On a Presidential Quote . . .

Speaking this morning with Fox & Friends, his own version of North Korean television, Trump explained why he would like to bring Kim Jong-un to the White House: “He’s the head of the country, and I mean he’s the strong head. He speaks and his people sit up in attention. I want my people to do the same.”

This morning, I watched a clip of Donald Trump in an interview on Fox News utter the words you see above.

My response: Mr. President, we are not to be referred to as “my people”. Ever. Not in the United States of America.

Back when Donald Trump was inaugurated, many out there in Internetland said, “He’s not my president.” I responded that yes, he is. I felt that history would always record the presidency of Donald Trump, no matter how the citizens of the United States of America feel about that. Yet, I understood how a person can feel that way, and how “He’s not my president” is a figurative comment.

But now, here we have our president claiming that we are HIS people. No one is anyone’s person. No one. Not me, not you. Even in the military, our soldiers take an oath to defend the constitution – they do not swear allegiance to any president.

Do you think he meant this figuratively? Literally? Was it one of his comments that means little, and we attribute it to his tendency to shoot from the hip with such comments?

A Trump supporter said that the president was referring to his executive staff when he said, “My people”. That’s all he meant, no more. (Personal note: I am tired of hearing people saying, “What he meant was …”)

Let’s look at that angle of it. Maybe he indeed meant his executive staff when he said, “my people.” Maybe he means that his staff should stand without reservation every time he walks into a room. That kind of thing exists in the way a private salutes a senior officer in the military, or how we call our bosses MR So and So or MS. So and So in the business world, or the way we use labels like SIR and MA’AM in common society. Or MOM or DAD in family circles. It seems to me that those acts rise out of protocols or social convention, not the existence of a particular person occupying that office or position.

Donald J. Trump may be our president, but no one — not even his staff – – – are HIS people.