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Dignity and the 45th President

Presidential dignity that inspires trust should come with the office, but the 45th American president-elect is too far gone

In my history, I haven’t loved, or even liked, all of our American presidents. Kennedy was cool and clever but didn’t live long enough to prove his mettle. Reagan was a bad actor and Nixon was a crook. The Bushes were pretty average rich guys elevated to positions beyond their ken. Clinton was smart and slick. Obama is sophisticated but not a good enough friend to Israel in particular and the Jews in general. Etc. You catch my drift.

The one common trait they all shared, however, was a sense of dignity. They may have been putting on a good show, but each and every one of them was, how shall I say it, presidential. This is more important than one might think. A leader, and a president is above all a leader, must possess the presence to inspire followers. He must project stature. He won’t ever be infallible, but he must make us trust him.

So then along comes the tweeter-in-chief. Can anyone at all make the case that this man has dignity? That he is presidential? That he will inspire us all, children and adults alike? That he will project stature?Anyone make that case?

What we’ve seen is what we’re getting. This is a man whose skin is thinner than an onion’s. Dare to say anything critical of him and he’s tweeting away, like a little kid. Insulting anyone who expresses a negative opinion of him. We see it. He can’t take criticism of any kind. Not true? Who will say this is not true? Anyone?

He has insulted in the most vulgar and childish language every public figure who he feels challenged by. Hillary. Obama. John Mc Cain. Even the pope. Every one of his Republican opponents in the primary. You know it’s true. Undeniably. And there are many many others who’ve been the recipients of scathing and childish and ignorant comments.

The man has no dignity. Zero. Effes. None at all.

And he’s going to be our 45th president. I still, to this moment, can’t figure out how the American people were so easily persuaded to vote for a man whose lies are visible for all of us to see, whose business practices are dishonest and abusive, whose tawdry sex life has been paraded in front of us by the perpetrator himself, stunningly, immorally and unashamedly, and who has shown no interest at all in learning the job he wanted so badly.

He will try and silence the press. We saw how he abused a CNN reporter last week in the purported press conference. Now there is lots of chatter about moving the press into a less prominent location in the White House. Until now the press has been our friend. They have reported and recorded and told us we’re not crazy to want to repel this man. They have uncovered more than we ever could on our own. If they are silenced we are doomed. No easy answers from this quarter. None of us individually has the power to do a damned thing about it.

So inauguration is Friday. Black Friday. There will actually be celebrations of this event and there are those who seek normalization and regard the ceremonies as a tribute to American democracy. The so-called smooth transition of power. If the president behaves like he did as candidate and president-elect, the normalization will be transitory or nonexistent. America is being threatened. And Israel cannot be far behind.

I want so strongly to be wrong. I have progeny. I’d like them to grow up in a peaceful world. But I am impotent and so are we all.

Now let us pray!

About the Author
Rosanne Skopp is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother of three. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and travels back and forth between homes in New Jersey and Israel. She is currently writing a family history.
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