• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Here's Johnny - Take a chill pill

(Take 2) In boot camp at the U.S. Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill., many moons ago, one of my braver fellow recruits saw that one of our company commanders seemed unnecessarily worked up, so he offered this suggestion: “Take a chill pill, sir.” The company commander in question was the younger and funnier of the two men charged with turning us into sailors. Still, as I recall, the polite advice was met with a fair bit of outrage and an order that the advice-giver drop for some push-ups. I thought of this lovely scene as I watched protestors line up for the inauguration of Donald Trump as our 45th President. Some of them had warned that they would try to disrupt proceedings and even prevent folks from attending, and they did. Here’s what I would have said had I been standing amidst them with a megaphone: “Take a chill pill, y’all!” But … Folks, I do believe we should give the new President a chance, and that complaining about what he may do before he’s done it isn’t quite fair and, for those likely to oppose him from time to time, may well be self-defeating. Then I listened to his inaugural speech, which contained at least one impossible promise (eradicating radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth) and one promise broken already (ending the American carnage of drugs and crime “right here and right now.”) Last I checked, drugs and crime are doing just fine post-Inaugural address. But what really changed my mind about the “let’s all get along” mode I set off on were President Trump’s words to the CIA Saturday. Remember: Candidate Trump ridiculed the CIA’s conclusion that Russia attempted to influence the election, reminding the world of the agency’s flawed reports about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Then, President-elect Trump suggested intelligence officials had leaked a report with unsubstantiated claims about his behavior during a trip to Russia, tweeting, “Are we living in Nazi Germany?” Saturday, President Trump told CIA employees he had their back “1,000 percent” and blamed the media for any disagreements between him and them. He called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” and claimed that up to 1.5 million people had attended his inauguration, a boast that photographs and other evidence disproved. He also sent his press secretary out to lambaste journalists and accuse them of lying about the size of the inaugural crowd. It’s worth noting that the press secretary, who’s paid by U.S. taxpayers, didn’t have the guts, or permission, to stick around for questions. Dear Readers, all the “media” did was report Mr. Trump’s own repeated criticism of the intelligence community and rely on pictures, mass transit ridership and experts to estimate the size of the crowds at the inauguration. ’Course, who really cares about how many people attended? There’s plenty for which to criticize “the media,” which is made up of many components and people, the vast majority of whom share the same goal: to seek and tell the truth. If you get all your information from a media outlet whose employees spend the day blasting journalists instead of seeking and telling the truth themselves, more power to you. During the campaign, Mr. Trump went after illegal immigrants, suggesting most of them were rapists and murderers. Then he learned he could attack another unpopular minority group, the media, and get a good hand at his rallies. If you approve of this behavior, just remember that if you ever stop applauding and start criticizing, our President and his supporters may come after you, too. This is not a contest between Republicans and Democrats, or even between a President and the press. It is a battle between those whose aim is to quash free speech and those whose Constitutionally protected job is to exercise it. You know, if I was the sort of person who could work for President Trump, I might suggest, “Take a chill pill, sir.” As always, I welcome your thoughts on this and any other subject. You can email me at john@woodfordsun.com or call me at (859) 873-4131, ext. 13. We can take chill pills together.

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