AP NEWS

Ron Jackson: Message more significant than messenger

September 9, 2018

I have never been a big fan of the “whodunnit” genre— primarily because I can not solve it fast enough. However, the hunt for the identity of the author of the anonymously written editorial exposing dissent within the White House is kind of interesting. Speculating can be fun. That is, until some innocent people end up losing careers and reputations.

It will be interesting to learn who wrote the compelling, but not really revealing, piece. Other than the anonymity of the author, there were no big surprises. Dysfunction? What moderately intelligent citizen did not suspect that? Doubt of the president’s mental capacity? That was questioned long before he was elected. Fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants management style? That was demonstrated to us on a daily basis.

Why it took so long for the person or persons who penned the message to reach a breaking point is more important than who. But, it is more the normal course of problem-solving to find out who did it than why it happened. We want to know “who” in order to label them. In this case, some are anxiously waiting to know who is the hero. Others are just as apprehensive to learn who is the coward.

As expected, the political lines have been drawn. One side is prepared to praise those on the inside who have been saving the country from embarrassment or possibly even international conflict. One side cannot wait to remove the disloyal traitors from their midst. The rest of us are not surprised. We knew.

Some stinging accusations were made by the author(s) who has until now been described as a senior official in the Trump administration. The president’s leadership style was termed, “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective”. His attention to detail and decision-making was described as, “half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless”. And his daily conduct was labeled, “detrimental to the health of our republic”. There appears to have been more baby-sitting of the president by some “unsung heroes in the White House” as opposed to anyone circumventing his authority.

We should thank those on the inside who have been guiding the national ship by disconnecting the wheel in the hands of the president while they were at the control of the rudder. Appreciation is in order for this “quiet resistance” that compels everyday citizens to right the ship. The author(s) puts the responsibility of the waywardness of our direction in our lap. In the most blunt manner, he or she says, ’The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we, as a nation, have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.”

In other words, we created this monster and left him to run about the whole house. Then we are shocked when the support gives a scathing report that things are not going well at all. Certainly, no one wants to hear that their child is a bad seed, a Chucky doll. We do not want to accept that something so wrong could be a product of us.

This op-ed is comparable to a very eye-opening parent-teacher conference. Well, we have just been informed that our little angel has been running amok in the class room, the cafeteria, the hallways and on the bus. True to form, we want to kill the messenger. Who wrote it does not matter. What was written does.

We have been warned. And it ain’t “Fake News.”

AP RADIO
Update hourly