Forget such weighty matters as the Mueller investigation into Russian election tampering, the Afghanistan War reboot, or Hurricane Irma raking the Florida peninsula, the NFL season kicked off this week with rings and dings.
And what a start it was. The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots presented a Cat 5 pre-game back slap for their fans as they celebrated a fifth Lombardi Trophy, then took a drubbing from the K.C. Chiefs 42-27. Oops.
NFL Commish Roger Goodell was on hand, but not President Trump, despite the fact that New England Patriots prez Robert Kraft gifted the President with a Super Bowl LI ring a few weeks back.
Well, at least now Messers Trump and Putin can flash Super Bowl bling at one another at their next summit (Putin, you might recall, lifted one of Bob Kraft’s previous Super Bowl rings after asking to just look at it.)
And now to the point if this blog. If you’ve had a hard time wrapping your head around the Trump-Putin bromance, how about explaining the one between Trump, Kraft, Coach Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady, the triumvirate of the Patriot dynasty.
Maybe Robert Kraft. Yes, that I can understand. It’s not just the billionaires club they belong to. Evidently, when Mr. Kraft’s wife died several years ago, Mr. Trump called him weekly to check up on how he was doing. Not much these days speaks well of our president, but that does.
But from Coach Belichick or QB Brady’s standpoint, think of it this way: if the character Trump portrays in public were a player in the draft or available in a trade, would the Patriots go for that kind of player? No chance!
The Patriot Way is all about sublimating the individual to the team, “Just Do Your Job.” It’s about keeping everything inside the locker room sealed. In fact, when asked about a pre-season scuffle between Julian Edelman and Stephon Gilmore, coach Belichick said, “I’m not going to get into that. Look, I’ll do whatever I do with the team. It’s between me and the team. All disciplinary matters are. (pause, with stone face in place). Hopefully, you can respect that.”
Belichick and the Pats are very much in line with the old Teddy Roosevelt maxim, “walk softly and carry a big stick”. If you are worried about your personal brand in Foxboro, you won’t be around very long. The public Trump is the complete opposite, more like “blather loudly and act like a big dick.”
In Trump World it is all about The Donald, and the West Wing is as leaky as 71 year-old real estate developer’s urethra. Not to mention from all the evidence we have to go on, the man has yet to open, study (much less master) the presidential playbook. How that jibes with the diligence, dedication, and stony silence of Belichick and Brady totally escapes me.
Abraham Lincoln is one of the few people our current president seems to hold in high regard – who knew he was a republican, right? It was Lincoln who redefined the American experiment in self-rule in his Gettysburg Address, arguing that the Declaration of Independence should be the lens through which the U.S. Constitution be interpreted, especially concerning the notion that “all men are created equal”.
Today, in the wake of Mr. Trump’s Charlottesville Equivalency, where white supremacists and their opposition were rated as equals, there seems cause to reinvest in a another passage from the Declaration of Independence, the one that suggests that “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they (USA) should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
It is not unusual, nor can it be unexpected, that America will do what is in its own best interest, i.e. America First. Such is the case for all sovereign nations. But “a decent respect to the opinion of mankind” was seen by our founders as necessary to validate our independence from Britain. No reason to think such a consideration shouldn’t undergird the merits of our current declarations.
But since America also likes being liked more than almost any other nation in history, and has a thing about its exceptionalism, it has always had a difficult time admitting errors in judgement and deed. And now we have gone and elected a personage with the modesty of a libertine, class of a dung beetle, and self-image of a Kardashian sister. How can we be surprised when the world looks at us sideways, like “bro, what the eff?”
That is a long introduction to a suggestion to President Trump to dial it back a notch, stop inhaling so much hairspray. What you may look upon as America getting screwed is still seen in many places around the world as heaven beyond measure. There’s a bit of a disconnect between the reality of those making $2/day or less with those who still pull down $7.75/hr. in minimum wage.
President Trump proclaims a strong Christian foundation. Therefore we need not remind him of Luke 12:48. “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”
Get it together, Ring-Bearer, before the other branches knock you off yours.