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Can The Donald Lose a Little?

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Can The Donald Lose a Little?

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Rev. Jesse Jackson joins demonstrators during a protest intending to disrupt Black Friday shopping in reaction to the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in Chicago

“We are going to win and win. We are going to win so much you are going to come to me and say, ‘Mr. President, can’t we lose a little?'” — Donald Trump, March 4

What would a great leader be without a great crisis to cross paths with?

Where would Abraham Lincoln be without the Civil War or Franklin Roosevelt without the Great Depression or Winston Churchill without World War II?

Donald Trump is a hero — at least in his own mind — in search of something heroic to do. Building hyuge, vulgar buildings and slapping one’s own name on it lacks a certain heroic dimension.

As critic Joshua Rothman of The New Yorker wrote in a Feb. 29 essay, titled “Shut Up and Sit Down: Why the leadership industry rules,” people who “fetishize leadership sometimes find themselves longing for crisis” to prove themselves.

Much of Trump’s life appears to be like one long attempt at this — as long as no real danger or no real leadership is involved.

Rothman writes:

In January, “Donald Trump’s campaign released its first official TV advertisement. The ad features a procession of alarming images — the San Bernardino shooters, a crowd at passport control, the flag of Syria’s Al Nusra Front — designed to communicate the idea of a country under siege. But the ad does more than stoke fear; it also excites, because it suggests that we’ve arrived at a moment welcoming to the emergence of a strong and electrifying leader.”

The millennials — the largest age group in America, followed by the baby boomers — are lucky if they can identify any hero who is still alive. A millennial is anyone who is or was between the ages of 18 and 34 in 2015, and one suspects that Trump gets his heroic status more from his reality TV shows than from his real estate deals.

He was born wealthy, went to good schools, inherited a small fortune, went into the family business and has managed to keep the wolf away from his (many) doors.

But wasn’t it always thus? “The rich get richer,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “and the poor get — children.” Jesse Jackson, only about five years older than Trump, grew up in an era when the other children in his school taunted him for being born out of wedlock.

He sat in the back of the bus, not just metaphorically but literally. He drank out of water fountains marked “colored.” He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, but attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on a football scholarship.

In 1960, when he was 19, he came home on Christmas break and, like freshmen everywhere, left a lot of work to do until the last minute. The book he needed to finish a paper was not at the “colored” library in Greenville but was at the Greenville Public Library.

So Jackson walked in, but a policeman walked him out. It may have been 1960 elsewhere in America, but in the Jim Crow South, it was still 1892.

And Jackson did a most unexpected thing. No, not marching on the library. That came later. And no, not getting the law changed to make the reading facilities in town open to all. That, too, would come later.

What Jackson did upon being tossed out of that library was cry. Real, bitter tears. He was not afraid; he was a freshman quarterback for a Big Ten football team, so he wasn’t afraid of many people.

It was not fear. It was just the shame of the whole thing. The water fountains and the seats on the bus and even what book you were allowed to read.

His tears dried up. And Jackson went to work. In a few months, he and seven other black students returned to the whites-only library, got books, took seats, sat down and read.

About 20 minutes later, they were handcuffed, and they were jailed for 45 minutes.

“In the paper write-up about our arrest, I remember them calling us leftists,” Jackson would say later. “We weren’t left; we were right.” A small joke.

The libary closed and reopened two months later as an integrated facility.

On the 50th anniversary, the Greenville Eight held a reunion. Only four  of the original eight showed up, but that was OK. It made the speeches shorter.

“Somehow we all finished college,” Jackson said, “and went on to replace old walls with new bridges.”

There are those who go through life building walls to keep others out. Others build bridges to welcome all in. You sometimes get to make that choice very early in your life. So think about it now.

Roger Simon is Politico’s chief political columnist. His new e-book, “Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America,” can be found on Amazon.com, BN.com and iTunes. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM

Photo: Rev. Jesse Jackson (C) joins demonstrators during a protest intending to disrupt Black Friday shopping in reaction to the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Illinois, November 27, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Nelles

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45 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila March 9, 2016

    Unfortunately, judging by the level of support that Donald Trump enjoys, there are many among us more interested in building impenetrable walls than building bridges. Progress has been made, by the pervasive prejudices that existed until the Civil Rights movement is alive and well in many parts of the country.
    Hopefully, common sense, maturity, and a sense of personal and social responsibility will prevail in November…

    Reply
    1. ps0rjl March 9, 2016

      Amen. Donald when strip away most of his speeches preaches fear and hatred.

