And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that the reception, or really rejection, that President Trump experiences in appearances in foreign countries pretty much matches what his casual appearances here in cities in the United States evoke.

Apparently it is just as easy in large foreign cities as in America to call to arms protesters of various stripes to turn out to heckle the president.

Governments, and the people who elect people to run governments, from international to national to state and local, have a lot in common.

As someone who was news editor for Waukon newspapers for 36 years, 1962 to 1998, I can think of several instances locally when boards hired administrators or other professionals to do pretty much what President Trump was elected to do, that is, shake things up, and hang the personal consequences.

That usually happened when a certain amount of time had passed when an action that made sense was not being taken, because those who could act were loath to do so for fear of repercussions, either election defeat or public criticism. So they would hire someone to make waves and do the job, and who was willing to take the heat.

‘Taking the heat” usually meant that everyone concerned was aware that job security would be sacrificed and tenure would be short.

And very often the individual who would be hired to replace the “sacrificial” goat was what is described as a “caretaker,” that is someone who would calm the waves by taking no controversial stands or tasks. Give the populace time to heal, perhaps.

President Trump came along at a time when many Americans felt the United States was losing its international leadership role. President Obama, while he was very active in national affairs, did not seem to relish a larger role internationally.

Neither Bush, fils nor pere, made much progress abroad.

President Trump may be sacrificing a second term if things go wrong in extended reaches to Russia and North Korea. But I suspect his ego is such that he will not regret what he has done.

I understand Putin gave Trump a soccer ball as a memento of the recent World Cup hosted by Russia. Someone suggested it be X-rayed to look for electronic bugs!

And I think if Putin would invite the president for a state dinner, if I were the president, I would take along a food taster, as unpopular leaders did in foreign countries years ago.

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