Originally Published: August 7, 2018 6:44 p.m.
Trump is still being Trump.
Whether he’s holding his stand-up political rallies in Wilkes-Barre or Ohio, or delivering his incendiary early morning tweet storms, he’s not going to change his wild and crazy ways.
He’s been doing a lot of great stuff in Washington, but if he wants to stay there he’d better be careful.
The raw party numbers are against him.
Last time around, in 2016, the Democrats had a deplorable candidate — Hillary Clinton — who lots of Democrats didn’t like, either, and therefore didn’t show up to vote for at the polls. Now Democrats have someone even bigger to collectively hate — Donald Trump.
He’s already given them plenty of reasons to put on their “Impeach Trump Hats” and get out and vote for Democrats in the November congressional elections.
But last week the president made things more difficult for himself by foolishly making a few million new enemies in the sports world by personally attacking LeBron James.
Responding to the negative things the NBA superstar had said in a CNN interview with professional Trump-hater Don Lemon, the president tweeted: “LeBron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”
Though the president sided with Michael Jordan fans in the great debate over who’s the greatest NBA player of all time, “Mike” sided with LeBron James, who had charged the president with using athletics and athletes to divide the country.
Through a spokeswoman, Jordan responded, “I support LeBron James. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”
Though the Lemon interview included CNN’s standard anti-Trump political slant, it was focused on James’ foundation’s contribution of $2 million to help at-risk public school kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
The tweeter in chief might have been pleased with himself for scoring a few political dunks and inflaming the anti-Trump media for the millionth time.
But if he wants to keep Congress Republican this fall, or have a second term, he’s going to have to change — and learn.
We know he gets beat up unfairly by the liberal media and Democrats every day, all day.But so did Ronald Reagan. My father fought back on the issues or made jokes, but he never attacked anyone personally.
President Trump should not have kept quiet about the Lemon and LeBron insults, but he’s got to learn how to turn his enemies’ blind hatred of him to his own advantage.
He should have tweeted something like, “I’m sorry LeBron disagrees with me personally and doesn’t appreciate the historically low unemployment rates and middle-class tax cuts my policies have created. But I like what he’d doing for those third and fourth graders in Akron. Our star athletes can do great things for their communities and I hope others follow LeBron’s generous example.”
It wouldn’t have been very Trumpian. It wouldn’t have fit in a tweet. And it wouldn’t have gotten the liberal media’s panties in a twist for three days.
But it would have immediately turned Lemon’s and LeBron’s cheap shots back on them and the rest of the liberal media and allowed the president to score a few political 3-pointers of his own.
As some point President Trump has to rise above this personal crap.
His family already knows how to do it. First Lady Melania Trump publicly supported James’ work in Akron through a spokesman. First Daughter Ivanka supported the press against her father, saying she didn’t think journalists were the “enemy of the people.”
In one smart tweet the president could have turned the tables on Lemon and LeBron.
The liberal media would never have given him credit for taking the high road, but that’s OK. It’s time the man who is president of us all starts acting presidential.
It’d be for his own political good. But more important, it’d be for the good of the country.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of Ronald Reagan.” He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.