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The Bully Takes Over the Pulpit

January 20, 2017
Plain English Version
Donald Duck, sworn in today as the President of the United States.

Donald Duck, sworn in today as the President of the United States.

ESSAY

The American presidency is the “bully pulpit.” Today, a bully takes over the pulpit.

The schoolyard is not a place where a panel of experts ponders what is true and what is false. It is about who wins the battle of words. Trump knows the winner takes all.

With Trump, we are entering a new world. When Donald Trump thinks he is under attack, he attacks back. Lying and truth do not matter in Trump’s attacks. What are the rules he follows? Trump follows the rules of the schoolyard. He is a schoolyard bully.

At least that is how he acted during his career. It is how he beat his opponents in the primaries. It is how he pumped himself up in the campaign. That Ms. Clinton was a female did not stop him from attacking her.

Trump becomes president of the United States today. Will he change as president?

No one knows. Experts say the presidential office overwhelms the occupant. The verbal free play does not change reality. Trump will have to sober up. He has to become a serious person. In other words, it will not always all be about him.

He has said he will be same way today as he was yesterday.

Serious people will fill three of his cabinet posts. The departments are state, defense, and homeland security. These are important jobs.

Other positions look like they are going to people who seem intent on destroying them. These include the departments of education, housing and urban development, labor, and energy. These are the agencies Trump can use for political purposes.

The Department of Health and Human Services manages the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Trump has proposed a person who abhors the ACA program.

Millions of older Americans are on Medicare. Nobody will touch them. Millions of people get health insurance from their employers.  The Affordable Care Act is fot the poor, people without insurance, and the sick.

What makes the fate of the ACA the most important political issue in America? The program says that all Americans must either buy insurance or pay the penalty. Young people do not worry about their health. But the mandate makes them buy insurance.

And the reason is to help pay for people who sick. Most of them are low income and have chronic illnesses.

Republicans hate the ACA program. They promised to “repeal and replace.” The time has come.

Trump has said he has a plan to solve all the health insurance problems. Today is the day he will have to tell people what the plan is. That will be new.

Then on to immigration and “Making America Great Again.”

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