Juda Engelmayer for Respvblica
In the Bible (Leviticus 19:14) we learn not to place a stumbling block before the blind – or in Hebrew, lif’nei iver. This lesson has been taught to inform us that knowingly giving bad advice to another person is wrong, or helping or causing another to sin is wrong and placing any kind of prohibited temptation in front of someone is also wrong. That lesson talks of how one must deal with another, and it seems so pertinent for President trump and his team of advisors and administration. So many near him have been doing this lately, and Trump himself seems to fall victim, and even does it to himself.
Hillary Clinton’s private email server became a serious source of contention during the 2016 election cycle, prompting the controversial decision by then FBI Director James Comey that Clinton claims cost her the election. The email server stirred chants of “Lock Her Up” at Donald Trump’s rallies, and was fodder used by the then candidate Trump to criticize his opponent, even implying criminality.
Whether it was criminal or not, or whether it was Comey who stymied her election or Clinton’s many missteps themselves that ended her political run, are less important now than what is happening currently. It was revealed today that Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner has been using his private email to send White House staff messages; and that is a problem.
To be clear here – I am not in a position to comment on the legality of Kushner’s emails. He has claimed they were benign emails, and often merely links to, or news articles about Trump and various issues or policies. That may be, but still, after that bout with Clinton and her emails, shouldn’t we expect Trump’s own people to be more careful? If for no other reason than to not give extra fodder to the news media to criticize, Kushner should be smarter than that.
Trump has had a very tumultuous start as president, and even among those who support him and believe in what he can accomplish, his staff turnover and Twitter use has been somewhat alarming. The missteps of Michael Flynn, the chaotic weeklong run of Anthony Scaramucci, and of course, the Comey firing itself, have all contributed to the media fodder that President Trump constantly challenges in his fight against “fake news.”
The left will not stop beating their drums against Trump, his presidency or his team. At every turn it seems to be the most “Breaking News” the likes of Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper can come up with.
As a side bar, it is worth a mention that while the storms were ravaging Texas and Florida, CNN turned to 24-hour coverage of their effects on the people, states and country, and seemed to find very little time for Trump. Trump is who is he is, and assuredly did not stop doing what he does during those times. Yet, Hurricane Donald seemingly did not stir enough “Breaking News” for CNN to focus on during Harvey and Irma – which may be telling about what they choose to cover and why.
Now that the storms have ended for now and the massive cleanup is not as newsworthy as video of the actual news anchors blowing in the wind as the hurricanes ripped, Trump is again making top news. With that, he and his team need to be so careful as to not make any obvious missteps that will continue to give cause to rip at him.
Donald Trump is a smart guy who has built an empire on his personality, his unique oratory discourse, and his branding acumen. He has brought smart people in to help him run many parts of the government, and even put in his pick for the United States Supreme Court. The expectation anyone who backed him has is that he would bring all of that to the presidency and “make America great again”, but when more distractions occur, writers such as New York Times’ Maggie Haberman can tweet, “Once upon a time, Trump claimed he fired Comey because of how he handled Clinton email issue. Today, his son in law is using private email.”
It is just the latest in a litany of poor judgement and lapses that seems to plague this Administration.
To some, my opinion may be naïve, but I believe that when there seems to be a target on your back, you do not need to mark it with a laser for your enemies. In this case, Trump makes is too easy.
As a public relations professional, these issues exasperate me. Here, a master of his own PR does not know how to limit the attacks on him through some very basic steps, the number one step being never give fuel to your opponent. They will find enough to attack you on for your opinions and policies, but this new left in America will find every fault and beat it into the public incessantly. Kushner’s emails may be insignificant, but they will be made to be larger than the sum of their parts.
Sure, it is hypocrisy at its very core, but only stalwarts know that. Paul Waldman said it well in a Washington Post opinion piece, “The truth is that there are very few things that each party won’t condemn when the other side does it but defend when their own side does it. But it’s the job of the press to sort out what’s meaningful from what isn’t.”
Here, many in the media act like they are part of a political party – the Liberal, (née Democratic) party, but that is not news, and Trump has been calling them out since he became the frontrunner and now president. How much more careful need he and his team need be with that knowledge!
Donald Trump is our president and whether one supported him or not, we should all want the best for our country and for him to succeed. He should want that too, and to begin with, he needs to take a stern look at his and his team’s actions, and at the very least, remove the easy stumbling blocks before him and focus on the real work at hand – immigration, health care, taxes and international leadership against the evils threatening us all.
Trump needs no added temptations for media and the leftist legions to harp on. I would hope that he can begin to gain a stronger hold of the people around him so that these distractions do not stop his attempts at progress.