I got it wrong about Donald Trump. I even tweeted an apology. How on Earth could I have believed what had been reported about him? But I did.
A video went viral. It showed the president walking along a line of people and shaking hands but, it seemed, ignoring a wee lad in a wheelchair.
Indeed, he even stretched over the boy and shook hands with the woman behind him before walking on and out of the room.
Cue a meltdown on social media decrying @POTUS (President of the United States). You can imagine the expletives and ire which were aimed at Trump.
But a longer version of the video shows that he had spoken to the lad on the way in. He hadn’t completely snubbed him at all. True, he did ignore the outstretched arm, twice, but he had at least acknowledged him earlier.
So I said sorry. How could I have doubted him? It’s not as if he has form in crass insensitivity or ignorant insults.
Unless you count nearly everything else he does and says.
Donald Trump does not make waves. He creates tsunamis. He doesn’t just dip his toe into troubled waters. He belly-flops in with scant regard for those around.
He has made America grate. Again.
He is the man who is always right. Who has made the non-PC the new PC. The sole arbiter of real and fake news. A man who has to be the victor and if he isn’t, then he must play the victim.
Take the last week or so. Leave aside the fact that the West Wing has descended into chaos as his chief of staff resigned and his new communications spinner unleashed a foul-mouthed rant against members of his own side.
Consider this instead.
This man, the president of the United States of America, the leader of the free world, the torch bearer for democracy, has in the last few days both encouraged police violence against those they arrest and given a speech of political indoctrination to 40,000 Boy Scouts.
And, in both these instances, there are no mitigating circumstances, as in the case of the boy in the wheelchair.
He told a gathering of police officers that it was OK – no, it was good – to be rough with suspects. That they should not protect their heads when they put them into police cars. He gave a green light to police brutality.
That was bad enough.
But his rambling rant to tens of thousands of young boys was shameless. At this youth rally – a Boy Scout jamboree – he promised not to talk politics.
He then took a side swipe at Barack Obama, encouraged the boys to boo his predecessor and cheer him instead, decried fake news, built himself up as some kind of latter day saviour of America, draining the Washington swamp and making America great again.
He stood, gesticulating and pontificating. The Book of Trump was preached. It was all too familiar . . .
It was embarrassing. It was sinister. It was wrong.
All the while, political storms rage around him over alleged links to Russia and the healthcare of millions of Americans. North Korea is flexing its nuclear muscles. The global fight against extremism continues. And the White House is in meltdown.
When this president trumps, the nostrils of the world catch the odious stench.
A salute to our military leaders: gender doesn’t affect commitment.
Did you know that there are more than 15,000 transgender people serving in the US armed forces?
No. Neither did I. And that’s the point. Their gender doesn’t matter. Their sacrifice is the same. Their commitment to serve the Stars and Stripes is unaffected.
Except to Donald Trump. Their commander in chief. He decided in a late-night rant to declare them persona non grata. He wanted to commit them to the scrapheap of America’s military history.
He deemed the few million dollars spent caring for them a waste of money. Never mind that many, many millions more are spent supplying Viagra to their fellow personnel.
Thankfully, the top brass dug in. It looks like they are ready to rebel and reject the phobic, narrow minded and bigoted POTUS.
And our military leaders were quick to react too, reassuring our Army, Navy and Air Force that where Trump leads, we will not follow. To them, a salute. To Trump, a two-fingered version.