I hereby intend to give Donald J. Trump the benefit of the doubt.
It’s a slight benefit. It’s not huge. I’ll give it to him nevertheless.
The president of the United States seems destined to part company with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The two men haven’t meshed. They didn’t know each other before Trump picked Tillerson to become the nation’s top diplomat.
If he fires Tillerson, I can understand why he would do such a thing. No one likes to be called a “moron,” which Tillerson reportedly did this summer in a meeting at the Pentagon.
I wouldn’t like being called such a thing. No one ever has called me a “moron,” at least to the best of my knowledge. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many colleagues over 37 years as a working stiff in daily journalism. Some or perhaps many of them might have thought of me as a moron; they never blurted it out loud as Tillerson did … allegedly.
Have I worked for any morons? Oh, you bet I have. However, I’ve usually avoided saying it aloud to where the object of my scorn might hear about it. Trump certainly has heard about Tillerson’s insulting remark. He reportedly is furious with Tillerson.
Now, having said all this about Trump and giving him the benefit of the doubt, I need to comment briefly on the supreme irony contained in this tempest.
Trump has hurled many insults as a private business mogul and as a politician. They have been hurtful. They have caused pain. They have been vicious. They run counter to the Golden Rule that Scripture tells us to follow, the one about doing “unto others as you have them do unto you.”
The difference, though, is that Trump didn’t insult his bosses. He’s usually been the “boss” in private life and now, quite obviously, in this new job he occupies as head of state.
Still, I am thinking about the cliché we’ve often heard about “being able to dish it out but not being able to take it.” Still, no one — especially Donald Trump — likes being called a “moron,” even if the epithet contains more than a nugget of truth.
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