Agnes and I have a lot of friends and relatives living in Europe, and we communicate with them often by phone, e-mail, and the occasional ink-on-paper letter. One of the most common comments we hear from them is some variation on what are you people thinking? Here's an example from one of our friends in Switzerland, who last week wrote,
"Ja, über eure neue Regierung spricht wohl die ganze Welt! Vielleicht wäre es wirklich besser, die ganze Welt würde den Präsidenten und seine nächsten Berater ganz einfach ignorieren, und niemand würde mehr das getwitter von Herrn Trump lesen! Wir fragen uns oft, wielang dies weitergehen kann????"
Translation: "Yes, the whole world is talking about your new government! Perhaps it would be better if the whole world would just ignore the President and his closest advisors, and nobody would read Mr Trump's tweets! We often ask ourselves how much longer this can go on????"
It's a question I often ask myself.
I must admit, with a certain amount of embarrassment, that I cannot bring myself to say, write, or type the words "President" and "Trump" together. I know he was legally and Constitutionally elected, and I know it sounds small and petty, but Mr Trump is a small and petty person who has made not the least effort to act presidential or look like a statesman and who, rather than reaching out to try to heal the nation's divisions, has spread gasoline on the fires with his baseless accusations, insults, and blatant lies and evasions.
Most observers believe Trump won the election because voters were angry. I get that. I'm angry, too. But never was the old adage about cutting off one's nose to spite one's face more appropriate. Why would you hire someone with absolutely no experience in government to fix the problems ... if there's a problem with the airplane you're riding in, would you want someone with no flying experience to land you safely? If your doctor has a heart attack in the middle of your open-heart surgery, would you want someone who'd never been to medical school to take her place?
I wish I knew. And so does the rest of the world.
Have as good a day as you can in this environment.
More thoughts tomorrow.