From the chair – This past week provided a special opportunity to view two “Salty Sailors” in action. For those not familiar with the term, it’s used to describe colorful personalities with a crusty layer of personal quirks. Actor Robert De Niro is a salty sailor. So is our President – but the flavor of their salt is very different.
In the case of Mr. De Niro we find a much-demonstrated dedication to hysteria, profanity and a ‘good guy – bad guy’ social problem solving model. His prolific Tony Award use of the “F” word and other verbal character assignation descriptors offers recent example. Happily, he didn’t accomplish much. It’s simply not possible – no matter how sharp your acting credentials – to get crazy enough, dirty enough and simplistic enough to do anything meaningful. Real salty sailors know that noise and action are not the same thing.
Our President’s dedications are different. He’s serious about affecting positive change in America. Make America Great Again – to the surprise of so many – was more than just a clever campaign slogan. He meant it – and he’s working hard to do it.
Is he always gracious, smooth or statesman-like in his approach – no – and sometimes really NO. His deeper character credentials show up not in his image but in his substance. Unlike De Niro and others similarly dedicated to division as an imagined path to anything good, Trump stirs the pot to cook up a good stew. He’s a messy chef, but you can’t argue with what he puts on the table.
Hollywood, most mainstream media outlets and the bureaucrats and make-believe statesman who have been so long conning us with political correctness have met their match – and all they know to do is get mad, get critical, get even and get together to repeat those behaviors. They’ve got the salty part down. They’re clueless on the “put yourself in harm’s way and stand for something” part of the equation that makes those thus labeled something special.
President Trump is widely chastised for refusing to play by the rules. His comeback – why should anyone play by the rules of a game played by scammers? A great example would be the rigged trade deals with have with our trade partners. Rigged trade is not fair trade. Fair trade does not allow one side to skim the other with two sets of rules. That’s the equivalent of a married couple where the guy thinks its fine to fool around but expects his wife to be faithful. Trump is refusing to continue watching America be cuckolded by pretenders claiming to be virtuous partners.
Want examples? Look at Mexico’s immigration policies (draconian) and then view the immigration policy they push on America (making us effectively border-less). Canada frequently and arbitrarily places tariffs on American goods while China refuses to accept our companies on their turf unless we effectively partner with their government and give full access to our patents and technology. Fair – heck no, and this President has the courage to say so.
Another reason the left doesn’t like our President is that he persistently controls the tempo of the game. The political establishment is accustomed to having that privilege. By changing his strategy, words, behavior and technique, President Trump keeps the opposition on their heels and in a position of negative reaction versus proactive challenge. A salty sailor is less concerned with your comfort than achieving his results. We are blessed that those results are reliably tracked to our best interests and that of our nation as a whole. The opposition, in contrast, doesn’t get that because they put their needs first.
Read the Wall Street Journal – normally a stellar source of good information – for a parade of editorials from slick talkers recycling the same tired rhetoric and fear tactics. One is reminded of a horse shoe salesman telling us why we shouldn’t trust rubber tires. Very few people actually get what our President is attempting – resetting the fairness equation vs. a trade war – or are working to help him pull it off.
Part of the problem is that a whole lot of his antagonists are going through withdrawal. President Trump’s predecessor was an articulate gentleman with a pleasing personality who worked extra-hard on his image. In comparing these two leaders, one is reminded of the adage, “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.” President Trump is not satisfied to sit at the dock and make sure his brass in shining. He’d rather have flaking paint and rough engines pushing toward the real purpose of a ship. Image over substance people don’t get that kind of salty sailor thinking.
Though it’s popular to suggest, “All he cares about is what other’s think about him,” nothing could be further from the truth. He likes to win, to succeed, to achieve, to move, to make things happen – that’s his kick. If praise was his mission he’d be doing an Obama rerun because what he’s now doing reliably gets him bashed – not praised.
Having pushed conservatives around for decades, the folks on the left are also confused by a guy who fights back. He understands that when someone attempts to punch you it creates an opening for a counter-punch. He is a great counter-puncher. Like most bullies, the liberal-progressive-socialist movement can dish out abuse, but they are horrified when their aggression is returned. For a change we have a conservative leader – like a salty sailor – more than willing to bloody his knuckles on the nose of the left’s army of knuckleheads.
We also have a President who is not willing to give up the field just because everyone thinks he should. Like that cavalry commander at the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg who said, “For a change we’re not going to let those damn rebels grab the high ground,” President Trump is proactively asserting his leadership powers. Again, he is doing it with little or no support from those who’ve historically been playing that field for their own advantage.
On a final note, we have a President who is willing to aim high and succeed or fail spectacularly. He understands that you can’t drain a swamp a cup at a time – it takes a major effort and risks always come with major efforts. That kind of leadership takes courage – American courage – the kind of courage that emboldens a leader to do what’s right, not what’s comfortable, familiar, easy or convenient. He’s not the Obama-like leader type who operates out of paralysis by analysis, lets the perfect be the enemy of the good and surrenders to the comforts of habit over the potentials of new thinking.
There are a lot of people in American – like Robert De Niro – who don’t get our President. Thank goodness we have a Republican Party and a lot of partners in good governance who do. We get him even when we don’t necessarily agree with him. That’s how it works when you’re in a fight and need a Salty Sailor.
THE SALTY SAILOR
Sometimes God uses the no-nonsense, salty sailor to get the job done. Appreciating what the man is doing doesn’t mean we worship the salty sailor or even desire to be like the salty sailor. It doesn’t even mean God admires the salty sailor. Maybe He just knows he’s necessary for such a time as this.
I believe with all my heart that God placed that salty sailor in the White House and gave this nation one more chance in November 2016. Donald Trump is what he is. He is still the man he was before the election. And without guilt, I very much admire what that salty sailor is accomplishing.
He’s not like me. That’s okay with me. I don’t want to be like him. I will never behave like him. I know we’ve NEVER had a man like him lead our nation. It’s crazy and a little mind blowing at times. But I can’t help admire the ability he has to act with his heart rather than a calculated, PC, think tank-screened, carefully edited script. I still believe that is WHY he became our President and WHY he’s been able to handle a landslide of adversity and STILL pass unprecedented amounts of good legislation for our country AND do great works for MANY other nations, including Israel.
I’m THRILLED with what he’s doing for my nation, for the cause of Christ (whether intentional or unintentional, doesn’t matter to me), and for the concept of rebuilding America and putting her FIRST. I will not be ashamed of my position because others don’t see him through the same lens.
Should it matter to me if a fireman drops an f-bomb while he’s pulling me from a burning building? Would I really care about what came out of his mouth in those moments? Heck no! I’d CARE about what he was DOING. He wasn’t sent there to save my soul and I’m not looking to him for spiritual guidance. All I’m thinking in those moments is, “Thank you, Jesus, for sending the fireman.”
This man is crass. Okay. He’s not careful with what he says. Okay. You feel offended that he’s not a typical statesman. Okay. But he is rebuilding the nation my son died for…the nation I feared was on a fast track to becoming a hopeless cause.
Forgive me if I’m smiling.