      Reply
      1. Dominick Vila March 9, 2016

        And much of what he has written, in his book and in his political platform, is inconsistent with his adoring fans believe.
        On foreign policy, he has questioned the need to keep U.S. troops in Europe, and the very existence of NATO. Two reasons that help explain the concerns expressed by some many foreign leaders. So much for the gullible’s interpretation of what Donald means by win, win, win.
        On domestic policy his economic platform is almost identical to President Obama’s, including the need to reward companies that invest at home, and penalize those who invest abroad.
        On social matters, The Donald supports abortion and universal healthcare.

        Reply
        1. itsfun March 9, 2016

          With domestic policy and economic platform that is almost identical to President Obama’s, why aren’t the Democrats backing him? He like the left supports abortion and universal healthcare, may he is running for the wrong party.

          Reply
          1. dpaano March 9, 2016

            Because he’s a narcissistic bloviator and has angered many other countries and people! His foreign policy is pitiful, his economic policy is pitiful, his healthcare program is unworkable, and I could go on and on.

            Reply
          2. itsfun March 9, 2016

            He has made business deals with many other countries. His foreign policy is to not keep taking crap from every piss-ant country in the world like we do now. I am sure he knows more about economics than you do. His healthcare program is much like Obamacare, biggest difference is he wants a one payer system.

            Reply
          3. latebloomingrandma March 10, 2016

            Which is something Republicans hate, because it is socialism.

            Reply
          4. itsfun March 10, 2016

            Right that is what I have been saying. He has a lot of the same ideas the Democrats have.

            Reply
          5. Dominick Vila March 9, 2016

            Because Democrats don’t support bigotry.

            Reply
          6. itsfun March 9, 2016

            What makes him a bigot?

            Reply
          7. Dominick Vila March 9, 2016

            His refusal to distance himself from white supremacist leaders and groups, and the insults and threats he has directed against some ethnic minority groups.

            Reply
          8. itsfun March 9, 2016

            Dom: You know better than that. He disavowed the KKK. He called ISIS cutting heads off barbarians (which they are). He wants to protect our country from terrorists and will only let Muslims in after they are cleared. He wants to build a wall to keep illegals out. Did you read about the illegal that killed 5 people yesterday? He has said over and over, people will be welcomed in this country if they follow our laws and complete the proper procedures to be here. That does not make him a bigot.

            Reply
          9. Dominick Vila March 10, 2016

            Trump did not disavow David Duke or any of the other white supremacists that have endorsed his candidacy. He referred to Mexicans and Central Americans as criminals and rapists. The fact that two out of an estimated 11 million undocumented Latinos have committed a crime suggests a much lower criminal ratio than all the other segments of our population, legals or illegals. He condemned more than just ISIS, which is indeed a terrorist organization that is a danger to the world. He proposed banning the entry of 1.6 billion Muslims temporarily.
            He has made derogatory remarks about POWs (McCain), overweight, ugly, women, bleeding women, uses local law enforcement and private security guards to remove protesters from his rallies, often using immature remarks and gestures or asking if the protester is Mexican. Pretending that Donald Trump is not a bigot, or as a minimum a narcissistic, immature, and irresponsible opportunist is ridiculous.

            Reply
          10. itsfun March 10, 2016

            http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/02/29/trump_disavows_kkk_duke_how_many_times_do_i_have_to
            _continue_to_disavow_people.html
            He said Mexico was not sending their best people to us, sending many rapist and criminals. He also said that there are many find Mexicans and he has Mexican employees and friends. One of those “two” people you are defending just murdered a family of 4 two days ago. Do you actually believe that only 2 of 11 million ILLEGAL immigrants have committed a crime in the US. First all 11 million committed a crime by being here illegally. He said he would stop Muslims temporarily until they were properly vetted according to our current laws. He said being captured did not automatically make Senator McCain a hero. He has been in a feud with Rosie for years now. If asking is someone is a Mexican, Black person, White person, or any other race then everyone in America is a bigot.
            What is wrong about removing protesters from his rallies. The purpose of holding a rally is to get your message across. If protesters don’t allow you to do this, then you have every right to have them removed.

