By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: It’s tough to have an original thought

I don’t know why anyone tries to write creative commentary about Donald Trump — it’s all been written before.

This week, The Donald couldn’t stop himself from wondering aloud if Second Amendment supporters might stop Hillary Clinton — some called it a thinly veiled assassination joke. My first thought was to ask and answer the rhetorical question, “Did you think he would change?” But a Google search taking just 0.68 seconds found an online post by Jay Caruso headlined, “People Retracting Support for Trump: Did They Really Think He’d Change?”

Whatchamacolumn

Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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Caruso recounted well-remembered Trumpisms ranging from his campaign-launching slander of Mexicans to suggestions of punishment for women who have abortions; from belittling Sen. John McCain to mocking a disabled reporter; from proposing a ban on all Muslim immigrants to nasty tweets of disdain toward anyone who challenges him.

Moving on, I decided to ponder the possibility that Trump actually is crazy. Another online search, again taking less than a second, revealed this Washington Post headline: “Is Donald Trump just plain crazy?” Opinion writer Eugene Robinson concluded:

“Leave aside for the moment Trump’s policies, which in my opinion range from the unconstitutional to the un-American to the potentially catastrophic. At this point, it would be irresponsible to ignore the fact that Trump’s grasp on reality appears to be tenuous at best.”

Running out of time for an original column, I settled on the notion that the real fault lies with us, not with Trump. But another quick online search shattered any perception of personal creativity when I found this Psychology Today article by Peter Coleman: “Don’t Blame Trump: Heal Thyself, America.”

“Leaders are only as powerful as the extent to which they attract loyal followers,” wrote Coleman. “So the crucial question should not be what is the deal with Trump, but rather what is driving the hordes of Trump supporters to see him as a viable presidential candidate?”

Here’s what drives some hordes: The slow sapping of America’s greatest strength by government policies smothering private enterprise with socialist mandates; the ideological greed of political leaders who cannot comprehend the damage done from unintended consequences of their amoral partisanship.

In the face of such systemic failure, people yearn for leadership that might turn history’s tide. But in a sardonic twist worthy of a Kurt Vonnegut novel, that purported leader, Donald J. Trump, is unfit for office.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com and 503-687-1223.

Comments

Jim

Jeb I laughed when I read this article. You have joined the rest of the media in bashing Trump. I personally don't like either candidate. What you left out is Hilary Clinton maybe more unfit than Trump and that's the scary part.

Don Dix

Writing an article about Trump's failings is easy. However, the NR would have to submit every page of several publications to cover all the 'baggage' Hillary is dragging around. Try starting with when and why Hillary has said, "I don't recall", or " I misspoke", or "I short-circuited", or "I was truthful". It's a 40 year pattern of deception, lying, and cover-up while remaining 'untouchable'.

Some might think Trump would be a bad choice based on what he says, including myself -- but based on verifiable evidence Hillary has actually 'said' and 'done' far worse for many, many years!

RKOrbison

No denying there are a lot of negatives surrounding Hillary. However, the point JEB is making is also undeniable. Donald Trump is not qualified and totally unfit to be our President.

Jeb Bladine

You might re-consider the last 2 paragraphs. They don't describe Donald Trump, but rather the ultra-liberal, ultra-partisan policies that need to be changed, particularly in Oregon. The intended point was that it's almost a crime the only available leader on the national stage this year is someone who is dangerously narcissistic and generally unfit for the presidency. Don't interpret that, however, as supporting Hillary.
Jeb Bladine
News-Register

treefarmer

In search of “creative commentary” indeed. I have observed the media struggle to cover this horrific turn in our politics and I do not envy the task. (Recently a young female reporter needed a Secret Service escort to her car following a rally where Adolf Trump singled her out for a vicious verbal attack and whipped his followers into lynch mob mentality.) A demagogue by any other name.

I am seriously concerned that ANYONE can find a way to defend a dangerously unhinged megalomaniac who has sent waves of fear and division throughout the country and the world. (As one respected commentator observed recently, Trump’s campaign alone has been toxic to our democracy.)

I have never been a fan of Mrs. Clinton; there is no denying the “baggage” and lack of transparency she brings to the table. It is beyond ironic that she and she alone is our only hope to protect America from the global destruction that would result from hateful vindictive Trump in command of our Armed Forces. But that is the reality, so I continue to have faith that my fellow citizens will be pragmatic and do the right thing in November. The stakes have never been higher.

Mike

Jeb. The hordes both ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative I think have the same opinion about smothering mandates and greed. For me it seems private enterprise is not smothered, except maybe at the small town Main Street level. The big corporations which are private enterprise are doing very well. They and those who are gain wealth by the minute at the expense of the rest of us seem to me to be using the of socialist mandates to mollify the majority to keep on keeping on. I'm struggling with your concept of "ideological greed" I think you mean politicians who sell their souls to those who pay to get them elected and block or enact policies those who fund them want.

Mudstump

Hillary is a bad choice, but Trump is a disaster. Hillary has been greasing the skids for years now in preparation for her run for the presidency. Her lackeys at the DNC made sure she was the nominee and we lost a truly great candidate in Bernie Sanders. I feel they knew they couldn't beat his excellent record and many years of public service. The cards were stacked heavily against Bernie from the beginning, but he ran a good campaign with contributions from the people. So, now we have two choices and I'll follow Bernie's lead here and remember that Hillary on her worst day is heads and tails better than Trump. Does anyone have a good set of nose plugs?

Jeb Bladine

Mike,

The idea of "ideological greed" came to me in trying to produce some "creative commentary" in a column about the difficulty of doing just that. I was thinking about people unwilling to accept anything but their own "pure" version of controversial issues.

I didn't bother to look up the phrase. But just now, I find it in this 2004 online post by Scott Elliott:

"If Bush won't be 'the Ideal Reagan,' as Lileks puts it, then throw him out! That's what I call 'ideological greed.' It's closed-minded, near-sighted, and...dangerous!

Mike

If that is what you mean by 'ideological greed' then I agree with you. I see it both far left and far right. I read recently that very few of the 400+ house seats are competitive. It seems our congressional house districts have be consolidated via gerrymandering. Everyone hates Congress, except their guy who is there is okay and needs to go back. To the extent our system is locked into 'ideological greed' at the very local level, those who would like compromise and discussion are at a disadvantage.

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