Tuesday, December 3, 2019


By Dominique Paul Noth

A wave of national pity, a sympathetic intervention seems required for Republicans in the party appropriated by Trump. Support of him allows no hesitation, for your own safety.  That reality now extends to local contests. It is the first question – do you stand by Trump? -- though the president’s behavior may not directly relate to the office sought.  Even in the supposedly non-partisan April 7 election, it’s fascinating to watch candidates duck and dodge.

Once upon a time, it was a privilege to pose for a photo with the president.  Today, be prepared for a president who emphasizes he doesn’t know you, particularly if your behavior lands you in court or in unsavory headlines.

Assuredly, the mental price of being a Trump Republican is far higher than being a Democrat or even being a Republican was in the recent past.

When Clinton was president, even some Democrats could say aloud they wished he could keep it in his pants yet could still support him as president.  They could openly disagree with Obama on many of his policies without fear of being drummed out of the party or primaried when seeking re-election.

Even George Bush had to endure jokes from his own camp about his language gaffes or indifference to reading or strange remoteness from the needs of everyday people.  You could chuckle at him without fear of facing a firing squad.

But Trump?  Hey it’s got to be whole hog or the Donald will get mad.  He may even tweet about you. If you’re a candidate, he will definitely sabotage your chances if he suspects you will vote against him on anything! You can’t get away with it unless your name is Mitt Romney and you’ve got your own built-in following. 

You can’t pretend that Trump made any mistakes in his Ukraine behavior – it was all about his hatred of corruption, wasn’t it? You have to accept his reasons for going after the Bidens though they had done nothing wrong except in his mind. Instead you have to assure the public he was chosen by God to lead us through the briar patches of his own making.

Don’t like the way he boasts, lies or pretends to fake orgasms at his rallies?  Well, be careful. Only snicker up your sleeve or in the backroom far from the cameras. But in public let him have his own way. Play mum or pretend you haven’t researched it.  If you don’t, if you agree to provide documents to Congress or even worse testify, you cannot claim the mantle of Republican – by definition of his tweets.

Be prepared to accept animal grunts as just his sense of humor, not his penchant for cruelty and self-inflated ego. Pretend he doesn’t sneer at his own supporters as much as he sneers at the other party. If you are one of those Republicans who in the past showed a touch of admiration for Schiff or Pelosi, stifle! Even though polls show young Republicans believe in climate change, you don’t find any of their elders who were once big believers speaking out today, because Trump questions the science and he has a big brain.

The kiss of death would be to say you don’t mind the impeachment hearings moving forward because the timeline is interesting.  No, even if you don’t intend to vote against Trump, just to exercise some free will would be verboten!  Any hint in that direction spells doom.

Paying off mistresses?  Proclaiming a personal greatness at press conferences?  Heck he wasn’t under oath, was he?  Can’t you let a guy have his fun? 

Why does the media keep mentioning how many times he has been in bankruptcy, has shafted his own hires, can’t keep a cabinet together?   Give him credit for the economy even though he inherited a good one and presidents have minor impact in the first place.

Show the superhuman patience of our farmers who have lived through droughts before and believe Trump must have a good reason for the suffering he has created. Yes, his heart is in the right place. And what a head!

Oh, it’s damn difficult to be a Republican these days.  There are so many candidates out there who tie themselves to him believing that is the way to show they care about you.  Any public resistance will cost them votes regardless of ethical beliefs.  If deep down you don’t believe all that tripe he’s hustling, keep it to yourself.  Don’t tell your neighbors. Imagine if they wound up voting for someone better!  Trump would be so angry.

About the author: Noth has been  a professional journalist since the 1960s, first as national, international and local news copy editor at The Milwaukee Journal, then as an editor for its original Green Sheet, also  for almost two decades the paper’s film and drama critic. He became the newspaper’s senior feature editor. He was tapped by the publishers of the combining Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for special projects and as first online news producer before voluntarily departing in the mid-1990s to run online news seminars and write on public affairs. From 2002 to 2013 he ran the Milwaukee Labor Press as editor. It served as the Midwest’s largest home-delivered labor newspaper, with archives at milwaukeelabor.org.  In that role he won top awards yearly until the paper stopped publishing in 2013. His investigative pieces and extensive commentaries are now published by several news outlets as well as his DomsDomain dual culture and politics outlets.  A member of the American Theatre Critics Association at its inception, he also reviews theater for Urban Milwaukee.

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