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It's Not All Trump's Fault

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

We need a break. America needs a break.

And it's not all Donald Trump's fault.

Trump didn't goad North Korea nor Iran into building hydrogen bombs. Trump didn't make three major hurricanes hit U.S. territories within three weeks of one another. Trump didn't cause a hacked Equifax to leak the personal information of more than 145 million people.

Trump didn't steer U.S. Naval vessels into other ships. He didn't make Colin Kaepernick kneel during the National Anthem. Trump didn't organize the demonstrations at Berkley nor in Charlottesville.

And Donald Trump didn't cause a monster, Stephen Paddock, to hole up in a four-star hotel for three days before opening fire and killing or injuring nearly 600 - SIX HUNDRED - people who had been enjoying an outdoor concert.

Trump didn't do much to ease the tensions caused by those and other national and man-made events. In fact, in many cases, he went out of his way to make things worse.

But, he didn't cause them.

As to Las Vegas having been the "worst mass shooting in U.S. history," someone sadly Tweeted yesterday: 

"I have seen the same headline four times: Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Orlando, and now Las Vegas. I'm only 22 years old."

One of the things that I think we can trace to Donald Trump is making everything political. Everything.

This didn't start with Trump. It sort of started with King George III, but between Donald Trump's use of Twitter and the 24-hour news cycle, it has overwhelmed our day-to-day lives.

No one who isn't among the 37 percent of Americans who approve of Trump's job performance (according to yesterday's Gallup tracking poll) will ever admit Trump has done anything right.

I got lightly trolled for having Tweeted that I thought his remarks following the Las Vegas shootings were "Nicely written. Well-delivered." That it was true, meant nothing. That Donald Trump delivered the remarks meant it had to be bad.

Same thing happened with Barack Obama. For too many Republicans there was nothing he could say or do that wasn't too little, too much, too early, or too late. But, there were times when Obama soared. His remarks after Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot was about as perfectly pitched as any president since Abraham Lincoln spoke at a cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

A high school friend, Allen Horn, emailed me about this subject yesterday. I wrote back to him:

"We have so polarized ourselves that it is impossible to have a civil discussion with someone of the other party - either way. The ONLY place I feel comfortable even talking about politics is in a green room at CNN or MSNBC with other political professionals who understand we are opponents; not enemies."

Again, that's not Trump's fault, but he has done nothing to try and unify the two sides. In fairness, Obama didn't get a gold star in this arena, either.

I said on CNN Sunday afternoon that one of the problems with Trump's reactions is they are all the same. He screams (on Twitter) at the same level whether he's angry with Kim Jong-un or the Mayor of London. Whether he's angry with NFL football players or with the Mayor of San Juan. Whether he's cranky with Special Council Robert Mueller or the guy who Trump blames for causing him to exist, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I went on to remind viewers of that great scene from "This is Spinal Tap" when Christopher Guest as guitarist Nigel Tufnel explains that while most amplifiers only go up to 10, his go up to 11.

"Why don't you just make ten louder?" asks the character played by Rob Reiner.
[pause] "These go to eleven," Nigel says.

He Tweeted his condolences and best wishes to the victims of Stephen Paddock. At least for yesterday, Donald Trump turned his internal amplifier down from 11 to four or five.

He gets credit for that.

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