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Reich's Counsel To Trump: Grow Up

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A New York Daily News headline published October 30, 1975, is one of the most famous headlines in modern journalism.

The headline did not quote President Gerald Ford, but it editorialized exactly what the Daily News wanted to convey.

The headline read: "Ford to City: Drop Dead."

The succinct reference was explained by writer Frank Van Riper in his opening Daily News paragraph: "President Ford declared flatly today that he would veto any bill calling for 'a federal bail-out of New York City' and instead proposed legislation that would make it easier for the city to go into bankruptcy."

Van Riper's second paragraph from 1975, conveyed more of Ford's distress over the city: "In a speech before the National Press Club, Ford coupled repeated attacks on the city's fiscal management with a promise that, if default came, the federal government would see to it that 'essential public services for the people of New York City' would be maintained."

President Ford was not dismissing the people of New York. He was dissing their political leadership.

The headline on this posting (above) does not quote former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich. It is intended, rather, in the spirit of the New York Daily News, to convey Reich's meaning.

What provoked Reich and led to his counsel, was Donald Trump's final 2016 tweet: "Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!"

Robert Reich explains why that Trump tweet is so dangerous and so wrong:

"The man who is about to become President of the United States continues to exhibit a mean-spirited, thin-skinned, narcissistic and vindictive character [who] sees the world in terms of personal wins or losses, enemies or friends, supporters or critics."

Reich's closing word to Trump was his hope that the president-elect would simply "grow up" and discover the missing maturity of an adult soon to be president. Reich wrote:

"You have 20 days in which to learn how to act as a president. All of us -- even those who oppose your policies and worry about your character -- sincerely hope you do."

Based on Trump's compulsive adolescent tweeting and his crony-inspired cabinet choices, Reich's counsel is badly needed. Unfortunately, everything we have heard or seen from president-elect Trump assures us the counsel will be rejected.

The man we elected as our next president is a former TV reality-show rich guy who defeated 15 Republican wanna-be presidential candidates, and then outran his establishment-blessed Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, to become the 45th president of the United States.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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