            Reply
          11. Dominick Vila March 10, 2016

            A mature and confident individual running for POTUS would allow a protester to voice his/her opinion. Using private security thugs, or campaign staffers, to manhandle protesters, while a rabid crowd shouts insults and threats is not what someone aspiring to become President would do.
            Donald Trump has more than just a feud with Rosie O’Donnell, which I believe is inappropriate for a grown man; he demeaned Megyn Kelly, and every person, male or female, who dared asked him anything he considers inappropriate. He is a narcissistic egomaniac, irresponsible, and immature.

            Reply
          12. itsfun March 10, 2016

            Allowing someone to voice their opinion and allowing someone to destroy your rally you are paying for are two different things. Didn’t you just see where Bill Clinton told a protester to shut up and sit down? A private security officer is not a thug. Is it appropriate for a grown woman to have a feud? Megyn Kelly got what she asked for. He has every right to defend his self from insults and inappropriate comments.

            Reply
          13. Dominick Vila March 10, 2016

            Holding a sign does not destroy rallies. The same goes for someone yelling Hillary or Bernie. Take a look at how similar incidents are handled in Hillary’s and Bernie’s rallies. No insults, no threats, no pushing.
            Asking The Donald if he still stood by an earlier comment is not an insult and it is not inappropriate.

            Reply
  2. The lucky one March 9, 2016

    Can’t be a hero without adversity. Trump has never experienced any that couldn’t be overcome with money and he has had money from birth.

    Reply
    1. FireBaron March 9, 2016

      Very true. Theodore Roosevelt had to overcome asthma. FDR fought his polio. Ike was dirt poor growing up. Helen Keller overcame blindness and deafness. The list goes on.

      Reply
      1. The lucky one March 9, 2016

        Well there is that fuzzy mess he calls hair, does that count?

        Reply
        1. I of John March 9, 2016

          only to his barber.

          Reply
          1. plc97477 March 9, 2016

            Does that make his barber a hero?

            Reply
          2. I of John March 9, 2016

            More like a magician since his coifs defy both gravity and logic.

            Reply
          3. latebloomingrandma March 10, 2016

            He has a barber?

            Reply
          4. I of John March 10, 2016

            I suppose he would be more like a weaver.

            Reply
  3. FireBaron March 9, 2016

    Frankly, I think Roger Simon is wrong. There are heroes out there. The problem is the “gimme generation”, oh, sorry, I mean “the millennials” do not want to look for things. They want them presented whole cloth to them for their enjoyment. One problem with the instant gratification afforded by the Internet, 24 hour news cycles, facebook, twitter and all the other conveniences we have come to rely on means people are willing to take whatever is on Wiki as gospel truth! They do not want to spend the time reading the actual texts, just the Cliff Notes.

    Reply
    1. dpaano March 9, 2016

      I also blame the system when children who played soccer or baseball or whatever were ALL given trophies even when they lost. The millennials haven’t learned that sometimes you don’t win, so they expect to always get what they want even when they don’t earn it.

      Reply
  4. Paul Bass March 9, 2016

    Isn’t a hero someone who does “something heroic” for someone else?

    Donald has never done anything for anyone else, therefore will NEVER be heroic.

    Reply
    1. Nick March 9, 2016

      You may have forgotten this, but back in 1988 Donald Trump allowed a family to use his airplane to fly their seriously ill son from LA to NY when no other airline would do it.

      Reply
      1. Paul Bass March 9, 2016

        Thanks Nick, I’m glad you found one “heroic” deed Trump has done 28 years ago. When do you think he might be due for another?

        Reply
        1. Nick March 9, 2016

          Donald Trump has more indeed. The most recent would be the millions he raised for the wounded warriors. His next heroic deed will be making the U.S. great again. Remember, Donald Trump is only running for president because the country is not doing well for its citizens. I’m sure he would rather be doing other things besides running for president if the need wasn’t there.

