What others say: Trump needs thicker skin, but give him a chance

  • Tuesday, December 6, 2016 5:43pm
  • Opinion

From the daily news reports, you get the impression the Trump administration is already collapsing on itself.

Since the election, the nation’s news syndicates have produced an unending string of nearly apocalyptic Tales of Dread. The transition is too slow! His chief counselor is a “conservative provocateur” and “controversial conservative firebrand” who may be anti-Semitic! Trump’s children may be helping pick the Cabinet! Foreign policy may change! His appointments are scary — and maybe even “anti-Islamist”!

He may be planning “extreme vetting” of immigrants and refugees! It’s been two weeks since the election, and Trump still hasn’t cut his lifelong business ties!

Good grief.

Give the man a chance. He’s forming a new administration from scratch — and as a political newcomer, it really is from scratch. But as a savvy businessman, he’s doing a thorough job of screening candidates.

Moreover, his meeting with Mitt Romney — who bitterly opposed Trump during the campaign — is a tremendous gesture of the kind of good will presidents should engender.

Having said that, we would caution the president-elect: Get rid of your Twitter account and grow some extra layers of skin.

Mr. Trump has become legendary for knee-jerk reactions to his critics, often in “tweets” that come at all hours of the day and night.

And when he hosted several dozen top news reporters, anchors and executives for an off-the-record summit recently, he was reportedly so critical of them that one source described it as “a (bleeping) firing squad.”

As evidenced by the above, and by the horrid, biased reporting during the general election campaign, the news folks deserve a good talking-to. But you have to wonder if that was the most advantageous, or presidential, thing Mr. Trump could’ve done.

He has a history of trying to ban news agencies and reporters he feels have done him wrong. As president, that simply won’t be acceptable, and it won’t work.

Indeed, President Obama tried to ban Fox News, but thankfully their rivals at other news agencies wouldn’t stand for it.

As names of his possible presidential press secretary began surfacing recently, it got us to thinking: Were it us being considered for the job, we would accept it only on the condition that the administration never attempt to marginalize or ostracize the press corps.

We realize that as a CEO and celebrity, Mr. Trump may be accustomed to favoring certain media people and outlets over others. That was his prerogative as a private citizen.

As president, he will have joined a long-running Kabuki dance between the White House and press corps. They report, sometimes distort, watching like an eagle for one misstep on the part of the executive. He, in turn, smiles and tangos on.

A free people simply won’t have it any other way.

There are already signs that Mr. Trump is growing into the role of president — including his meeting with Romney. But again, the role involves a skin as tough as old shoe leather.

He needn’t look far for such an example. When his vice president-elect, Mike Pence, was booed and lectured on Broadway recently, he shrugged to his family, “that’s what freedom sounds like.”

Donald Trump needs to train his ears for it.

— The Augusta Chronicle, Georgia,

Nov. 27

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