Whether you and I like it or not, Donald Trump continues to dominate the news. Last Friday morning in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Trump's picture was front and center on page 1. Also articles on the trade war, and National Guard troops being sent to the Mexican border, had us reading about his presidential activities -- good or bad. The television news seems to favor more headline grabbing topics like his relationship with Stormy Daniels and who he is planning to fire next. For whatever reason, consciously or not, we elected a showman, a modern day P.T. Barnum-type to be our nation's leader.
As an original supporter of Ohio Governor John Kasich, I was disappointed in Mr. Trump's success during the primary. Before "The Donald" became the Republican standard bearer opposing Mrs. Clinton in the presidential election, few if any of us had expected to be voting for Mr. Trump. It might be safe to say we were supporting the Republican choice. Who would have expected to have a president whose biggest threat may not be triggering the button to nuclear war, but having two thumbs on a Twitter account. In that regard we may have some regrets but in spite of reason the TV news even reports his Twitter postings.
But in spite of all the negative press, there are some positive points to his time in office. Some television commentators' reports seem to be constantly finding fault with the rapid pace of President Trump's agenda. However, Fox News is on the other side of his agenda pointing out the positive side. On a good day if we are lucky and choose the correct channel we can find someone who researches the rhetoric of the campaign and in so doing, points out the president's programs were all promised in his campaign speeches. A lot of the complaint seems to be the turnover of his administration going through key aides as if there was an endless supply of talented individuals available. All this at the same time he is making apparent off-the-cuff judgements that provide for uncertainty in his aides, but suspense for the journalists.
It is difficult for me as a farm kid from Sugar Creek to judge the positive and negative impact of the tariff war with other countries. I have mentioned previously that our company had to buy foreign steel at one time because domestic steel mills could not provide the necessary supply. At that particular time, foreign steel was available at a higher price than domestic material, but it was at least available to small companies. Today's contest over balancing imports against exports is a whole different game. Contrary to some views, it is not being an isolationist to protect our suppliers/producers existence so they will be there in a national crisis. The world is not what it was in World War II when America had to become a self-supporting nation. However, that time period proved there were certain industries that were essential to our national security.
The economic impact on agricultural producers of products such as soy beans, corn, pork and chickens is way beyond my pay grade. However, when a florist can provide fresh flowers flown into our country from other nations, or we can buy fresh (never frozen) fish in the super market our economy has found ways to satisfy most of our wants, not just our needs. We can look at Mr. Trump's efforts as trying to protect American businesses or we can focus on the Mueller investigation into the Trump organization's ties to Russia. All this available to us through the print media or T.V.
But the same newspapers and television media will give Hillary time to blame her election loss on some new problem. No matter what you and I watch on television, Hillary Clinton will continue to be paid to make speeches about the same theme -- her election loss. And, Stormy Daniels is probably selling more videos now because of her news coverage than she ever imagined and her lawyers are receiving sizable checks.
One of the big winners in all of this is the television networks. They run commercial after commercial -- I have timed them over several minute periods when one commercial actually overlapped another. If no one watched there would be no news, no commercial, no network.
We as a nation may be a winner in the short-run but the future is definitely a big question. As a simple person who can't keep his yard mowed and has absolutely no control over the weather, I can't expect Donald Trump to correct all of Washington's failures in a year and a half. I don't want his job, don't want to move to Washington, D.C., and I really appreciate the off button on my television set.
Editor's note: Leo Lynch, an award-winning columnist, is a native of Benton County and has deep roots in northwest Arkansas. The opinions expressed are those of the author. He is a retired industrial engineer and former Justice of the Peace.Editorial on 04/11/2018
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