          Reply
          1. nana4gj March 9, 2016

            Perhaps, since he made such a public spectacle of his veterans’ fundraiser, he should publish an accounting of where the money has been alloted, and how much, and, also, list the donors.

            The country would be doing much better if Republicans had participated in government instead of obstructing it. The Infrastructure and Jobs Bill sits collecting dust in the drawers of the House and Senate Leaders; the Immigration Reform Bill went into the trash bin; because they both require working with others to achieve something acceptable. Alas, we should expect them to work with others!

            For me, I always find their arguments against this Administration very lame. If they truly believed this President was so evil, so incompetent, so very wrong on everything, that is even more reason and carried more responsible, for them to work WITH him.

            But, of course, their main responsibility was not to work on behalf of their country, it was, and is, to work on behalf of what is politically expedient for themselves, as if anything they have done, and not done, is a resume of which they can be proud.
            For some of us, it makes them ALL unelectable, unfit for office, and Trump has some extra added reasons for being unelectable, for clear thinking voters.

            Reply
          2. dpaano March 9, 2016

            I understand several of the veteran groups refused his donations! I applaud them for having integrity!

            Reply
          3. dpaano March 9, 2016

            What millions? Most of the money he’s made at fundraisers for veterans went directly into his Donald J. Trump Foundation fund, and out of that, he’s only donated about $100,000 to veterans despite his protestations that he donated more. Why do you think he doesn’t want to release his tax returns….it’ll show how much he’s actually donated, which is little!!! As for the country not doing well…..can we look at the Senate and the House, both of which decided 7+ years ago to be traitors to this country and go against EVERYTHING that the current President tried to do to help this country (and he’s managed to get a few good things in despite their blockages)! Let’s look at where the blame is for wherever this country is right now, but I think we’re doing fairly well considering where we were when GWB left the presidency…

            Reply
    2. dpaano March 9, 2016

      But….but….he’s got a lot of money (and he reminds you of that constantly)!!! Not sure what is heroic about that, but he seems to think it’s important because he keeps repeating it!

      Reply
  5. ps0rjl March 9, 2016

    There are heroes in every generation, even the millennials. They are the men and women who proudly serve our county. They are the ones who stand at the wall and proudly say “Not on my watch!” and most do that when they are barely out of there teens. They don’t make excuses.

    Reply
  6. nana4gj March 9, 2016

    And that accomplishment by Jackson and his friends, was really huge, and a legacy of enduring achievement, while, at the same time, Trump was carousing with babes around New York’s best hot spots, on his father’s dime.

    There isn’t any cause greater to Trump, than Trump.
    What have Cruz, Rubio, Kasich done with their lives, so far?

    Reply
  7. itsfun March 9, 2016

    Jesse Jackson – A politician that has never been elected and a preacher that has never had a church to preach in.

    Reply
    1. dpaano March 9, 2016

      So, what’s your point? He’s a heck of a lot more well known than you are!

      Reply
      1. itsfun March 9, 2016

        Whats your point?

        Reply
  8. dpaano March 9, 2016

    Good article. I wasn’t aware that Jesse Jackson went through so much, but he’s commendable.

    Reply
  9. Paul Bass March 9, 2016

    Sad, short fingered vulgarian. Expecting crowds and money to fill the hole in his heart. That will never come to pass.

    Reply
  10. Rightazz March 9, 2016

    I am not a Trump supporter.MR Simon you could write this article and compare any wealthy guy to a poor guy oppressed guy Maybe you could write a story about some son of a auto industry worker had to quit college join the military to support his parents who was killed in action defending his country You Could compare that to the elite life of Bill and Hillary Clinton the folks who supported NAFTA as a good deal for working people I think you can twist the rest on your own

    Reply
    1. latebloomingrandma March 10, 2016

      Neither of the Clinton’s were born into an elite life. They worked into it. Neither had a small loan of a million dollars from daddy.

      Reply
      1. Rightazz March 11, 2016

        Never said they were born with a silver spoon. They are the political elite Fact

        Reply

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