Trump the Poet? … Who Knew?

Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo once said, “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.” This may be true, given the lofty rhetoric employed by many politicians, encouraging the hopes and dreams of their supporters, in order to get what they want, the U.S. presidency for instance, and the levers of power that come with it. Once in office, the same politicians exert their power and influence to get stuff done. That may involve hedging the truth, if not outright lying, as well as bullying and dirty deal-making. Anyone thinking this applies to our current president, would, in my humble opinion, be correct.

President-Elect Donald Trump, by contrast, took a more prosaic approach to campaigning, one of considerable bluster, pointed, head-on rhetoric — often to the limits of decency — a rhetorical slap in the face, awakening voters from their media-induced stupor, to see America at the abyss and do something about it. And it worked. Mr. Trump has 290 electoral votes (306 once Michigan is certified), and the presidency, to prove it.

Now he must govern. And one wishes to imagine his governance emerging in calm, well-oiled machinations, grounded in a straightforward manner, but polished and diplomatic, as befits the presidency. He has surprised us many times before; why should this moment be any different? Of course, any well-styled élan on Mr. Trump’s part will stand in sharp contrast to attacks being planned against him and his administration.

They have, in fact, begun. Initially, with violent, well-financed, Rent-A-Mob demonstrations in cities across the country. And now the intense reaction to Mr. Trump’s first White House staff appointments, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Only two appointments … and the establishment has gone bonkers, inaccurately labeling Mr. Bannon an anti-Semite, for instance. All of it intensified in the glare of liberal media (a.k.a. ‘mainstream’ media) coverage. This first wave of vitriol will culminate, most likely, in massive demonstrations on Inauguration Day 2017 — which ought be noticed in stark contrast to the supportive restraint afforded Barrack Obama at the outset of his tenure.

Said contrast — between then and now — will continue in successive waves, well into Mr. Trump’s presidency. It will be marked and stunning. And if Trump & Co. play it right, it will work in Republicans’ favor. More on that later.


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