OPINION — Mike Rowe, the guy that did the Dirty Jobs show, often receives angry letters from people who have misunderstood something he’s said. Mike is astute and literate, and has a talent for succinctly summing up a situation far better than most, but that doesn’t seem to help. Some folks are determined to get the wrong impression, and if you look hard enough for something at which to take offense, you’ll find it, even when it’s not there.
This often happens to me, too. I recently exchanged emails with a reader who frankly should not be reading my columns, since they evidently raise his blood pressure. Hard to believe, I know, since I’m the epitome of tact and diplomacy. Still, the guy was angry with me. He’d already written a rude and disparaging letter to the editor of the Mason County News about me, even though they don’t even run my column anymore. But that act failed to cool his temper, so he saw fit to write and tell me he doesn’t like me, mainly because I’m a Trump supporter. Which was news to me.
The incident reminded me of something Mark Twain wrote once. He said, ‘In my column last week I said this woman was the ugliest woman I’ve ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and wish to retract my previous statement.’
My impression is that the president, regardless of political party affiliation, is basically a mule. His job (or hers, should a woman be elected) is to pull the plow, and that’s it. And my job is to make fun of the president when they do something silly, which they all do, sooner or later. But I avoid politics in this column most of the time, because of people like my recent whiner, whose name I won’t mention, because of the tact thing.
And for the record, I don’t support Trump, or any other politician. I try to acknowledge when they do something good, and I complain when they do something I don’t like, and that’s about it. I think Johnny Carson nailed it when he was asked why he didn’t address politics. He said that wasn’t his job, and it’s not mine, either. Not in this column, anyway.
But the reader, we’ll call him Candy, was adamant that I support Trump. Even when I pointed out that I’ve never endorsed a particular politician, for any office, because I don’t trust any of them, he still insisted that I’m a Trump supporter. And for the record, I was lying. I did, at one time, voice support for Jerry Patterson, when he ran for Texas Lt. Governor. But I had forgotten about that, so I should get a pass.
But I think Candy was mostly upset, not at me, but at the Democrat party, because they nominated Joe Biden to run against Trump this year. I think a lot of the folks who want Trump to lose, at any cost, are unhappy about that. And I want to state publicly that I had nothing to do with it. If you’re bummed about the Biden-Harris ticket, don’t blame me. I was pulling for Bernie.
But that would’ve been unfortunate, because Biden has turned out to be far more entertaining. Bernie isn’t as upbeat as Biden, and I don’t blame him. The Democrats stole his slot four years ago and gave it to Hillary, although Bernie had a real shot at beating Trump. If I were Bernie I’d be chapped, too. And if Bernie were running this year, he’d probably win. But the Dems don’t like Bernie, because he’s right sometimes. They hate that.
So they’re stuck with Joe, bless his heart. Poor Joe, who can’t keep his hands off little girls, and has no idea why people think he should. He can’t seem to complete a coherent sentence. He can’t answer a question without reading from a teleprompter. He can’t keep from calling people ‘fat,’ or ‘dog-faced pony soldier.’ I still have no idea what that means. Joe can’t remember the pledge of allegiance, or the first line of the Declaration of Independence, which is the easiest one, the only line anyone really knows. Poor Joe. I love him. No one has made me laugh so hard, and Bill Clinton tried to imply the meaning of the word ‘is’ could be open to interpretation.
Honestly, I don’t like Trump as a person, and I can’t imagine how anyone could. I think he’s made some mistakes as president, but all presidents make mistakes, and Trump has also done a lot of really good things. He’s the only U.S. president, ever, to be nominated for two Nobel Peace Prizes in one week. Overall I think he’s done a lot more good than harm, and I can’t say that about many presidents. And I guarantee someone will be offended by this column, I just hope it’s not Bernie. He’s got enough problems to worry about.
My job is not to tell you who to vote for. I don’t know enough to do that, and even if I did, I doubt anyone would listen. But if anyone actually wants my advice, I’d recommend you vote for the candidate who is least likely to show up at a press conference with no pants on.
Because you need pants to pull the plow . . .