Uncle Earl was over at my house last weekend helping me clean the pool. I am too cheap to hire a pool guy.
I also worry about Pepino the Pool Boy not wearing a shirt while cleaning, showing off his ripped abs and attracting all the neighborhood women to watch him while staring over our fence.
So they are subjected to me and Earl not wearing our shirts and scaring the local wildlife.
As Earl was cleaning the skimmer, he said: “Steven, you know that Trump guy is just doing what he said he was going to do. Bringing in new blood, reforming immigration, revising the financial system, and shaking things up. To listen to the libs, you’d think he was burning Washington down!”
“I hear you, Unk,” I responded. “But some of the initial stuff has been a little wobbly. Like that press secretary, Sean Spicer. He seems to have a disposition better suited to WWE than the White House. He can’t even take a little humor from SNL.”
Earl finished the skimmer and started brushing the deep end. “Yep, my boy Spicer seems to be having trouble finding his sea legs. But it is still very early. He needs time to learn the ropes and build relationships. “Frankly, I saw the SNL stuff and thought it was very funny. If he had laughed at it, he would have killed the whole topic. He will learn.”
“Unk, I think some of Reagan’s folks had the same problems initially,” I responded. “As I recall, it took some time to find the right folks for many of the positions. There is always an adjustment period.”
I started pulling the leaves out of the shallow end and continued. “But I’ll have to say that Trump’s approach to the travel restrictions was rather short-sighted. It created a firestorm and galvanized opposition at the wrong time.”
“Steven, I disagree!” he retorted. “Trump said he was going to do this and did it. In fact, the countries involved were some of the same countries that Obama had fingered as hotbeds of Islamic terrorist activity. To take a closer look at these ‘refugees’ is just common sense!”
He went on. “Now maybe a better approach would have been to stop issuing new visas temporarily to prevent people from getting caught in limbo while traveling – I can imagine the nightmare these poor folks went through. But the concept still stands. Trump was protecting Americans from foreign threats. He did his job.”
“What about the border wall?” I asked.
“My boy, the wall is a silly construct that will be ultimately ineffective. Anyone who saw the Big Game 84 Lumber commercial with the little girl and her mother slipping through our border security knows that it won’t work. Patton famously said: ‘Fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of men,’”
I interjected, “ Maybe it’s a negotiating position. Trump is a negotiator. What if this is a negotiating strategy that forces his opposition to come toward him to arrive at a mutually agreeable compromise?”
Earl finished the brushing and started cleaning out the filter. “That is a distinct possibility. With so many years of uncompromising liberal attitudes on a variety of topics, maybe it’s time they got a dose of their own medicine. Maybe they need to start compromising? Remember – it’s a pendulum and not a one-way street.”
“I’m afraid you are right, Unk.” I had to broach one last topic. “What do you think of the UC Berkley issue?”
My uncle narrowed his eyes and stared at me. “What happened there was just un-American. I don’t care if the speaker was Adolph Hitler or Karl Marx himself. In our country, all have a right to speak and voice their opinion.
“By committing acts of violence and forcing the speaker away, these ‘protesters’ harmed America. They should be stopped.”
He went on, “Further, the administration at Cal has the responsibility to make sure that their school is a safe place for all speech, not just speech they approve.
“If not, they are acting as a private institution and not deserving of federal aid. Either support our country or don’t take money from it. Decide.”
We concluded the pool cleaning and it looked much better. If only we could get our nation cleaned up as easily.
Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and is enjoying the roller coaster ride. So far. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.