In 1970 I ran for Congress in New York. My district, the old 19th Congressional District, included the West Side of Manhattan and part of the Lower East Side. This was probably the most liberal district east of the Mississippi River, and I was a Nixon Republican with a Southern accent, whose wife refused to become an American citizen! In that district, which was 80 percent Democrat, we held the opponent, Bella Abzug, to a 52 percent victory.
Israel had won the Sinai Peninsula among other territories in the Six-Day War only three years earlier. One afternoon, in a candidates’ forum, I proposed that Israel unilaterally withdraw one hundred yards from the east bank of the Suez Canal to give the Arabs the chance to re-open the canal and restore order to international trade.
My campaign manager was my first boss in broadcasting, Tex McCrary, and he was so angry I thought he was going to punch me! “Where the hell did you get that crazy notion for Israel to withdraw unilaterally?” he thundered. “It just occurred to me while I was talking,” I explained. “Why would you call on Israel to withdraw from territory it had won, in front of an audience of almost 100 percent Jewish voters?” was Tex’s next question. I explained, “I wanted them to know I was fair.”
Then Tex got mad enough to throw the piano through the plate glass window. “They don’t want to know you’re fair,” Tex screamed. “They want to know whose side you’re on!”
Now I want to know whose side you’re on.
The American voters have divided themselves into two opposing camps. One side says, “It’s too bad we have to spend so much time and energy investigating the president, but some serious doubt has emerged about his dealings with Russia, and our law demands we investigate it thoroughly.”
The other camp says, “That’s a commodity common wherever bulls congregate. You’re just trying to nullify the results of the 2016 election and get rid of Donald Trump.”
See there! I tried to portray the two sides equally – and I failed! I’m so firmly convinced there’s a coordinated effort to dump Trump that I just can’t portray the two sides as equally valid. There is inevitable overlap, of course. Some who cry out the need to investigate really just want to get rid of Trump, so they comfort themselves by having their bias decorated with constitutionality. And hordes of pro-Trump voters who interpret the law as favoring Trump find such interpretations lubricated by their pro-Trump feelings.
It’s no miracle I tend to gravitate to Fox News as a result of my pro-Trump mindset. but occasionally I’ll hear a few seconds of CNN or MSNBC en route to my Fox channel, and I feel like stopping strangers on the street and saying, “Are you aware what those dragonflies are saying about President Trump over on CNN?”
It’s interesting to suppose with your heart that the Republicans are going to retain control of the House and Senate after the mid-terms, but that optimism gets flattened by the poisoning of the very air over America by those who want Trump disposed of, and a good rich devastating conclusion by the Mueller team is one – just one – of many ways, means, levers and devices to “Get Trump”!
At the moment the anti-Trump forces have us beaten. They have the passion – all the passion – which was Trump’s secret weapon 2016. We pro-Trumpers have the smug assurance that America will surely quit quibbling and reward President Trump at the polls for his many successes. I actually believe that and probably will until around midnight on election night in November.
I can’t cite a single example of things happening the way I want them to happen. As Adolf Hitler was pasting country after country into his scrapbook, the good folks in the good countries looked on, hoping they wouldn’t be next. When forces did their best to revolutionize governments in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Venezuela and elsewhere, the good people nervously looked on, hoping the rebels would forget about it and go home.
I fear we pro-Trumpers are no better, no different. We’ll enjoy how well our man Trump performed in office and then spend the rest of our lives wondering what went wrong.
The Big Hope? Trump’s political life has featured one miracle after another. Some of us fear a dreadful end of America-as-we-know-it if the Democrats come back and take over. The next time you pray to the gods of politics, please emphasize that we’re not looking for a presidential appointment, a good government job, a pardon from the IRS, a lucrative contract with the Albanian bauxite people or an appointment to West Point for a favorite nephew.
All we ask is one more miracle.