Since then, however, those lessons have been forgotten and things have gotten way out of hand. I'm afraid that, once again, American leadership needs to be reeled back in.
I'm taking it upon myself to be the one to hit reset and, to really Make America Great Again.
Let's be honest here: Americans' moniker Tricky Dick was spot on in reference to Richard Nixon. It suggested, and rightly so, that he and his mercurial henchmen tried to cover up their corruption. Note use of the word "tried." With Watergate, Nixon became the godfather of all subsequent "-gate" scandals. Among the most inauspicious include: Donutgate, Nipplegate (really!), Brothelgate and more.
Despite Tricky Dick’s best though, Americans got to find out much more about Veep Gerald Ford besides his Michigan residency and penchant for visiting Vail at Christmas.
That last part about Vail is dubious; I only knew it then because I always wanted to ski there. The important point is that the world got to know him as President Ford.
Am I suggesting Mike Pence should be warming up on the sidelines now, too? Well, perhaps he already has been for a long time, with an agenda of his own. At least he needn't be reminded-by an immigrant, no less-to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem. I guess it's hard, remembering such trivial details when there already are so many What's in it for me? schemes flitting about in your orange, seventy-something gourd.
Given the current US president's inability to create a Cabinet - that is, surround himself with trusted advisers who are fit to help him govern - it seems increasingly fishy that Trump would have found anyone willing to serve as his Veep. Unlike Nixon, Trump makes no pretense of trying to cover up anything, lest it interfere with his golf handicap. "Nah, just blame it on what's his name, the last president..."
Because of the political suicide it would be for any true career politician to align himself with Trump and, unless you're a woman who can afford to bankroll a Cabinet position of, let's say, the Department of Education, there will be no “herselfs”- only cronyism.
There's only one Cabinet “member” Trump trusts, and it's the one he's been thinking with all his adult life. What else would a young military school graduate given the questionable yearbook title “Ladies Man” do?
The obvious answer is “not much,” unless he's got a billion dollars and no publicly (sic) available tax returns to prove it. That changes everything; why, he could even become president!
To paraphrase Bill Moyers recent editorial to Donald Trump, “Fred Trump and Ray Cohn will always be the founding fathers.”
Like the high school reunion attendee who falls back into old behaviors unseen since their school days, Trump also seems stuck in his grade school ways.
Hence, such cerebral nicknames as “Crooked Hillary” and “Lyin’ Ted,” dominate his vernacular, as do the lunchroom-style, sophomoric superlatives.
“Awesome,” “super,” “unbelievable,” and the like are descriptors I usually associate with action-adventure film reviews, not healthcare initiatives or tax reform.
But, then again, I can't see the world through his eyes. No reasonable person can. Or would want to.
However, I can close my own eyes and remember my seventh birthday, when I stayed up the night before to help my mother make my cake.
It was the last-and only-time I ever thought of cake as “beautiful” and, as I recall, it wasn't even chocolate.
But, in all fairness to the president, I do recall using nicknames - like “liar, liar, pants on fire” in reference to classmates throughout grade school. And, like the president, I often followed it up with a hearty “and you know it!” for good measure.
While I occasionally wonder what happened to my old classmates, there are probably some of Trump’s previous classmates who now know what's become of their old chum.
Wouldn't you know it?” they might ask out loud, “He's in the White House, and he hasn't changed a bit since third grade. Well, except for his orange skin and fake hair.”
So, where does Pence fit into all this? After all, it's believed that he's the perfect foil for Trump, uninterested in taking away the limelight from His Highness.
The stoic, almost robotic Pence will never disagree with any of Trump’s erratic “policy evolutions,” aka impulsive “flip flops” either.
Nope, it's the perfect disguise; I believe Mr. Pence plans one day to take over the presidency.
He’s perfect; a straight and sober face acting only as a Trump mini-me. Hell, Pence doesn't even fill an advisory role for the president.
Inasmuch as George W. Bush had, in Karl Rove, an advisor he affectionately called “Turd Blossom,” Trump has no such person.
Now that “Kiddin’ Kellyanne” is out and “Shameless Sean” Spicer is there to pick up the many broken pieces, one fact remains:
Just as Trump is his “own adviser,” he's just as surely his own “Turd Blossom,” too.
I'm going to borrow from the Chief Executive’s grade school strategy in explaining.
After all, it got him this far and if, as the president has claimed “I love stupid people,” it should work for me, too.
Listen in as I explain the cold, hard truth to Dancin’ Deranged Donald:
First of a, and most important, Mike Pence is in Korea right this minute, wrapping up a Beautiful Kim-chi and telling the Korean leaders and all viewers of Korean national tv to boot that you've died.
It happened at around three a.m. last Saturday night, and you just couldn't get Alec Baldwin’s face saying “You're fired!” out of your head.
Pence told them you sat up in bed too fast and, in reaching for your phone to tweet somebody, anybody, you cracked your skull on the nightstand. Suddenly, just like those beautiful Syrian babies, you died a “real bad death- AWFUL!”
So, unlike foreign policy, healthcare or tax reform, you made a plan: Sue Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live, Saturday Night Fever, NBC, ABC, DEF, GHI, CBC, NSFW and the man (it must've been a man) who invented all these f***in’ abbreviations.
Oh, yeah, and anybody who's ever used those letters in a sentence. BAD, BAD, BAD.
So, Donald, Mike Pence tells everyone you're dead and that he's now president… and you (don't) know it!
While you're away every weekend, golfing and eating cake in Florida, Mike Pence has moved all the furniture around in the White House bedroom you sleep/watch Bill O’Reilly reruns in.
Not much, mind you, just enough to make you stub your toe on your way to the can in the dark.
And enough to probably forget where you are when you wake up. Maybe even more so than when you wake up next to your official White-House-South baker, Evgeni.
The only reason Evgeni was there in the first place was because of a prank played by Vladimir, his ex-boyfriend.
They'd had a spat (three’s a crowd, right?) so Vlad told him he wanted to make up with a Big! Awesome! Phenomenal! treat in the dark.
It's a viral video now and, if you haven't yet seen it, just google El Loco Presidente and you might see the tiny truth about El Presidente’s big hands.
So, Mr. President, it puts a new spin on the phrase “The whole world is watching,” and you know it!
Let's see, Pence has also told the South Koreans to tell the Chinese to tell Russia, North Korea and Syria that, because they are such “doodyheads” (quotations mine) they will now have to pay for the border wall between the US and Mexico. And you (don't) know it!
Also, I've told the South Koreans that you once said the Dutch NATO envoy farts in his sleep AND I told them how you know it.
And you (don't) know it!
One last thing:
Have you noticed how your Oval Office chair hasn't felt quite right as you've been signing all those executive orders lately?
Well, while you've been in Florida, pulling your putter out of your wrinkled old golf bag, I've had all the White House furniture re-sized to fit my frame.
That includes the toilet seat so, if you think it's a little tight it's really not. It's that you've a fat ass to match your fat head, and you know it!
Soon enough, it'll be Pence at that Oval Office desk, and (I think) you know it!
*Although much of what I express here is facetious, it's a fact that, because Trump is in the White House, all Americans are on the receiving end not only of this bully's harsh, sophomoric name-calling rhetoric, but the power he now wields from his position.
Those who supported him – and still blindly do in the face of all evidence to the contrary – are to blame. BAD!