Mero Moment: Donald Trump’s gift to America

Box image from, St. George News

OPINION — In looking back on the year 2017, Americans have witnessed political, cultural and economic cycles like few other years in recent memory. Personally, I began this year by unaffiliating with the Republican Party. Trump was too much for me to bear. He turned out to be the president many of us thought he would be. He remains ill suited to be the leader of the free world. In fact, I predicted earlier this year that Trump would not make it to the end of the year – either he would resign or be booted from office. Yet, there he remains.

The politics of cynicism are the story of 2017 in my opinion. When Trump first announced his candidacy, I told friends he had no chance of being nominated. After all, he had no political experience, he knew little to nothing about serious issues and what he did talk about was lamebrain. Surely principled Republican voters could see right through his charade?

When Trump received the GOP nomination, I was dumbfounded. I thought there was no way he could win. Even Hillary Clinton would destroy him at the polls. Like most political observers at the time, I thought Trump was simply a bridge too far in American politics. When he won the presidency, today’s political realities still failed to hit me. He is an idiot and the people who voted for him must be too. And that’s when I predicted Trump would not last a year as president.

I have been wrong at every turn about Trump. I still believe he is incompetent and unfit to be our president. I still believe a third-grader knows more about American history than Trump. And I still believe his hard-core supporters are less than intelligent. But one opinion has changed: I see how deeply political cynicism runs in America when things just do not go our way.

This cynicism begins when our elected officials seem unresponsive to our concerns. Our cynicism mounts with each new taste that those in power care nothing for the powerless. The true “Forgotten Man” is more than ignored. He is degraded and dismissed. I have had to repent of my own sins of judgment. In the name of fighting for goodness and intelligence and common sense, I have dismissed the very people for whom I thought I was fighting. I doubled down on the angst of the “Forgotten Man.”

Trump is their president, even if he is not mine of choice. Every slight of Trump is a slight of them. Every time I have criticized Trump, I have criticized them. I am not sure how to separate the two even when I now see it. President Trump is like no other president in American history precisely because his presidency is not about the man. His presidency is about the justified cynicism within the people who elected him. He is a figurehead not an independent man. Even his crazy ideas – and there are many – are excused by his supporters because they do not see him, they see themselves in him.

Of course, this reality is no excuse for bad public policy or bad behavior. Racism is still racism. Stupidity is still stupidity. But this reality must be seen and addressed. Those of us who see differently than Trump (about almost everything) need to see more than the forgotten men and women who support him. We also must address their deep-seated cynicism grown from years of lousy political leaders, poor governance and increasing corruption.

Trump supporters do not necessarily like Trump as much as they distrust everything about government. Trump is their big, hairy, middle finger to politics as usual. To restore sanity in American politics, we need to regain the trust of the people – all people. In an odd way, Trump will help us do that. We needed this Trump experience to remind us of the essential qualities of true leaders. We had to experience the awful to once again realize the good.

So, as 2017 closes, I can thank Donald Trump for reminding us what we believe and what we need to restore in American politics. Alas, Trump’s bad example has a silver lining.

I’m Paul Mero. Thanks for listening.

Paul Mero is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

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  • NickDanger December 29, 2017 at 8:48 am

    “We needed this Trump experience to remind us of the essential qualities of true leaders.”

    Which are what, I wonder? Is the ability to lie better than Donald Trump one of those essential qualities? Because it sounds like you’re implying that there are virtuous politicians out there waiting for a turn in the White House, but being denied by the presence of Donald Trump. Surely you know better than that.

    Trump is bad at one thing that most presidents are good at – hiding his agenda. Which was always going to be a pro-self agenda, just like every other president’s. They’ve all taken care of “their” people, they’ve all lied, and they’ve all had to come up with new and creative ways of selling the middle class on the notion that funneling their money to the ultra-wealthy is for their own benefit. But all the presidents haven’t had unbridled narcissism and access to Twitter.

    I predict President Trump’s going to surprise a lot of people before this is over.

    • DRT December 29, 2017 at 9:56 am

      “I predict President Trump’s going to surprise a lot of people before this is over.”
      That prediction is pretty much a given, considering he has already surprised a lot of people.

  • Jim December 29, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Paul, Thank you so much for providing a final whine for 2017, I needed a giggle !

  • jh9000 December 29, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    The dumb, poor people of America that voted for Trump will never learn. The 1%ers like myself will get richer, the poor will get poorer, and the dumb will keep watching Fox News and cry that it’s the libs who’re making their lives suck.

    • John December 29, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      Give it up already !! Quit the crying ! Waaaah WAAAAAH waaaah! Trump is the president, even to brain dead meat puppets like you !

    • jaybird December 29, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      So true, jh9000. But you can tell from the comments most of them live life in the echo chamber of numbness, never mindful of whats actually being taken away from them.

      • John December 29, 2017 at 11:14 pm

        waaah waaaah waaah! jailbird, where you gonna live now that mommy kicked you out of the basement? Just get over it already, it’s going to be a very long 7 more years for you. hope you have plenty of coloring books ! moron !

  • Close The Borders December 29, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Hwy Mero! Why don’t you go Muff Dive Hillary.

  • eddantes56 December 29, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Integrity check time Mr. Mero.

    You said:

    “I still believe he is incompetent and unfit to be our president. I still believe a third-grader knows more about American history than Trump.”

    Please square the circle regarding former President Barrack Obama. A man of few accomplishments, who was married by and spiritually mentored by Rev. Wright who asked God to damn America. Then came the greatest example of hubris among pres. Candidates in the history of the nation……candidate Obama said his agenda was to “fundamentally transform” the United States.

    Anything that requires fundamental transformation is fundamentally flawed. Really? LOL

  • eddantes56 December 29, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Exactly what are Trump’s “crazy” ideas?

    Eliminating chain migration?
    Restoring our national sovereignty by securing our borders?
    Igniting economic growth by reducing corporate taxes?
    Requiring the removal of two regs for the passage of any additional regs?
    Approving new pipeline proposals and initiating drilling in ANWR?
    Requiring NATO partners to pay their fair share of NATO activities?
    Extending a hand of cooperation and willingness to trade internationally but putting America first via tough negotiating?
    Bringing back them word Christmas and the spirit of Christmas to the White House if not the nation?

    You and I live in different worlds.

  • eddantes56 December 29, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    You are entitled to call hard-core Trump supporters “less than intelligent” but you must know that this is an adhominem attack and is not an argument. As I see it, RINOs like you are perfectly happy to manage the decline of our nation.

    Maybe we can agree on one thing, we will never agree and I am done compromising with do-nothing conservatives that are all hat and no cattle and Post-modernists seeking the fundamental transformation of the U.S.

    Enjoy the New Year. At midnight on 31 Dec, I am going to raise a toast to Pres. Trump, who while not perfect, is so much better than the Bushes and the RINO pols and Chamber of Commerce types (you?), that it brings tears to my eyes.

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