Proverbs 16:7 (NIV), “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
God bless y’all and thanks so very much for your kind words, prayers, and thoughts for our family as yesterday we laid Angela’s dad, MSG (Ret) Ronald Keith Graham to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. It was a beautiful day, and somehow, there was even a flyover by four UH-1 Huey helicopters in formation, a fitting farewell for a Vietnam War combat infantryman. After the ceremony, we paid our own final farewells and then headed over for a family meal at a local restaurant.
And that’s when it happened.
Needless to say, everyone in the family knows who I am and yep, we had that conversation that folks say families shouldn’t have: politics.
The exchange went right to the recent actions of President Trump towards the MSNBC “Morning Joe” hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezinski. Now, let me be honest, I feel no compulsion to address — certainly not defend — President Trump’s “tweeting” habits. That’s no different from liberal progressives who were able to excuse the abhorrent actions of President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office with a young intern. The same relatives who inquired of me about Trump’s tweet admitted they knew nothing about Benghazi, and had no idea President Obama had cancelled the DC school voucher program. And why should I take any association, or responsibility, for Trump, when not a single progressive socialist found anything wrong with Hillary Clinton having an unauthorized and unsecured private email server transmitting classified information?
As well, I had a very enlightening conversation with them, expounding on the fact that Medicaid for everyone is not a viable solution for our healthcare system in America.
But to the purpose of this missive: President Trump is the leader of the free world. His exchange relating to the Morning Joe hosts was undignified of the office, immature, unnecessary and irrational.
It’s as if President Trump is sitting in a room full of TVs and just responding to any and everything about himself.
Let me share with you, Mr. President, a wise saying from my deceased dad, Herman “Buck” West: Never read your own press and never drink your own tub water.”
In other words sir, stay humble and don’t become full of yourself. So what if folks are over-the-top critical of you and speaking of you in demeaning, disparaging and denigrating terms? Hey, welcome to the world of being a black conservative. The professional and adult response is not to respond at all; never punch down Mr. President. You must maintain the moral high ground, as the wise words of Solomon aforementioned above suggest.
If you continue to show yourself as being so very thin-skinned, well, this little Pavlovian experiment will continue. The liberal progressive media is truly unhinged. You should not continue to take the bait or be an accomplice and follow them over the edge. The first course of action is to ignore the left, and realize that you won. You are the president. The left and their media are not required to legitimize you, but you must stop giving them legitimate reasons for their assessments. They want a reaction. Stop giving them one.
When you willingly provide them a reaction, you lower yourself to their level. I know Mr. President, you’re from New York and pride yourself as some kind of “street fighter.” But toughness isn’t measured by blindly swinging and wasting energy at every single affront. You sir must learn to “fight smarter, not harder.” There’s no honor in what you did and how you responded. I know there’s many a sycophant telling you to go git ’em, and you’re really showing them up? Really?
You want to show up the left? Defeat them ideologically, as you have the world’s greatest platform, the bully pulpit, so there’s no need to just be a bully on Twitter.
How about this Mr. President, tweet out why Medicaid for everyone is a really stupid idea. Stay on a disciplined policy message, and don’t allow yourself to be like a dog seeing a squirrel and completely losing focus. Stop providing your opposition with ammunition but rather make it extremely difficult to the point that they’re writing stories about you having two scoops of ice cream, while others only get one.
My warning to you sir is if you continue down this path, there are adversarial leaders in this world who will get you off track. Someone like a former KGB colonel, Vladimir Putin, a master at psychological warfare, will simply have you chasing your tail, frustrating you, and in the end you’ll be “dancing with the devil by the pale moon light.”
Leadership is all about winning, not always by brute force, but by the power of your persuasion, skill, and use of stealth-like, unemotional focus. Stop taking the bait and providing a platform to those who seeking to legitimize their assessments, and have sucking ratings. In lowering yourself, you elevate them…and enable the liberal progressive media to once again ignore what you’re seeking to do as president.
Tweet that you won’t approve of the members of the House and Senate taking an August recess. Tweet about your assessment of the border adjustment tax. Tweet about how you’re going to use our energy dominance to bolster our national security. Tweet about how we have a massive youth unemployment issue in America, and what that means for the summer. Tweet about the failure of progressive socialism in Venezuela. Tweet about how you are focused on reducing the regulatory burden on our small businesses and small community banks. Get your administration’s critical Senate-confirmed positions filled.
Sir, you are the president of the United States. You are not a victim. This is not a third grade recess yard and you need not respond to the derangement of the liberal progressive left and their complicit media allies. What you MUST do is restore our economic growth and defeat our enemies, foreign and domestic. You MUST be laser focused and not so easily distracted. The ultimate “tweet” against the left is success.
Yes, I know there are going to be some folks who want to see more of this type of behavior. I am not one of them. And there will probably be those who make disparaging comments to me about this. Go ahead, I won’t be responding. I will stay above the fray, and maintain the high ground.
Alexander the Great was successful because he was a superior strategist, and a leader. An American president, a leader, doesn’t need to get into a reckless, childish, game of name-calling with insignificant commentators.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]