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What’s the Upside, Donald?

Written by Jon Saltzman

Don’t you wish that Donald Trump had a good friend or advisor who would stage an intervention to help him with his Twitter habit?

It really is time. On Saturday afternoon, the Tweeter-elect chose to go after Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), because Lewis had the temerity to question Trump’s legitimacy as president due to Russian hacking.  As a result, Lewis was going to boycott Trump’s inauguration. Incidentally, the last inauguration Lewis missed was Ronald Reagan’s.

Well, that would put The Donald in pretty good company, wouldn’t it? Lewis holds him in as much contempt as “The Gipper.” But Trump was having none of it; he immediately fired back with two tweets, like Zeus throwing twin lightning bolts:

 It’s sad, all right,  It’s sad that the incoming president of the United States, perhaps the highest office one can achieve in the entire world, except, maybe, the Pope, is so insecure that he lashes out at any and all criticisms by anyone…regardless of who they are.

Let’s get back to Congressman Lewis. As Political Storm writer Jonathan Riehl wrote in our Monday edition, Lewis is a pretty special guy. He is the last surviving person who was actually on the platform with Martin Luther King, Jr., as he gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. (I won’t spoil Riehl’s column by trying to paraphrase it myself. It’s really worth a read.)

Congressman Lewis, through his real witness  participation in the civil rights movement in the U.S., has earned the right to be respected. It is almost beyond comprehension that Trump could almost reflexively fire off a nasty insult to this man on the weekend leading up to the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.

And by the way, Congressman Lewis’ district, the Fifth Congressional District, basically is most of Atlanta. And while it has seen an increase in murders, like most major cities, is not “crime-infested.” It’s racially diverse and contains 750,000 people. It encompasses some really cool urban communities and some not so great. In other words, it’s not easily stereotyped for political point-making.

And Trump wonders why the African-American community hasn’t warmed up to him.

Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and tell you that I’ve met the president-elect on several occasions, briefly. I’ve seen him handle himself around people and he really is very courteous and kind, as I observed him with others, as well. So I know he’s capable of doing better.

My colleague at Political Storm, Jon-Christopher Bua, refers to Trump’s problem as “Queens Inferiority Syndrome.” Bua, who, like Trump, hails from Queens, may have invented this term and it will serve us well over the next few years. As Bua explained in a recent article he wrote for Political Storm, having QIS means that you never really feel good enough or successful enough, because you were born on the wrong side of the East River, across from Manhattan, which is referred to by Brooklyn and Queens residents as the “City.”

Whatever it is, it is a bad personality defect for any leader. In this case it led him to criticize a congressman on a special weekend commemorating civil rights, at a time where America finds itself badly polarized on many issues but especially on race.

I don’t think Trump himself caused the polarization. There are myriad reasons for it: the hyphening of America; the disappointment of people over what was supposed to be a post-racial America ushered in by Barack Obama; the Justice Department under Obama, which made race an issue in every confrontation between the black community and police; underlying institutional racism; and the 24-hour news cycle. You name it.

What I do blame Trump for, and I beg him to consider, is that since we all know about the polarization, why doesn’t he start acting like a healer rather than a divider? That’s what leaders do. They lead all of the people, not just those who agree with them. The Tweeter-elect must begin to realize that he will be the president of all Americans, not just those who attended his rallies.He had a chance to try reconciliation but he chose intentionally to divide the country further.

Many have blamed Lewis, but the one in the power position must make the move toward reconciliation. It’s on Trump, the soon to be “leader of the free world.” It was his move to make. He should have taken a pass on his withering  response to John Lewis. Period.

Look, back in the day, I, too, suffered from a little QIS myself, though I was from Philly. I get it. My company’s law firm assigned us a young guy on his way up, who turned out to be someone I’d known in college. Every time I felt slighted and planned revenge or some other stupid action, I called this guy up and he heard me out. Then he always said something like: “Okay, I can see why you feel that way and others might do what you suggest…but, Jon, what’s the upside?”

Hey, Donald, what’s the upside?


Jon Saltzman is the Senior Editor and Publisher of Political Storm.


  • As for Lewis, and his “right to be respected”:
    -Lewis leveled gratuitous insults at Trump
    -Lewis made EXACTLY the same charges of “illegitimacy” against Bush.
    -Lewis decided to start flinging political mud, for political advantage. He can’t expect a pass for what happened fifty years ago.
    Lewis is, and remains, a Democrat party hack, whatever he did back then.

    • Political Advantage? No one has even run against him for Congress since 2000. The lowest % of the total vote he’s ever gotten for Congress is 69.1%.
      It’s safe to say that John Lewis doesn’t have to do anything for “political advantage”, he’ll be in Congress as long as he pleases.

      • He’s a Democrat party hack. A seat in Congress is just a springboard. Benefits for him and his will accrue in direct proportion to his perceived usefulness to the party elites.

  • Let’s contrast Trump with George W. Bush:
    -Bush tried to stay above the fray- he did not respond to criticism, insults, or charges that he was “illegitimate”.
    How did that work for him? Well, he spent eight years being vilified, insulted, and demeaned by the Leftist media, and anyone else who cared to take a shot at him.
    I’d say Trump understands that the cultural institutions have been captured by Leftists.

  • I totally agree. Someone has to get Donald to understand that any twitters he writes after January 20 will be coming down from the holder of perhaps the most powerful office in the world. His office will magnify their power at least a thousand fold. He should indeed be able to see there is little if any upside.

    • Perhaps a little analogy would help. Trump is like the postman who throws a little red meat to the mad dog so he can cruise on by and go about his business. It works every day because the mad dog isn’t smart enough to realizes he’s being distracted. He always goes after the small scrap. Trump is smarter than all of his haters put together.

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About the author

Jon Saltzman

Jon Saltzman is the Senior Editor and Publisher of Political Storm. In a former life, Jon was the CEO of a publicly traded company. Tired of happiness and living a stress-free lifestyle Jon decided to embrace his passion for politics, creating a website to bridge the divide created in today’s political realm. He believes that all of us want to hear points of view from all sides, so he established a vehicle to help us get there.

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