Mero Moment: The problem with outsiders

Composite from Wikipedia images, St. George News

OPINION — Many popular comedies, past and present, are centered on people, different from the mainstream crowd, looking to fit in. A great example was the 1960s comedy “The Beverley Hillbillies.” Its theme song describes the whole show – hillbillies strike oil and move to Beverley Hills where they find their backwoods customs and simplistic lives are completely out of place.

These comedies endure through many seasons of tension between the perceived assets of the outsider versus liabilities. In the case of the hillbillies, they had lots of money and quite a few of their neighbors were willing to overlook what they saw as eccentricities to share in that wealth. Alas, no benefit ultimately could overcome the differences.

Politics, too, suffers from the problem of outsiders. There is a reason we love editorial cartoonists. In simplicity, they show us the comedies and tragedies of politics on a daily basis. Politics is an easy platform from which to create caricatures we love to mock. Outsiders like to ridicule insiders and insiders like to insult outsiders. The American people are stuck in the middle. Typically, they want the ideas of an outsider with the calculated experiences of an insider.

Tired of insiders such as LBJ and Richard Nixon, voters turned to consummate outsiders Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Tired of another perceived insider, George H.W. Bush, voters ran to Arkansas for Bill Clinton. Tired of eight years of that outsider, they picked another insider, George W. Bush. Then back to an inexperienced outsider, Barack Obama. And, after years of this back and forth, the electorate became cynical and disheartened. Between an insider Hillary Clinton, who would work to secure the power of insiders for generations to come, and outsider Donald Trump, not only an outsider, but one who billed himself as the last destroyer of insiders, voters were torn.

Ultimately, Trump got the job and now we have had a year to observe what the epitome of an outsider looks like – and, surprise, it looks an awful lot like an episode of “The Beverley Hillbillies.” They never imagined they would be in this situation. They have no clue about the world around them. They do not trust anyone outside of their clan, and even then, they are not so sure about one another. And, they are required to make important decisions about which they know absolutely nothing. What could be funnier than that?

But do not take my word for it. Author Michael Wolff spent 18 months with the Trump team and a year of that time inside the White House. Let him regale us with the Trump comedy of errors. Here are a few excerpts from Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House”:

The surreal sense of the Trump presidency was being lived as intensely inside the White House as out. Trump was, for the people closest to him, the ultimate enigma. … Indeed, he seemed as confused as anyone to find himself in the White House, even attempting to barricade himself into his bedroom with his own lock over the protests of the Secret Service. …

The men and women of the West Wing, for all that the media was ridiculing them, actually felt they had a responsibility to the country. … Their job was to maintain the pretense of relative sanity, even as each individually came to the conclusion that, in generous terms, it was insane to think you could run a White House without experience, organizational structure or a real purpose. …

Reigning over all of this was Trump, enigma, cipher and disruptor. … Here was a man singularly focused on his own needs for instant gratification, be that a hamburger, a segment on Fox & Friends or an Oval Office photo opp. “I want a win. I want a win. Where’s my win?” he would regularly declaim. He was, in words used by almost every member of the senior staff on repeated occasions, “like a child.” A chronic naysayer, Trump himself stoked constant discord with his daily after-dinner phone calls to his billionaire friends about the disloyalty and incompetence around him. His billionaire friends then shared this with their billionaire friends, creating the endless leaks which the president so furiously railed against.

That is just a taste of Wolff’s new book. The problem with insiders is that they are the devil you do know. The problem with outsiders is that they are the devil you don’t know. Either way, the devil wins and he has won big in Donald Trump.

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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  • Utahguns January 5, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Does the author share a cubicle with Ed Cociela?

    • bikeandfish January 5, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Have you ignored the writing on the wall for the last 2 years? Ed and Paul have little in common other than the perspective that Trump is unfit to be POTUS. Slightly more than half the voting public agrees.

      • John January 5, 2018 at 11:25 am

        Wrong again…Trump won 37 states and Hillary won 13. It’s called the electoral college. That is the way we elect presidents. It prevents New York City and Los Angeles and other high population areas from being the ones who elect the president. the founding fathers were very insightful in including this in The Constitution. Sorry. You blew it again !

        • PatriotLiberal January 5, 2018 at 12:51 pm

          It prevents New York City and Los Angeles and other high population areas from being the ones who elect the president.

          There are approximately 60 Million people (rounding up) living in the the 50 top population cities in the US. According to Time Magazine Hilary Clinton took 65,844,610 votes. Donald Trump took 62,979,636. Even if you got every single person in the those 50 cities to vote for Hilary, you’d be 5.8 MILLION short.

          • Utahguns January 5, 2018 at 1:04 pm

            Are you counting the Hillary voters that:
            1. Voted multiple times?
            2. Voted under an assumed name?
            3. Were not legal citizens?
            4. Were not legally registered in their jurisdiction?

            It’s no wonder those blue states didn’t want to turn over voter registration info to the gov’t.
            Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many blue states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with simple and basic information relevant to its inquiry.
            The Department of Homeland Security will now pick up the ball on this one to review initial findings and determine the next courses of action.

          • John January 5, 2018 at 1:07 pm

            sorry dude.. that’s not the game..hahahahaha!! ELECTORAL VOTES ELECT THE PRESIDENT.. Trump -306 Clinton-232… CHECKMATE..Game = Trump.. LANDSLIDE…Get over it.. HILLARY LOST..she played the wrong game

          • PatriotLiberal January 5, 2018 at 1:35 pm

            “Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many blue states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with simple and basic information relevant to its inquiry.”

            What “substantial evidence” do you speak of?


            Thank you for your response.

        • bikeandfish January 5, 2018 at 2:12 pm

          Not wrong. You are taking my words out of context. Trump won the electoral college, hence being POTUS. I actually support the use of the electoral college for the historical reasons you highlight. And that is consistent with the fact I stated, that a majority of voting citizens didn’t believe he was fit for office.

        • dons8120 January 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm

          hey stupid (john) he wasn’t saying anything about the electoral vote, yes Trump won that is old news, bikeandfishs comment stated that “slightly more than half the voting public agrees that he is unfit to be POTUS”. You can win 37 states and still have more than half the people think your unfit. Besides these numbers are changing the longer Trump is in office. John are you sure you didn’t get dropped on your head when you were a baby, just curious.

          • John January 5, 2018 at 3:19 pm

            Whats the matter little donny? Did you get shorted on your welfare check this month?.. Trump’s in the White house and you are still a loser.. hahaha!

      • Utahguns January 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

        Most folks have a grasp of the obvious. You surely don’t.

  • John January 5, 2018 at 9:59 am

    What world does Mero live in?….Get over yourself already and give up the pity party! Open your eyes man !

  • dogmatic January 5, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Trump fits in just fine, over half of Americans are irredeemable deplorables as Hillary says and a top FBI investigater says you can smell them in Walmart. So I think we got a very good chance of giving Trump 8 years especially if the good fits are Nancy Pelosi and Chucky Boy Schumer.
    Nowhere are prejudices more mistaken for truth, passion for reason and invective for documentation than in politics.

  • DRT January 5, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Regarding that book that Mero is babbling about, I have neither the money, nor the time to waste reading it. It will be no different than any of the other books in the same vein, by folks who have become disenchanted with whoever was occupying the white house at the time. Designed to make the author money, desire to bring discredit to the president, and designed to emit a lot of sour grapes.

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