I don’t think much any longer about the career I left behind nearly six years ago.
It was a fruitful, modestly successful career in print journalism. It ended quickly and unhappily — in the moment.
As I look back on it today and as I ponder the direction the nation took in November 2016 when it elected Donald John Trump to the presidency, I am actually grateful to have been “reorganized” out of a job I thought I was doing pretty well.
My question centers on this: Could I have survived in my position as editorial page editor of a conservative newspaper, serving a conservative community as Donald Trump campaigned for and then served in the highest office in the land?
The answer I am sure is a categorical, emphatic “No! As in hell no!”
Over the years I wrote editorials for newspapers in Texas and in Oregon I had to write opinions with which I disagreed. I wrote editorials endorsing candidates for public office who didn’t get my vote in the ballot box. I would compose editorial editorials about policy proclamations that I found objectionable; or I would write editorials against policies I supported.
That’s all part of working for The Man. Or, as a former colleague of mine once reminded me, “If you take the man’s money you play by the man’s rules.”
How would I have done during the presidency of Donald Trump?
Not well … at all!
I am trying to imagine how I would react if my corporate bosses had told me, “We’re going to endorse Trump over Hillary Clinton; please draft an editorial for us to examine before we publish it.”
Trump would have presented a serious dilemma for me. I cannot stand the thought of this man occupying the presidency, let alone making decisions that affect all Americans. It’s visceral, man. It’s personal. His prior record is replete with examples of fraud — moral, financial, you name it. He brought not a scintilla of interest — let alone record — of public service to the presidency.
How in the world could I possibly say anything positive about this guy? I cannot.
Yes, I have used this blog to speak positively since he became president. There have been damn few opportunities. I’ve taken them, but I’ll admit to swallowing hard prior to writing those positive words.
Could I have worked for an organization that throws its corporate support behind this charlatan/president and then demanded that I be the paper’s mouthpiece?
Not in a million years. Never.
Thus, I am glad to be on my own.