As I write this, public opinion polls find President Donald Trump’s approval rating at a dismal 40 percent, the lowest of any president at the end of his first 100 days in the past 70 years.
Without being asked for my expertise by the White House, I’ve nevertheless come up with some suggestions on how Mr. Trump might upgrade his persona score.
Dear Mr. President,
I know you are beset by problems from the right of you, the left of you, in front of you and behind you. That comes with this great but awful job.
But you have much to smile about, including foremost, a beautiful, intelligent and devoted family. Your health, from all reports, is good for a man of 70 with a good golf game. And you’re a titan in the business community.
So stop scowling. OK?
I can imagine how unpleasant it must be at news conferences to face a roomful of people you perceive as biased critics, waving their hands wildly about to get your attention and then bombarding you with questions. They’re just doing their job.
Even you acknowledged that things are more complex and difficult than you thought when you were campaigning for the high office.
Try to reduce your usage of such superlatives as greatest, smartest, biggest, most amazing, spectacular, etc., especially when you’re applying them to yourself.
Mr. President, try to tweet less, and communicate more in live faceoffs with the public rather than via electronic means in the middle of the night.
Mr. President, don’t attack people for no reason. You remind me of Alice Longworth Roosevelt, who once said, “If you can’t say anything good about someone, sit right here by me.”
Example: Early on during your first 100 days, you met with your predecessor, President Barack Obama. Your meeting was described by you as very amiable. I think you even called him a “nice guy” or something similar.
So why do you still falsely accuse him of wiretapping your Trump Tower phone and denigrating him in other comments? Why needlessly antagonize fence-straddling voters who might otherwise have been warming up to you?
In the classic play “Harvey,” Elwood P. Dowd says, “My mother told me, ‘Elwood, she always called me Elwood,’ in this world you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.”
Try spending more time at home, i.e., the White House. To me, this is not a major issue, but it seems to be with many who worry about Secret Service costs. To some, spending almost a fourth of your first 100 days at your Florida vacation home gives the impression that you’re not a full-time president.
And for Pete’s sake, lay off Hillary Clinton! Leading a mob of supporters in chanting “Lock her up! Lock her up!” is not only bad manners. It also deepens her supporters’ hatred of you. You defeated her at the polls, so let it lie.
Furthermore, such shenanigans do nothing to enhance your future political plans, whether it’s running for town constable or re-election as president.
Oh yes, about that Wall.
One of Robert Frost’s best known poems is “Mending Wall.” It’s about his reluctance to help mend a rock wall between him and his neighbor, a wall Frost considers unnecessary.
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” Frost writes. And his wall didn’t cost taxpayers 22 billion bucks to build and over $700 million a year to maintain.
So, Mr. President, why not skip The Wall, at least for now? You’ll be glad you did.
Finally, you may or may not remember a once popular song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”
Mr. President, in a sense, you have the whole world in your hands. Handle it carefully, please. Very, very carefully.
And may the dove of peace seek you out and alight on your shoulder.