Judge presidents on results, not personal style

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Nancy Hawley’s letter of Aug. 8 draws a parallel between President Trump’s behavior and his competence, concluding that, economic strength and other achievements aside, the president is incompetent. I have to disagree, but with this codicil: I am one of those who holds his breath when the president tweets.

Previous presidents have displayed questionable, if not embarrassing behavior, yet Trump is the polar star by which competence is judged, based on his word choice. Consider:

Washington, a frontiersman, explorer and soldier, was so concerned about his public image that he bought a book of etiquette and studied it constantly. His accomplishments need no expansion.

John Quincy Adams called Andrew Jackson a “barbarian.” Jackson, in turn, called him a “pimp,” in print!

Lincoln was “the original gorilla,” according to his top general.

U.S. Grant was a heavy drinker and often spat out cigar stubs wherever he was.

Teddy Roosevelt gorged himself at meals and practiced jiu jitsu in the White House, causing disruptions when he threw his teacher or was thrown.

FDR kept a mistress, while Eleanor shared a lake cabin with her partner.

Truman reported a UFO citing near the Basin.

Ike played golf in winter with black golf balls.

JFK swam naked in the White House pool, invited Secret Service agents to join him and shared a mistress with mob boss Sam Giancana. Incidentally, at the time of his death, he had more than 90 pieces of legislation in Congress, unable to get them passed.

LBJ held his dog up by the ears and lifted his shirt to show reporters his surgical scars.

Nixon used language that would make a sailor blush.

Clinton embarrassed the nation, if any president ever did.

Some of these men accomplished more than others, but their competence was not judged based on behavior.

Given that his “shoot-from-the-hip” comments are taken out of context — yes, I do watch CNN and MSNBC — his frustration probably causes some of his utterances. Recently, comments about rats and vermin in Baltimore have caused him to be called a “racist.” Think about it: being against having people live in such circumstances is “racist”? How about the two commentators on MSNBC who said Trump was sending subliminal messages to skinheads?

The logic escapes me. Trump is condemned for being straightforward, yet he sends coded messages to disturbed people. The Left’s hatred of this president is approaching absurdity.

Lenin said, “We will sell the capitalists the rope we use to hang them.” Paraphrased today, “We will give America reasons not to vote for us.”

Bill O’Boyle

Elm City