our sometimes-not-United enough States—strongly enough.
‘Strongly enough’ became really ego-crushing last Sunday (October 18) when I finished reading the three-part front section of the Sunday edition of The New York Times and then uncovered my favorite, the Sunday Review section, which usually is hidden about six other sections deep, and contains the political or social commentary of some of my favorite writers like: David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, and Nicholas Kristof. Instead of my usual favorites, this edition of the Sunday Review was written by the ‘Editorial Board’ of The New York Times! The entire front page of this, which I consider The Times most important section, was a picture of what I believe was a decaying houseplant barely visible in a black background, along with the words:
The New York Times
The Case Against Donald Trump
BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Criticism of type faces, sizes, layout, lack of punctuation, and cover art aside—considering this was the whole front page of the Sunday Review Section—I believe this truly qualifies as a very strong statement! And that was just the front page!
Pages 2 and 3 were headed by a double page spread, composite picture of Trump talking into microphones with Flags, the White House, and other blurry things mixed in, over incredibly large type across the two pages reading: A MAN UNWORTHY OF THE OFFICE HE HOLDS. The article was sub-titled: Donald Trump can’t solve the nation’s most pressing problems because he is the nation’s most pressing problem. And signed: By The Editorial Board. Wow! I estimated the article was about 2,000 words and it was a total indictment of Trump’s failure as our President and a person of incredibly low—if not totally amoral—character.
Page 4 was titled: His Unapologetic Corruption— also under a very large and totally blurred picture of his face with his usual mean jaw and mouth set. The article was only about 1,600 words ended with this sentence: Forget draining the swamp; the president slapped his name on it and began charging admission.
Page 5 was headed by a very blurry picture of a riot and was titled: His Demagogy. Another (about) 1,600 words reminding us readers of all the hateful things Trump has said about anyone who disagrees with him or questions his ‘greatness’. Page 6, again topped by a blurry composite photo, was titled: His Fake Populism —ended with a quoted statement of a steelworker who is not going to vote for Trump this election: “He’s bragging that he’s saving all these jobs,” she told me. “But he’s not.” Page 7, this time headed by a totally in-focus picture of Trump holding an umbrella while exiting a big airplane (probably Air Force One?) was titled: His Incompetent Statesmanship and subtitled: For all the sound and fury, Trump’s foreign policy has few accomplishments. Page 8, headed by a picture of a man on a ventilator sitting on a hospital bed, was titled: His Super-Spreader Agenda and sub-titled; Downplaying the dangers of the pandemic and politicizing public health measures was grossly negligent and cost untold lives.
Page 9 was titled; A Nation Adrift By The Editorial Board It consisted of five articles, each fronted with a full color picture that related to each article, titled, in sequence: An Economy in Tatters, Immigration Halted, Black Lives at Risk, A Planet in Peril and lastly, Women’s Rights Under Attack.
The back page, number 10, was titled: Fit for Office? Followed by : Here’s what some of the men and women who have been closest to the president have to say. Twelve quotes, some in all bold extra-large print, some in large but not bold print surrounded a half-page, double column wide quote “As I’ve been saying since the beginning, TRUMP was a MOBSTER, plain and simple.” Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former Lawyer.
Holy Smokes, ten pages, the entire Sunday Review section of The New York Times, (and which I roughly estimated at about 16,000 words), denouncing Donald Trump as a person totally unfit for the job of President of the United States of America! If The New York Times can publish that, I see no reason to be hesitant in putting my honest opinion of Donald J. Trump in print. Simply put: Donald J. Trump is a lying, useless, self-centered, idiot, fool. He is a ‘world-class’ embarrassment to the American people and a confirmed threat to our democracy. He is a clear and present danger to this country. In no way did he deserve to be elected as President. He deserves to be in jail. Vote him out of office so he can be put where he belongs.
Lou Christen, Citizen, of the United States of America, and would-be Journalist
I read all I had written (as above) to Hubris as he was munching on the carrots I had carried with me out to the corral. When I finished reading to him, Hubris looked at me with a ‘know-it-all’ gleam in his two big brown eyes, and said, “Lou, you have probably just earned the ‘Under-statement of the Year Award’ for amateur political commentary in Journalism.” I wasn’t in a very good mood and that old song “When you are in a bad mood, And you want to be rude, You had better go and talk to your horse”! –was running through my mind. I had given this issue my best shot. I was very tired.
Copyright, Louis J. Christen, October 23, 2020