GLENN: Being President is impossible.
It’s a never-ending stream of lose-lose situations. Like President Trump visiting the opening of the new Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi this weekend. For Trump, it was damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Can you imagine the outcry if he had declined the invitation to speak at the museum opening? Yet he did speak at the opening and got nothing but criticism and protests from black leaders for his effort.
President Trump attended the museum opening at the invitation of Mississippi’s Republican governor, Phil Bryant. Trump took a brief tour of the museum, then gave a short speech. It was fine, a normal presidential thing to do. Speaking in general, and promoting better race relations is not Trump’s strengths. This was a missed opportunity for him to do more to try to heal division and change the perception that he is racist. He could have done better in this situation, but at least he was there. He made an attempt.
Similarly, Georgia Representative John Lewis could have and should have, done more. As soon as he heard the President might attend the museum opening, he announced he would boycott it. The mayor of Jackson, Mississippi also boycotted. How does this help heal racial division? Why would you squander an opportunity to improve relations with a president they consider to be set against them? For the sake of the wider community, why couldn’t you set aside your hate for the president for a few minutes and at least pretend to get along?
It’s amazing that some Civil Rights icons, like John Lewis, seem to have forgotten the larger lessons of love and forgiveness that Martin Luther King Jr. taught us. If you can’t set politics aside for the opening of a Civil Rights Museum, and just before Christmas, then you’re never going to be able to set aside politics.
We desperately need to get over ourselves, lose some pride, and reach out to our neighbors, yes, even those who don’t vote the same way we do. We are so entrenched on our political teams that it’s making us crazy. We won’t even entertain the idea of having a conversation with someone from the other side.
Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but Christmas is a pretty good time for that.