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home : opinion : opinion July 28, 2017

2/7/2017 2:12:00 PM
Publisher's Column American government has become reality tv entertaining the world

What a week!

President Donald Trump made a comment about Frederick Douglass, the African-American abolitionist, orator and statesman who died in 1895, that left people wondering if he really knew who Douglass was and that Douglass is dead.

During her congressional hearing. Betsy DeVos, Trump's nominee for education secretary, argued for guns in schools "to protect from potential grizzlies." There are no records available online of any children ever being killed on school grounds by either grizzly, black, brown, polar or Teddy bears.

During an interview on MSNBC, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway justified Trump's travel ban by claiming President Obama had a six-month ban on refugees after two refugees "were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre," but that no one knew about it because "it's brand new information" and "It didn't get covered." This new information didn't get covered because it never happened.

Public response through tweets to the above has been interesting and entertaining, so I want to share a few tweets for those of you who may have missed them.

On grizzly bears in schools:

Mark Novata @mark_novata

"Never forget all the 0 children lost to horrible #grizzlybear attacks on schools." #DeVosHearing ‪#BetsyDeVos 9:06 PM - 17 Jan 2017

Alexandra Erin @alexandraerin

"I don't understand Betsy DeVos's logic on grizzlies. If bear attacks are bad, can't we solve that with more bears? Good guys with bears?" 11:11 PM - 17 Jan 2017

Jonathan McJunkin @JonathanWombat

"I for one also support shooting grizzly bears that try to eat schoolchildren. Betsy DeVos and I agree on this important issue." #DeVosHearing 6:37 PM - 17 Jan 2017

On the Bowling Green Massacre:

Alec MacGillis @AlecMacGillis

"One still shudders to think how bad the Bowling Green massacre would've been if not for the heroic intervention of Fred Douglass." 10:15 PM - 2 Feb 2017

Daniel Pike @DPikeBGDN

"I was the @bgdailynews' city editor when the Bowling Green Massacre didn't happen." 9:39 PM - 2 Feb 2017

LindaLee2008 @LindaLee2008

"I'll never forget where I was during the Bowling Green Massacre. Such a beautiful day, just me & my unicorn, having tea with the queen..." 6:36 AM - 3 Feb 2017

Bowling Green NPS @BowlingGreenNPS

"We'll be sharing photos and fun facts about the #Bowling GreenMassacre as soon as it happens." #staytuned 12:47 PM - 3 Feb 2017

Charles Clymer @cmclymer

"This morning, I'd like to offer a prayer for the victims of the Bowling Green Massacre: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and Tinker Bell. RIP." 5:29 AM - 3 Feb 2017

Leah Ronkin @aaronbvrrsr

"Ah... I remember the Bowling Green Massacre like it was made up yesterday" #alternativefacts

Michael Beeman @MichaelBeeman

"RIP, 3-5 million illegal voters lost in the Bowling Green Massacre." #BowlingGreenMassacre 10:54 PM - 2 Feb 2017

Justin Shanes @justinshanes

"Finding these Bowling Green Massacre jokes to be a little too soon. Out of respect, we should wait until it takes place."

President Trump fired acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, after she told attorneys in the Justice Department the Trump travel ban was unconstitutional.

Later in the week, a Federal District Court judge placed a temporary restraining order on Trump's travel ban as he found it probable the ban is not legal.

It is becoming more evident with each executive action he takes that Trump has only a rudimentary understanding of the U.S. Constitution, of the roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of our government and of how to manage a democratic government. This is not a surprise, as he has no experience in government.

President Trump was born into a very wealthy family and has business experience only as an executive in charge. He is used to managing operations and people where everyone answers only to him. When someone didn't obey his orders, he could fire them and immediately replace them at his will. It worked because his authority came from owning his businesses.

The authority of the President of the United States comes from us; We, the People of the United States grant that authority through the U.S. Constitution, and We, the People limit that authority. Everyone in government is responsible to us, to We, the People, and they answer to us.

It is understandable that someone who has exercised the almost total authority of an executive in a private corporation will have trouble dealing with legislators, courts and government agencies that can question and even ignore or defy his orders when they believe those orders are either not legal, rational or constitutional.

President Trump is an admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin and seems to think he has the same authority over government in the United States that Putin has over Russia's government. His actions since taking office reflect the same manner of governing. Again, that is understandable because the authority of the Russian president is similar to that of the executive of a private corporation.

It will be interesting to see during the next few weeks whether President Trump can adapt to the limited executive authority granted the President of the United States by the U.S. Constitution.

If he cannot adapt rather quickly to having constraints on his authority, I suspect he will either resign or be impeached.

Meanwhile, watching the Trump Administration in action is the most entertaining programming on television, with pathos, drama, humor, satire and tragedy beyond anything else being produced. American news has become entertainment central for the world.

Larry Dobson

Claremont Service

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