The excluded middle in the Trump presidency

David Beilstein, Lion's Den column / Headline SurferBy DAVID "DAN" J. BEILSTEIN
Lion's Den
Headline Surfer

ESSEX, VT -- I’ll soon be leaving for Ohio, to have a kidney transplant, God permitting, and recover; to get on with life and work. While perusing some Facebook posts I came upon some posts regarding President Donald J. Trump and the prospects of his impeachment. 

This got me thinking — obviously. 

When you balk at being in one group or another, you’re in no group - thus you’re constantly defending the excluded middle. 

Still, even that term bothers me. 

I hate being “in the middle” too. 

Sounds like moderate. 

I don’t consider myself a moderate politically in the least. 

Moderate sounds to me like a person can’t make up their mind as to their political priorities. Which is fine, if that’s where one is politically.

But it’s not me. 

My hero in boxing was always Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson. I’m finding in my thirties, and forties, he’s also my hero when it comes to politics and life.  

Politically, and ideally, I’m the guy that wonders if we need a Federal government to begin with. 

While I’m busy pondering that I’m pretty convinced Eisenhower is the best model for a conservative and Republican President. 

If not Ike, than Coolidge, though he was a little bland for my tastes. 

Reagan’s good too. Minus his shilling for the religious right in the late 1980s. 

Perhaps this is just the way it has to be when someone like Trump is elected. 

President Donald Trump simultaneously creates lots of support and lots of detractors by the shear force of his personality and politics, good, bad and ugly.  

I go with the principal before personality; so when Trump does things mindful of our libertarian, federated republican system, which honors severe limitations on the state and empowers federalism and civil liberties; as well as local control, I tend to applaud those policies. 

When President Trump empowers the centralized government unconstitutionally, and in unhelpful ways, I criticize him with the same force as my applause. 

When President Trump sets back public policy in regards to free minds and free markets, I criticize him harshly, as I did his protectionist rhetoric and policies. 

I am neither Trumpster nor NeverTrumper; I am simply me. 

Since that’s the case, I also find Trump’s tendency to politicise cultural issues less than ideal, if not annoying — the NFL anthem controversy comes to mind as well as other issues the President should keep his bugle out of. 

Trump is often unnecessarily polarising, which I do not believe is good for the country generally. Is it the end of the world - no. 

But it’s not good either. 

I was not a fan when Obama did it, and I’m not a fan of when Trump does it. 

Fair is fair, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander; the shoe on the other foot and all that. 

No question there are cultural issues that need support and furthering in the public square, but I do not believe Trump is a good spokesman for many of them. Mainly because I do not believe government belongs in them at all - Trump represents the head of the executive branch of the United State’s Federal government. Therefore, I believe Trump should stick to his Article 2 duties and leave well enough alone.

Now much of the stuff that bothers the media about Trump I find silly and immaterial. His Tweeting for instance. The Mainstream Media goes nuts over this and quite frankly I’ve never understood the outrage. It’s simply an early 21-century use of the Bully pulpit. And thus far Trump hasn’t used it anywhere near the outrageous ways T.R. used his own Bully pulpit some 115 years ago. 

Sure, different times, but there’s always outrages the group-think media demands everyone see as outrageous and hurtful to our democracy, when they’re really no big deal or much ado about nothing. If not that, they’re a direct result of what the American people are, and probably always will be. We are a wild people; we the adventurous, idealistic, confident, foolish, and some times even misguided. 

The men who occupy the Presidency are a reflection of this expansive and great experiment that took root in this land and with this people.  

We don’t often like to hear that when we don’t like the specific man in the Oval Office, but it’s still true.

I could go on and on about how Barry Obama is a perfect representation of all the good and bad things about our country for those on the political right. 

But I digress. 

To my mind, both Barack Obama and Donald Trump share one great American quality, despite the vast differences between them politically and otherwise: they are both Americans; they’re both homemade men; and both men could only come about in America. 

For whatever problems America has and will have a hundred years from now, our great and wondrous country still has enough latitude that allows a person to dream a big enough dream - and if that person is as big as that dream they can achieve it.

David Beilstein Picture

Short Bio

David "Daniel" Beilstein, spent the better part of a decade in Central Florida, in New Smyrna Beach in particular as a reporter for the former daily community newspaper, the New Smyrna Beach Observer, in 2008, and later attended Full Sail University. A kidney issue forced him to return to Essex, Vt., in November 2014, but he has agreed to continue writing his community column, the "Lion's Den" for, owned and operated by award-winning journalist and Publisher Henry Frederick under NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark.