On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, President-elect Donald Trump met with the publisher of The New York Times and some editors, columnists and reporters at the paper.
Times' columnist Charles Blow was not at the meeting. The next day he wrote: "I will say proudly and happily that I was not present at this meeting. The very idea of sitting across the table from a demagogue who preyed on racial, ethnic and religious hostilities and treating him with decorum and social grace fills me with disgust, to the point of overflowing."
Blow spoke for many of us after the president-elect's comment to the Times' journalists, when he wrote: "Let me tell you here where I stand on your 'I hope we can all get along plea.' Never.
"You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything -- no matter whom it aligns you with and whom it hurts -- to satisfy your ambitions.
"I don't believe you care much at all about this country or your party or the American people. I believe that the only thing you care about is self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment. Your strongest allegiance is to your own cupidity."
Blow concluded with a personal pledge: "I'm thankful to have this platform because as long as there are ink and pixels, you will be the focus of my withering gaze."
It is this same "withering gaze" that all Americans should fix on our president-elect, both in this transition period, and for the next four years of his presidency.
When the gaze reveals positive vibes, it should be noted. So far, in Trump's mixed transitional and political rallies period, the vibes are largely negative.
Our national withering gaze should fix carefully on the decisions the president-elect is making. Does his leadership team, thus far assembled, possess the knowledge and personal skills sufficient to support a president with no prior experience in political leadership?
Trump's security leadership team up to this point includes three retired military generals, starting with retired Marine General James Mattis as defense secretary (pictured above).
What should be expected from his leadership? His expressed views on the Iraq War should offer some tentative hope that his war experience makes him more of a realist than some of the civilians who launched the Iraq war. The Intercept's Mattathias Schwartz wrote: