As long as Blank Slate Newspapers print letters like that written by Barry Nathanson of Sands Point, (May 11, 2018) I feel the need to respond.

Nathanson points to the economic and foreign policy achievements of the Trump administration.

In fairness, he also acknowledges Trump’s “despicable behavior with a porn star and countless other personality characteristics…which have led the country to despise and vilify him.”

As to Trump’s leadership in the economic realm, I prefer David Rosen’s assessment in Public Citizen.

Trump’s flurry of deregulatory policies and executive orders all point to one goal: allowing ruthless corporations to destroy the environment, cheat consumers and make unsafe products…all to boost their profits and power…The country never before has confronted the reality of a president who owns a complex business empire and seem uninterested in avoiding conflicts of interest.

This week, a White House communications aide committed an unpardonable sin.

Kelly Sadler was annoyed by Sen. McCain’s failure to endorse Gina Hospel as head of the C.I.A.

Sadler,  then gratuitously, remarked that it “doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

To talk this way about a genuine hero is despicable. Not to take disciplinary action against Sadler is tantamount to White House approval of the statement.

Meghan McCain spoke out on ABC’s television show “The View.” She stated that her father’s battle with brain cancer made her realize the meaning of life was “not how you die, it is how you live.”

It sounds as if Dr. Nathanson’s using the word “vilify,”  referencing those of us on the left, might be apt, were it not for the fact that this president has lied or made misleading statements 3001 times in his first 466 days in office.

This data comes from “Fact Checker,” which did some long division and discovered that Trump lies, on average, 6.5 times a day.

Do we really want a president who is a pathological liar? Do we want a man who thinks there were 5 million people at his inauguration controlling our nuclear arsenal?  Conventional wisdom teaches us that many politicians lie, but not on this grand a scale. There’s a joke making the rounds that Washington said: “I cannot tell a lie.” Nixon said: “I cannot tell the truth.”

And Trump said “I cannot tell the difference.”

Returning to the McCain-Hospel broohaha, the Arizona senator’s full statement recognized that longtime public servant Hospel was “a patriot.”

He was, however, disturbed by the fact that at the Senate hearings she repeatedly refused to acknowledge the immorality of torture.

Opponents of torture point out that it doesn’t lead to the acquisition of any useful information.

They, further, believe that, as Orwell pointed out in “Animal Farm” the pigs began to look like the farmer who had exploited them.

In other words, if we behave in a bestial fashion because our enemy does, we are no better than the enemy. Finally, those who oppose torture maintain the respect of the international community since we are abiding by the Geneva Convention.


This is not the first time that Trump and McCain have clashed. In 2008, Trump stated: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Using this logic, soldiers captured in the Pacific by the Japanese during World War II who died on the Bataan Death March cannot be considered heroes.

If one of my students at Queens College made such a statement, I would, publicly, point out its illogicality and, privately, wonder if my student had suffered brain damage.

Slinging insults and name-calling comes easy when trying to understand Trumpian behavior.

Here is what Republican Steve Schmidt who was McCain’s campaign manager in 2008 said: “McCain’s life has been about decency and honor compared to a man who is unworthy to say his name out loud. A man who is small and vile and mean and cruel and narcissistic, a man who is a coward, a man who dodged the draft…”

Since Trump criticized McCain’s heroism it is only fair that we look at Trump’s war record. Sorry, but there isn’t any!

This is so because when Trump graduated from college in the spring of 1968 he became eligible for the draft. 300,000 men were inducted, many of whom went to Vietnam.

But it was discovered that Trump had bone spurs and he was given a coveted 1-Y deferment.  More about this next week.

Dr. Hal Sobel

Great Neck

Multiplex Content Recommendation - 1