By Peter Eisner
I have seen people of goodwill writing petitions and appealing to the good sense of the president of the United States. “Look at my case,” they implore, “look at the suffering, look at …” (And Trump has answered that no one has a bigger heart than he has — huge)
Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times wrote an emotional column entitled — Mr. Trump, Meet My Family — that included pictures of his immigrant family and their story. At the end of his piece, he writes:
“Mr. President, please remember: This is a country built by refugees and immigrants, your ancestors and mine. When we bar them and vilify them, we shame our own roots.”
Many decent people — Americans are a decent people — have beseeched and petitioned this president to listen to reason and emotion. Such petitions, I do believe, fall on deaf ears.
I was left thinking of the introduction of Jim Morrison’s song written, impossibly, 48 years ago, Soft Parade, with The Doors. (Coincidentally, the song opens with a person begging for refuge)
When I was back in seminary school, there was a notion there that you can petition the lord with prayer, petition the lord with prayer, petition the lord with prayer….YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER.
Donald Trump will feed on dissonance and anger, and will not be swayed by entreaty and prayer. A petition is a document of conscience, of good faith. Understand, this man is self-referential and cares not for your petitions and prayers.
Elsewhere on the same New York Times opinion page, Maureen Dowd interviews Michael D’Antonio, my friend and colleague, who is among those who has confronted Trump in lengthy interviews and has come closest to shrinking him.
Some of Michael’s comments:
“Donald’s manic without being depressive,” he muses. “The only thing you can do is keep him distracted for a day and then one more day so that he doesn’t do anything disastrous.”
Just like Obama and May, D’Antonio says, “a lot of people over the years have tried to mollify him and accommodate him day by day. And eventually you get a year behind you. Everybody else wants stability, but he thrives in turmoil.”
This president has received his first judicial rebuke. There will be more. The Roberts Supreme Court looms. How will Chief Justice John Roberts operate? — he has shown signs of concern for his legacy.
It will not long before this president questions once more the legitimacy of judges, anyone who stands in his way.
“You cannot petition the lord.”