Wednesday, August 2, 2017

America's House, a Real Dump

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The White House, the historic residence in Washington, D.C. where the President traditionally lives and works, is emblematic of America.  It is, in every sense of the word, America's House.  To disparage the White House is nothing less than insulting the United States of America and all of the opportunities, freedoms, and liberties that she represents.

I had the opportunity to visit the White House in the spring of 1999 with a group of graduate social work students from the University of Missouri.  One member of our group had a relative who was a pilot aboard Air Force Two (Al Gore's plane at that time), and was able to get us special tickets for an evening tour of the White House through her special connection.

Evening tours were better than those offered during working hours because we were allowed to go places that were off-limits when the building was a fully-functioning work environment.   We stood in the doorway of the Oval Office, for instance, and looked across the room where decisions affecting the well-being of the world were made on a daily basis, something that would have been impossible during a daylight tour when Bill Clinton would have likely been sitting at his desk working.  We also visited the White House kitchen in the basement where we were able to see the actual scorched walls from where the British burned the original building during the War of 1812.

And we saw beautiful art, stylish furniture, and profuse floral arrangements -  a truly elegant expression of the very best of America.

The White House in 1999 was not a dump - yet now Donald John Trump has told his rich and privileged friends at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, that the reason he spends his weekends away from the White House is that it is a "real dump."  Or, to quote him verbatim:  "That White House is a real dump."

Is it a "real dump," Donald, because it doesn't have a grand escalator and you actually have to pick up your tiny feet and walk up and down stairs?  Or is it a "real dump" because the bathrooms don't have golden fixtures?   Perhaps it is a "real dump" because tour groups filled with ordinary (ick!) people roam the halls during the days - and even a few in the evenings.

The place probably began looking like a dump when the trash arrived last January.

Chelsea Clinton, who was a young adult living in the White House back when I was privileged to visit, acknowledged in a tweet earlier today that the White House is more than just a home
"Thank you to all the White House ushers, butlers, maids, chefs, florists, gardeners, plumbers, engineers & curators for all you do every day."

Donald Trump's callous depiction of America's House is more than just sad, it is deplorable.  A person who has no sense of pride in the building that has housed every President and his family since John Adams doesn't deserve to live there.  There is a vulgarity that passes for a hotel just down the street in the Old Post Office.  Perhaps Mr. Trump should pack up his baubles and move there.

Donald Trump has insulted the White House, and in so doing he has belittled America.  The legendary Merle Haggard was focused on hippies and war protesters when he sang the following famous lines, but he could have just as easily been talking about Trump:

"When they're runnin' down my country, man,
They're walkin' on the fightin' side of me."

Merle Haggard would have appreciated the privilege of living in America's House.   Donald John Trump clearly does not.

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