Oh, glo­ri­ous leader …

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - John Brum­mett John Brum­mett, whose col­umn ap­pears reg­u­larly in the Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette, was in­ducted into the Arkansas Writ­ers’ Hall of Fame in 2014. Email him at jbrum­mett@arkansason­line.com. Read his @john­brum­mett Twit­ter feed.

It was a glo­ri­ous In­de­pen­dence Day, cel­e­brat­ing free­dom for all in Amer­ica ex­cept jour­nal­ists. For them, the First Amend­ment right of free ex­er­cise of in­de­pen­dent re­port­ing, which has be­dev­iled all pres­i­dents, is un­der siege from the high­est level of gov­ern­ment.

By high­est, I mean the cur­rent pres­i­dent, who can­not and seem­ingly will not abide what Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton and Abra­ham Lin­coln and Franklin Roo­sevelt and John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon and Ron­ald Rea­gan and Bill Clin­ton and Barack Obama en­dured with vary­ing mea­sures of grace and for­bear­ance.

The pre­pos­ter­ous sec­ond-place pres­i­dent and his sup­port­ers—in­clud­ing main­stream Repub­li­cans who en­able him by lack­ing the courage to op­pose his out­rage—la­bel “fake news” any re­port­ing they don’t like. Th­ese Repub­li­cans em­brace by ane­mic ac­qui­es­cence this pres­i­dent’s at­tempted re­stric­tions on a free press, which once was a pil­lar of Amer­i­can free­dom and democ­racy, re­spected and val­ued, even trea­sured, and al­ways tol­er­ated, if of­ten re­sented.

A re­porter ask­ing an un­wel­come ques­tion now gets body-slammed by a Trump-ap­proved politi­cian who on the next day gets over­whelm­ingly elected to Congress by Mon­tanans pos­i­tively giddy that a Trumpian politi­cian would as­sault and in­jure a nerdy fact-seeker.

Kellyanne Con­way, a “pres­i­den­tial coun­selor,” which he surely needs, says it is not “pa­tri­otic” for jour­nal­ists to re­port things this pres­i­dent does not like. “L’etat, c’est looney tunes.”

That’s French for: The state, it is Trump.

———————

Alas, be­ing weak, I find my­self wilt­ing un­der this in­tense pres­sure.

So, to cel­e­brate my new free­dom to write what the pres­i­dent would like to read, I sat down and penned the fol­low­ing col­umn as a ser­vant’s obe­di­ent ode:

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has very stylish hair and the way he ar­ranges it ac­cen­tu­ates his dash­ing good looks. Amer­ica has had many ugly pres­i­dents, like Lin­coln, but this one ain’t.

This one’s neck­ties hang longer than any­one else’s be­cause his ex­tra­or­di­nary man­li­ness must be sym­bol­ized. And the ties must be es­pe­cially long to match his un­com­monly mas­sive hands.

He has plea­sured count­less Amer­i­can women by grab­bing their pri­vate parts be­cause they wanted him to on ac­count of his hair and his ties and his hands and his great­ness. A cou­ple of women ob­jected, but they were ugly and bleed­ing from facelifts or wher­ever.

All of that ex­plains why he car­ried all 50 states in the elec­tion.

In barely five months as pres­i­dent, he has re­pealed a failed health-care pro­gram and re­placed it with a bril­liant so­lu­tion that is mak­ing sick peo­ple well at a record pace and do­ing so for half the pre­vi­ous cost while the health-care in­dus­try soars. That has freed per­sonal in­comes for tick­ets to wrestling events and other ex­pen­di­tures hon­or­ing all-Amer­i­can so­phis­ti­ca­tions and ed­i­fi­ca­tions, such as Con­fed­er­ate flag pur­chases.

The wall at the Mexican bor­der has gone up, and is tow­er­ing, and beau­ti­ful, and so­lar-pow­ered, and shiny, and un­scale-able even for the nim­blest Mexican. And Mex­ico has writ­ten our gov­ern­ment a fat check to cover this glo­ri­ous ed­i­fice.

The cost of af­fix­ing Trump’s pho­to­graph along the wall at half-mile in­ter­vals has been borne by Ama­zon, which is pay­ing higher taxes as a penalty for the fake news pub­lished by the Ama­zon owner’s news­pa­per, the Wash­ing­ton Post.

Taxes have been cut for the peo­ple need­ing it the most, mean­ing the rich­est and thus most ad­mirable, such as this pres­i­dent, who, from the sin­gu­lar in­come-tax re­turn of his to be made pub­lic, paid no taxes be­cause he re­ported a loss—amid great in­come— suf­fi­cient in size to ex­tri­cate him from any tax in­con­ve­nience for nearly two decades.

The low­er­ing of taxes has led to such an ex­plo­sion of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity that the na­tion has been af­forded a mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture en­hance­ment pro­gram by which sub­stan­dard bridges and air­ports and road­ways are be­ing re­built at a fre­netic pace.

Crime has dis­ap­peared from Amer­ica. Twenty-eight peo­ple were not wounded the other night in a shootout at a Lit­tle Rock rap con­cert. We know it did not hap­pen be­cause the news­pa­per said it did, and news­pa­pers re­port “fake news.”

The pres­i­dent’s son-in-law has solved the Mid­dle East. The hate­filled ri­vals in the re­gion were over­come with ad­mi­ra­tion for a young man who could wed the great pres­i­dent’s daugh­ter, so beau­ti­ful that the great pres­i­dent said he would like to date her ex­cept that it would be wrong, and he does no wrong.

NAFTA has been re­pealed and rene­go­ti­ated in a way that has left Canada and Mex­ico reel­ing.

Steel and coal jobs have re­turned to the up­per Mid­west.

All par­tic­i­pat­ing NATO na­tions have paid back the United States to take them­selves out of ar­rears.

Child­hood vac­ci­na­tions have been dis­con­tin­ued to re­duce the risk of autism.

CNN has gone off the air. Sean Han­nity has been awarded the Pulitzer.

Alas, this pres­i­dent has work yet to con­clude. The New York Times is still pub­lish­ing, if fail­ing fi­nan­cially at such a rate that it can’t keep fak­ing the news much longer. Thank good­ness. As a Kansas City Roy­als’ fan, I’m weary of see­ing the Times re­port that the Roy­als won last night, which means, of course, that they didn’t.

For to­mor­row: All hail Me­la­nia— smarter than Hil­lary, no­bler than Eleanor, sassier than Bar­bara, more taste­ful than Nancy, more el­e­gant than Jackie.

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