Today I am putting on my political advisor hat and will stage an intervention to rescue Donald J. Trump from the law and order mess he has created.
(I helped Joe Biden with fracking yesterday.)
Part of the problem is of his own making, which is true with most of his problems. In brief, the problem is his big mouth (and his Tweeter fingers).
Mr. President, when talking about law and order, Rule #1 is to avoid sports metaphors. When you are talking about a civilian being shot in the back by police and you liken it to a golfer missing a putt, the media will pounce.
When you know most of the media are out to hang you, why hand them a length of rope?
Also the word “choke.” Lose it. You may mean athletics, but to reporters (who couldn’t make the team), it brings memories of Eric Garner in Staten Island and even George Floyd in Minneapolis. Get the picture?
The more you rattle on, the more mistakes you make. When you are talking, less is more. Have one concrete point to make, make it, and shut up.
The typical American does believe in “law and order.” Yes, progressives prefer to convert that into “justice,” but let them.
You are for justice, too. Aren’t you?
Rule #2 is to condemn wrongdoers from the Right as well as the Left.
When some live bait is tossed in front of you — such as seeking comment on Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old vigilante — here’s what you should say: “The investigation is not yet complete. I will have no comment until the results are known.”
There are some phrases the media loves to use, such as you “stoke racial tensions.” So you should avoid allusions to race and take the rope from their hands.
Remember your comments following Charlottesville? You actually condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists, but that followed your comment about “very fine people on both sides.” You were talking about the debate over statues, but you handed your enemies another length of rope.
Focus on even-handed law, and steer clear of additional commentary.
If you want to go completely against type, you could express sympathy with the victims of police brutality.
It won’t be easy for you, but it will take the rope out of the hands of the media mob and make for commentary that is more, well, presidential.
It couldn’t hurt.