President Donald Trump gestures to the crowd during an event in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. (Madeleine Neal/The Daily Iowan)

Guest Opinion: Trump’s actions are shocking, distressing


Call me Frightened Fran, Nervous Nellie, or Scared Sally, or all of the above. I do not care, for I am all of them. Our nation is facing the most terrifying times. I am not a politician, only a rather watchful citizen noticing shocking statements or actions from our president who does not seem to exhibit the qualities we need in such an important and demanding office.

Constant insults especially intended for our most vulnerable citizens or his rivals, complete lack of knowledge on his part of the workings of our government, no honest concern for anyone but himself, his inflated vision of himself and his negotiation powers. There seems to be no evidence of his willingness to assume the difficult demands of the job. No evidence of his studying the congressional bills or even the Constitution. He is the ultimate example of a living narcissist.

He has managed to irritate and puzzle most of our best nation friends and woo some of our enemies, to say nothing of his lack of historical knowledge and how it applies to the present.

It is difficult to think back to a political past in which ordinary Americans would wake up each morning and be alarmed when learning about the most recent inappropriate overnight pronouncements from our leader.

One of the most hazardous concerns is his disdain and hate of the media and his attempts to clamp down on its ability to operate — such as cutting back on press conferences, or not permitting video, and constantly calling them “Fake News” until people start to believe it. President Trump needs to answer for the accusations. We cannot allow tampering with the ability of the media to do their job. Our democracy depends on the media to keep the electorate informed.

The whole scene is embarrassing, frightening, and dangerous when you consider how much he might be able to do. I tremble thinking about his meeting with political dignitaries from European countries. They must be constantly shaking their heads in a quandary over their friend, the United States of America, and its leader, who is still trying to prove his ability and popularity by making exaggerated boasts of his “great” victory, his constant habit to knowingly spout lies if he thinks it furthers his cause, his continual rallies to feed his ego, and turning his back on Europe in his favorite desire to “Make America Great.”

How will he and Vladimir Putin get along after all the accusations sent across the Atlantic Ocean to Russia? And still Trump has yet to criticize him.

What lies ahead?

Yes, Nervous Nellie says prayers that wisdom can prevail, dignity for all can return, and differences can be solved and war avoided.

— Joan Overholser Houghton, 1946 graduate of the UI School of Journalism, Daily Iowan reporter and assistant campus editor from 1944-1946.

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