My Epistle to the Conservative Trump Haters

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Read her bio here. Saint Philomena. You think you have a cross to bear? Think again. In the age of New Media you can have fame and acclaim even after you’ve lost your head.

The very estimable Debra Burlingame lived in New York for 27 years. She hates Donald Trump, which is her right. The other day she linked to a 1988 documentary about him and declared that anyone who saw it would realize that nothing more need be said. This led to the following exchange between us.

RL: Sorry. Documentaries always come with a point of view. They’re all a function of EDITING to a particular point of view. You haven’t see hagiographic documentaries about Hillary? The “nothing more needs to be said” close rings kind of hollow in this context. You made up your mind long ago.

P.S. 1988? 27 years ago? 27 years before Reagan won the presidency, he was a Democrat or had been recently. He had been an FDR Supporter and president of the Screen Actors Guild, a union.

DEBRA: I lived in New York City for 27 years, when all this was happening. I remember it. There are court documents and press on this. Roy Cohn, the chief of Trump’s army of lawyers, was a brilliant but sleezy. This documentary covers stuff Trump himself cops to and insists he’s proud of. For me, it shows his character and values, beyond the bottom line of his string of business successes and failures.

If you knew more about Ronald Reagan, you’d know that his biography is the story of how his political philosophy evolved, not because of opportunity, but because of his nature to find and do the right thing. But everything he did was governed by and grounded in his principles and his political philosophy.

DEBRA: Thanks, Robert, for catching my spelling error.

Now. Here’s what’s interesting. I responded at some length to her last major comment. That response no longer exists on her post. Gone. Fortunately, I have a very good memory for what I write and the erased comment is very close to this.

RL: If I knew more about Ronald Reagan? Don’t insult me. I watched the first television broadcast of The Speech. I followed his career closely. I saw him in person during the years he was considered a has-been. I came away convinced of his greatness long before he won the nomination.

You hate Trump. Fine. (Did you mean Roy Cohen or Roy Cohn? Big difference. I’d have hired Roy Cohn too.) But what’s the point of your ire?

So what if he’s a circus ringmaster. If he’s as bad and low of character as you say, he will flame out long before the nomination. Why the paranoia? I’m not a Trump supporter. In the words of John Nolte, I’m a Trump supporter-supporter. All the a Trump haters seem disinclined to recognize that they are insulting millions of people in flyover country who have seen their elected representatives ignore them in favor of lobbyists who will give them huge jobs after they’re voted out of office. That’s Trump’s appeal. Despising the people who support him is a sign of tunnel vision, focused on proving your superiority to the poor dopes who are legitimately angry about the breakdown in the contract between the electorate and their representatives.

You hate him. You hate him. You hate him. And by inference, you despise the people who support him. This has been your whole message for months. In the meantime what has he done? He’s drawn 25 million viewers to the first two Republican debates. Without him, no one would have seen your personal favorite candidate. He’s done an enormous service to the Republican Party and the conservative cause. Why the vitriol? Who does it help? Not me. And, I suspect, not you either.

With all due respect, new media maven, Debra Burlingame. If you deliberately deleted my comment, (proof being that your thanks for my spelling correction refers to nothing in your comment thread), I can no longer call you Saint Debra. Sorry.

Here endeth the epistle.

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