Grading Trump: A teacher’s perspective
Iam a retired teacher (38 years), so I have decided the best way to send a message to a president who holds so little regard for civility, tolerance, curiosity and truth is through satire, by giving Donald Trump a report card. It is becoming clear that the only thing that can truly outrage the leader of the free world is criticism of his words or actions.
Good-performing techniques and ability to persuade people despite limited evidence to support the points you are trying to make. Recommendations: Reach out to a broader audience. Try not to overuse adverbs and adjectives, e.g. “very, very” and “bad,” “good,” “terrible” and “great.” Avoid platitudes; seek to inspire thought. Twittering is a lazy way of thinking about and responding to complex issues. Use fewer finger gestures.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: C
Skill in golf indicates a dedication to countless hours of practice. Recommendation: Spend more time in the gym at the White House and less vacation time, at taxpayer expense, on the golf course.
You know how to exploit tax code and bankruptcy laws to make a ton of money. However, you think saving the coal industry instead of preparing for an energy-wise future for our grandchildren is a sound economic investment. You think that you can entice American companies to give up cheap labor in other countries and bring jobs back to America through tax incentives or by weakening environmental regulations. Recommendation: Take a day or two to plant strawberries or pick tomatoes or split wood. It may teach you a little humility and the value of hard labor.
Failure to understand the meaning of irony; e.g., you accuse others of showboating and grandstanding; e.g., you express outrage at white supremacists, a group you courted during your election; e.g., you say you love the “Dreamers.” You have a problem differentiating the meanings of “easy” and “hard.” Recommendation: The best way to expand your vocabulary is to read extensively.
Failed to read the required classics. Turned in two book reports, “Road to riches” and “Self-promotion.” Recommendation: write cogent, insightful critiques of Animal Farm, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and All the Light We Cannot See.
Fell asleep during discussions of ecology and environmental science. Recommendation: If you have no access to books or scientific magazines, watch the National Geographic Channel and PBS programming on television.
You think that the American Civil War could have been avoided through negotiation; you exhibited no curiosity or outrage that a foreign government may have sabotaged our democracy during the presidential election. You show limited knowledge of the First Amendment and the role of free press to hold the executive branch accountable. Apparently you are unaware of the causes of World War II. Recommendation: ??
DEPORTMENT, JUDGMENT: U
Wealth is a poor standard by which to judge another person’s worth or qualifications. You have a tendency to shove others out of the way to be first in line. You have a habit of whining when you are criticized. You try to make up for your feelings of insecurity by staging political rallies, a practice you share with the leader of North Korea. Recommendations: Try to be more inclusive. Look up definition of “bully.”
Finally, in the spirit of these self-congratulatory presidential times, I have spent five seconds on self-reflection and awarded myself an A for my career as a teacher. Anyone who disputes this is either a “liar” or a “crook.” Any reputed mistakes that I have ever made are “fake” news, which is totally unfair to me.
Robert Miller is a retired teacher and 40-year resident of a small, conservative mountain community in New Mexico.