Making Sense by Michael Reagan
You watch Fox News – “We love President Trump.”
You watch MSNBC or CNN – “We hate President Trump.”
Is there any other news going on in the world that isn’t about Trump?
I swear, if the World Trade Center had come down yesterday, the top story today in the mainstream media would be all about Donald Trump.
What did he do wrong or not do? Say or not say?
While Trump and his daily reality TV show have become a profit center for the media, the rest of us can’t even mention his name.
Trump has become a cuss word – “Trump you! Trump you and your whole family!”
I can remember when everybody in the media loved Trump before they hated Trump.
CNN loved him to have him on their air because he could be counted on to bring higher ratings.
Going back five, 10 or 15 years ago, when Trump was a celebrity billionaire golfer from New York, every TV network or cable channel courted him because they knew he’d drive up their audience numbers.
Now you have two angry Love Trump/Hate Trump camps holed up in their own media bunkers, talking only to their hardcore followers.
For me, it’s sad to see that nobody is willing to have a fruitful conversation with the other side the way they did when my father was in Washington.
On Tuesday, when we marked my dad’s 107th birthday at the Reagan Library, his chief of staff ,James Baker III, reminded us how my father dealt with his opponents.
He never demeaned or degraded them or called them names.
And even if they didn’t agree with him politically, or were supporting some other Republican for president, they liked him personally.
Baker was a perfect example.
My father hired him to be his chief of staff after he had run two tough presidential primary campaigns against him, one for Gerald Ford in 1976 and one for George H.W. Bush in 1980.
Unlike Trump, who constantly uses tweets to attack his critics and opponents, my father always took the high road.
When he was in a debate he didn’t try to destroy people. He knew at some point he’d have to go back and work with them to get things done.
That’s how he and Tip O’Neill were able to get the largest tax break in American history passed through Congress in 1981.
It’s almost impossible to make that kind of deal anymore in Washington. We live in a very angry, angry time, and President Trump doesn’t seem to want to do anything to make people get along any better.
Meanwhile, both parties in Congress want 100 percent of everything they desire, and when they do come to a rare agreement like they did Wednesday on the bipartisan budget deal, there are people who can’t control their anger.
The two-year budget, which adds $300 billion in spending to the federal deficit, has made the military and national security folks happy, but it has set some fiscal hawks’ hair on fire.
It’d be nice to think that the rare display of bipartisanship on the federal budget is a sign that good things are going to start happening in Congress.
But it’s really just the latest proof that there’s only one thing that can consistently bring the two parties in Congress together – spending money it doesn’t have.
Copyright 2018 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to [email protected] Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.