On Friday, 93 year-old President George H.W. Bush spent a heartbreaking and exhausting day by his wife’s casket, greeting the 5,000 mourners who came to pay their respects. And the next morning, as we awaited the funeral of First Lady Barbara Bush, our current president awoke at his Florida country club and fired off a round of tweets that included words like flunkie, crooked, destroy, drunk/drugged, trouble, lying, witch hunt, and horrible. Then he played golf.
This is the state of things.
Last week, as the president’s longtime lawyer dominated headlines for being under criminal investigation, a real head-scratcher slipped under the radar. The Department of Health and Human Services redirected federal funds from teen pregnancy prevention to programs that strictly teach abstinence. Yes, I said abstinence. Abstinence that did not work in the 1950s and will not work now. If this administration is serious about being pro-life, why not adopt a program like the one in Colorado, where they have documented a 50% drop in teen pregnancy that has led to 64% fewer abortions?
Abstinence? The Trump administration may as well have driven a stake into the heart of pro-lifers.
On the international front, President Trump played golf last week with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while playing at an ill-advised trade war with China. According to financial analysts at Forbes, new Chinese levies could devastate U.S. pork farmers, fruit and nut growers, and Midwest soy bean producers. Not to mention what could happen to steel prices and the cost of popular electronics like cell phones. Contrary to the president’s claims, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) was never a bad deal. It just wasn’t his deal. And his ego is about to put American workers and families in jeopardy.
Speaking of families, in April 2017 the president saw horrifying pictures of “beautiful little babies” killed by a Syrian gas attack, so he dropped his first bombs while eating “most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen.” Remember that? This month, he saw more pictures and he dropped more bombs. But what of the thousands of displaced women and children, those so-called “beautiful little babies”? We have accepted only 11 Syrian refugees this year. Eleven. Where are the pro-life advocates? How do you say “I’m pro-life!” while backing a president unwilling to take in mothers and children?
At a Waffle House in Nashville, a man killed 4 people with an assault rifle. We have had more than 30 mass shootings this year. The year is only 4 months old.
Thankfully, there is some good news. The Trump tax cuts, passed four short months ago, are already paying off. A machinist in Dayton, Ohio tells the New York Times he’s banking $30 more per paycheck, and his buddies are seeing anywhere from $2 to $40 extra every two weeks. The real boon, however, is on Wall Street. In the first quarter alone, the six largest banks reported near-record profits of $3.6B, putting them on pace to save a whopping $19B this year. It sure is good to see the president putting those big city elites in their place, is it not?
I keep thinking about 93 year-old President Bush, a gracious man laying his sweetheart of 73 years to rest. As president he said, “I take as my guide the hope of a saint: In crucial things, unity; in important things, diversity; in all things, generosity.”
I hear Trump voters say are happy, thrilled even, with the man they voted for. A man who demands that private citizens (like political opponents and the former FBI Director) be thrown in jail without due process. A man credibly accused of having unprotected sex with a porn star while his wife nursed their newborn, then allegedly paid to keep her quiet 10 days before his election.
A man who—as mourners celebrated the extraordinary life of Barbara Bush and worried over her ailing, heartbroken husband—played his 109th round of golf and tweeted slurs about James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, witch hunts, the “fake and disgusting news” media, and pondered which convicted criminals he’d dare to pardon.
This is the state of things. Are we great again yet?