Staff Columnist

Thank you, Mr. President

President Trump throws out hats that say
President Trump throws out hats that say "Make our farmers great again!" after the Roundtable Discussion on Workforce Development at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Kevin E. Schmidt/ Quad-City Times)

So last week, President Donald Trump was back in Iowa. Officially, he was here to talk about jobs. Obviously, he was here to help U.S. Rep. Rod Blum.

Blum, a Republican who is fighting to keep Democrat Abby Finkenauer from turning our 1st District blue, clearly was appreciative. Sure, the president at one point called him “Matt,” but these things happen. Blum was effusive in his praise of Trump, even of the president’s trade war with China, with Iowa farmers caught in the crossfire.

“You’ve taken some heat for it in the short term, but in the long run, the farmers, the manufacturers, the employers are all going to be better off,” Blum said. “Thank you for having political courage.”

It’s not often you’ll see an Iowa elected official praise a president for torpedoing the soybean market, pummeling pork prices, or damaging access to critical overseas markets. Rural towns may take a hit, but please, Mr. President, take a bow. Courageous.

And it’s an inspiration, frankly. Perhaps there are other reasons we should thank our president.

Thanks for those “Make Farmers Great Again” hats, which I understand, sadly, are sold out. Nothing makes things great again faster than a hat. I hope all proceeds go toward the $12 billion farm bailout necessitated by your trade war. Every little bit helps.

Thanks for telling it like it is. Well, except for the 4,229 false claims you’ve made during the first 558 days of your presidency, and counting. That’s only 7.6 times per-day, and some whoppers have been repeated several times. It’s hardly fair to count them more than once.

Thanks for labeling journalists as enemies of the people. It’s really spiced up my inbox and voice mail.

Thanks for making so many things, once unpopular, popular, and for making things we took for granted suddenly seem important. The Affordable Care Act became more popular after you tried to destroy it. Climate change became a more pressing concern after you called it a hoax. And who gave good old NATO much thought until you started lashing out at our alliances?

Free trade? Never more beloved. Democratic norms? They now seem so critical. The First Amendment? Making a comeback. Checks and balances? Check, we hope.

You’re even making the Koch network sympathetic. That’s no small feat.

Thanks for bringing Russia back as our international foil. For Cold War kids such as myself, the world makes sense again. But Ronald Reagan would not have been so casual about the election hacking. He would have signed a bill outlawing Russia forever.

Thanks for showing us the real consequences of reckless immigration rhetoric. It’s all electoral calculations, red state red meat and cantaloupe calves until cruel politics actually drives us to act like monsters, ripping kids away from parents. Never more clear.

Thanks for inspiring so many to show their true colors on social media. Otherwise, it might have taken us years to find out who was quietly coming unglued.

And thanks for getting my daughter off the couch this summer. Instead of staring at her phone, she’s out registering voters and knocking doors. A miracle, Mr. President.

l Comments: (319) 398-8262; todd.dorman@thegazette.com

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