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John Grisham clarified critical thinking in his first bestseller, “A Time to Kill,” when he challenged jurors to think critically intentionally. As the story goes, a couple of white guys rape and torture a little black girl and try to kill her, but she survives. The sheriff arrests the two men, and the little girl’s father asks a local white attorney whether the white men will be convicted of their crime. The lawyer says the men could get off.

The girl’s father takes matters into his own hands and kills the men who brutalized his little girl, and the sheriff arrests him for murder. The lawyer agrees to defend the father admitting his own doubts that he can save the father from a death sentence given the biases within the community.

At the end of the trial, the verdict is a forgone conclusion that the father is guilty and must die for his crime. During closing arguments the defense lawyer asks jurors to listen to the story of men brutalizing a little girl. He paints a horrifying story of the girl’s injuries and suffering, and the jurors are greatly moved. Then, the lawyer asks the jury, “now imagine she’s white.”

Bob Woodward’s book, “Fear,” came out with dozens of claims and “quotes” from administration officials painting President Donald Trump as insanely out of control. The New York Times published an op-ed by an anonymous “senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure.” The op-ed, titled, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” paints a remarkably similar view of Trump as Woodward’s book. And the former president gave a speech in which he blasted Republicans for not controlling Trump, saying, “It’s not conservative. It sure isn’t normal. It’s radical. It’s a vision that says the protection of our power and those who back us is all that matters even when it hurts the country.”

In other words, the #ResistTrump movement orchestrated three media events into sensationalized headlines warning of extreme and dire consequences of Trump remaining in the White House. By the way, America is not a democracy, contrary to what Democrats and #ResistTrump say. America is a republic, and there are very important and distinct differences between a democracy and a republic. Democrats should read our history.

Dozens of administration officials denied Woodward’s “quotes” of them. If Woodward has the recordings, he should release them. Otherwise, it’s a he-said-he/she-said argument. Dozens of administration officials denied writing or knowing who wrote the anonymous op-ed, calling into question the credibility of the NYT’s claim the writer is a “senior official in the Trump administration.” And how much credibility can one give to a former “constitutional lawyer” who continually calls America a democracy?

In the meantime, second quarter GDP was 4.2 percent, unemployment rate is at record lows for minorities, average wages continue to grow, more people are employed than ever before, and the consumer comfort index is higher than it’s been in a decade. In other words, the American economy is doing great while all the sensational headlines every week denigrate Trump without mentioning the economy.

To paraphrase the defense lawyer in Grisham’s book, imagine the president is black.

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Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Mississippi. You may contact him at, or interact with him on the Clarion-Ledger website


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