Trump’s Naughty Word and His Schoolgirlish Critics

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This past week President Donald Trump spent an inordinate amount of time bending over backwards to accommodate Democrats who don’t like or want his immigration reform any more than they like or want him as president.

The fact that the president even welcomed them into the White House to hear their views to try to reach some common ground speaks volumes about his gracious demeanor in reaching out to the core of his harshest Congressional opponents. He brought them to the White House with the underlying hope that through such up close and personal meetings their pent-up mutual hostility could perhaps dissipate.

In his decades cultivating a multi-billion-dollar empire, Donald Trump learned full well the value of face-to-face meetings. The kind that focus on a frank, no-holds-barred, give-and-take bartering, such that by the end of the session, after the parties had yelled, cursed, pointed, slammed the table, and done everything except throw chairs across the room … they seal the deal with a handshake, before heading out for a round of golf.

That’s the Trump Way. And it used to be the Washington Way, too.

Once upon a time presidents and senators from opposite parties would meet in such a manner to get things done. They’d go back and forth, exchanging insults and jokes, accusations and slurs. Yet we almost never even heard about it. Or if we did, it was years after.

Think Bill Clinton cursing at Newt Gingrich; Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill trading barbs; Barack Obama and John Boehner going at it.

Then there was the ultimate Insulter-in-Chief, Lyndon Johnson, who made Archie Bunker look like a choir boy.

But it was all behind closed doors. And we usually never got a whiff of it until one of them would either write a book much later or be interviewed by some historian.

Then came Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States.

Trump is the most vilified president since Teddy Roosevelt. But at least in Teddy’s time, what happened behind closed doors stayed there. In fact, with sporadic exceptions, that was generally the case all the way to Barack Obama.

Now we have the spectacle of spineless Democrats, or even a turncoat Republican or two, leaking President Trump’s off-color remarks during their closed-door – read:  confidential — meetings, in which they claimed that Trump made some crass remark about Haiti as a “[expletive] – hole” place. They then pretended to be shocked that the president would utter something so crass.


As if JFK never poked fun at France. Or Gerald Ford had only honey-rimmed things to say about Cambodia. Or Jimmy Carter … well, maybe not the Bible-toting Jimmy.

The point is, if we judge a president by what he says behind closed doors we’d have nothing but a succession of … dour, timid, ingratiating, automatons in the Oval Office. Like Jimmy Carter.

Besides, actions really do speak louder than words. Richard Nixon made enough crude remarks about Jews to make any Bar Mitzvah boy turn beet red. Then again, he saved Israel from defeat in the 1973 Yom Kippur War with a massive airlift.

When Dwight Eisenhower deported 1.5 million Mexican illegals under the code name Operation Wetback, ever wonder what he called them behind closed doors in the Roosevelt Room? We’ll never know because the politicians in those meetings never told. Unlike those charlatans today in the Roosevelt Room with Donald Trump.

Remember the tattle-tellers in elementary school? Those squirmy kids that no one else liked, who ran to the teacher whenever you said a bad word? That’s what passes for more than a few senators these days. But at least the 10-year-old tattle-teller was up front about it, while some devious senators attempt to mask their smears.

And since they ratted out President Trump for his disparaging remarks on Haiti, it begs the question – what, pray tell, did the president say that was false?

Haiti is the only Caribbean nation that tourists never flock to. And with good reason. It’s the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with one of the highest crime and illiteracy rates in the world. And enough communicable diseases to put it under permanent U.S. Navy quarantine.

In semi-polite terms, Haiti is a basket case. Always has been. Open the floodgates and the entire population would vacate for Dade County.

So, with such a large portion of the Haitian population already ensconced in the United States, it’s only reasonable that other long-neglected ethnic groups should experience the joys of permanent American hospitality. Like people from Norway.

Leave it to Donald Trump and, at long last, the Norwegians will finally get the chance to reunite with their distant Nordic cousins in Minnesota. After all, the United States hasn’t given the heirs to the Vikings preferential immigrant status since the days of Little House on the Prairie.

So, while it’s grossly unfair to lay blame on the president for drawing the obvious contrast between immigrants from a first-rate industrialized democracy and immigrants from a Third World backwater, the media, Democrats, and those anonymous turncoat Republicans still find a way to twist it into some racist, xenophobic Trump plot to Aryanize America.

Yet the real issue has less to do with the president’s off the cuff — and off the record — remarks on Haiti or West Africa, than the fact that those political adversaries whom he invited to the White House for a closed-door meeting leaked his comments to the press, thus broaching a White House protocol that had been in place since about the time the Adamses, father and son, roamed its halls.

In LBJ’s day not only would such political miscreants have been banned from the White House, he would have run them out of office. All of them.

On that, Lyndon Johnson had the right idea.


Tom Mountain is a Member of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee.