Cal Thomas: Trump’s behavior offensive and unnecessary | TribLIVE.com
Featured Commentary

Cal Thomas: Trump’s behavior offensive and unnecessary

908857_web1_TrumpLook

President Trump made a rare appearance at a church Sunday. It’s a safe bet the sermon was not based on Proverbs 15:1 — “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” If it was, it didn’t appear to have much effect.

Before and after church, the president engaged in a tweet storm that insulted several people, including the late Sen. John McCain. Trump accuses McCain of being complicit in the leak of the Steele dossier, a private intelligence report compiled by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele for the political research firm Fusion GPS, which, among other things, alleges that in Moscow Trump booked “the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew President and Mrs. Obama (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia,” and, while in the company of prostitutes, defiled the bed.

According to Newsweek, “major parts of the dossier have been verified by subsequent investigations into Russian election meddling.” Trump’s behavior at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow, however, remains unverified.

The president referred to McCain as “last in his class at Annapolis.” This was too much for McCain’s daughter, Meghan, who said on “The View,” that the president is leading “a pathetic life,” adding, “He spends his weekend obsessing over great men, because he knows it, and I know it, and all of you know it, he will never be a great man.”

This is the problem with insults and anger. They invite similar responses. Nothing is affected by harshness, except a general degrading of the office and of the people who shoot rhetorical arrows at others. Are such things a cause of our deep decline into the cesspool of decadence, or are they a reflection of much of the country’s mood? I fear it is the latter, but good examples can set a higher tone. It is why we instruct our children not to call other people names. Don’t we? If we do, why do so many tolerate it with Trump?

Among the many problems with the president’s behavior is that it is unnecessary. It is also offensive. It is unnecessary because he is keeping most of his promises, including the naming of constitutionalists to the courts and presiding over a roaring economy that has lifted many boats previously thought to have sunk forever. According to a new CNN poll, seven out of 10 respondents say the economy is in “good shape,” a prerequisite for any president seeking re-election.

One can favor the policies of the president while criticizing his behavior. “Uncouth” is one word that comes to mind. It was used in an email to me by a prominent conservative talk show host (not Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, in case you are wondering), who is also tired of the president’s insults. Uncouth is defined as “lacking good manners, refinement or grace.” Does this not accurately describe this president?

He threatens to sue “Saturday Night Live” for Alec Baldwin’s satirical portrayal of him. He should go on the show, as Sarah Palin did, and demonstrate he can take it as well as dish it out. It might boost his likability.

Kindness, grace and humility go a long way and accomplish more than perpetual anger and demeaning people with whom one disagrees. The president should try it, not in a manipulative way, but seriously.

Perhaps at church Sunday there was a Bible in the pew. The president should have opened it to Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Try it, Mr. President. It works. This advice is offered by one who wishes you success.

Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.