Opinion

Is Trump Responsible for Discord?

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Posted: Nov 25, 2018 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
Is Trump Responsible for Discord?

In the aftermath of national events which were either violent or threatened violence, substantial finger pointing was done at our President. Mr. Trump has handled his position differently than a lot of presidents in the past. The question is how much of it is his fault.

This was particularly brought to light while recently watching Fox News Special Report, hosted by Bret Baier. It is a hard news show which has a panel of commentators at the end of the hour-long broadcast. The commentators’ political leanings are all over the map and are there to give us their perspective. This was on October 26th, after the capture of the delusional individual who had sent bomb packages to about a dozen high-profile Americans. It was the day before the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. 

The comments came from Charles Lane, an opinion writer for the Washington Post. Though he writes for WaPo, which is a daily hit piece on Trump, he is one of the few reasonable ones. And to be clear, the tone of these comments were thoughtful and not accusatory. 

While speaking about the level of violence surrounding our political arena these days, Lane stated “You know I guess it isn’t fair in some cosmic sense that the President isn’t allowed by some people in their minds to be as mean to the press or other critics as they are to him, but you know what is the reality and it has always been a part of the role of President, your job is not to as the President likes to say when someone hits you, you hit back twice as hard. Rather the President’s role historically has been to pour oil on troubled waters in the society, to use soothing rhetoric in times of conflict, to try and soften the political divisions all around us. And so he says people scream that he is being unpresidential. I think he is being unpresidential and its just never going to happen, I think we have seen enough evidence that President Trump doesn’t have it within him to take a moment of extreme tension and calm it. He tends to raise the tension.” He goes on to say the White House has, over the past 18 months, raised the tension; not lowered it.

I agree with him to a point. The point is when he says some people say Trump is being unpresidential. I think up until then Lane’s comments were really thoughtful. In fact, I believe the entirety of the comments were thoughtful. I just believe once he asserted his opinion he was wrong. Badly wrong. 

There are two elements to why he is wrong.

The first element is the division between how Republican and Democrat presidents are treated. I neither know nor care what Lane’s politics are, but I do know what the politics of the WaPo is -- and the rest of the MSM. It is and has been decidedly left. They treat presidents in times of crisis differently and they certainly treat them radically differently on a day-to-day basis. I recently read a headline in WaPo that said, “Economy Grows at 3.5% in Third Quarter Giving Political Boost to Republicans.” I almost fell off my seat. They were actually writing a positive headline about the Trump era. Wow. But they blamed the alleged bomber on Trump in their front-page headline. When reporting about last year’s congressional baseball shooter, they left out that he was a Bernie Sanders supporter. This is a stark display of the partisanship a Republican president faces from the press. 

Let me remind you for the 400th time. George W. Bush, who is now looked upon fondly by the MSM, was eviscerated by them and they carried water for his political opponents. How they treated him in the aftermath of Katrina was unconscionable. Bush did not fight back. Trump has seen that and said he was not going to allow his political opponents to frame his message.

Second, it is not just the press that attacks him. As stated above, the press carries water for his opponents like how the Dems called Bush racist because the black areas of New Orleans were hit hard by Katrina. In the aftermath of the synagogue shooting, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) ran to a microphone once again to attack Trump. "The problem is not how he’s handling the aftermath … the broader issue is what kind of climate are we creating in the country,” Schiff said. “It’s not enough that on the day of a tragedy, he says the right words. If every day of the year, he’s saying things to bring us into conflict with each other.” When CNN and MSNBC viciously attack Trump 24/7 encouraged by people like Schiff, it is easy for his opposition to attempt to disarm him by saying he should act more presidential. At least Schiff uses the word ‘we’ in the first sentence

Unwittingly, Lane clarified the situation. When Obama skated for eight years with virtually no press review and then they turned immediately on his successor, Lane has said what the real problem is -- they have put Trump in a box. Either act more “presidential” by their words and take it in the gut or fight back and be accused of not being “presidential.” The reason Trump was elected and remains popular with Republicans is he does not take their attacks lying down like Bush did. 

Lane has called for Trump to unilaterally disarm. Just like we should not against our foreign enemies like Russia, China and Al Qaeda, Republicans should not against Democrats and their propaganda machine: the MSM.