Is Trump well-served by saying, 'I'm totally opposed to domestic violence'?

When Richard Nixon said, "I am not a crook," what did most people think?

That he was a crook, of course.

Any time a politician says, "I am not X," it automatically causes many people to think he is in fact X.  After all, if a politician feels the need to talk about it, maybe there's some truth to it.

Fast-forward some 45 years later.  Donald Trump, when asked about wife-abusing former aide Rob Porter, said, "I'm totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind."

The problem is that no one had even asked Trump whether he was for or against domestic violence.  No one had even accused him of being in favor of domestic violence.  It is true that the media have done a steady drip of stories about Rob Porter in a continuing effort to make Trump appear insensitive to women, but no one had even inferred that Donald Trump likes to beat up women.

Trump, coming out to deny a charge that hasn't even been made, creates doubt in people's minds about him.

He's done this before.  Remember after the marches in Virginia, when the media tried to paint Trump as a racist?  Trump, unasked again, volunteered that not only was he not a racist, but in fact, he was "the least racist person you have ever interviewed.  That I can tell you."

So President Trump has looked into the minds and hearts of billions of people, and he knows that he has more virtue than any of them?  His statement, meant to reassure the public, sounds like an Onion parody.

Then there was his statement that he is a "stable genius."  The exact quote was:

Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart....  I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius ... and a very stable genius at that!

That led to a string of parodies and memes like this:

Someone who is a genius does not have to say he is a genius.  The fact that Trump added "stable" thrilled the liberal media to no end.  They have been insinuating for months that Trump is mentally unstable; getting Trump so defensive that he has to volunteer that he is "stable" is a tremendous gift for the left.

What, then, could Trump have done?  In response to the canard that he tolerates abuse of women in the White House, Trump could easily have brought up comparisons to the Bill Clinton White House.  He could assure reporters that no interns are being molested in the Oval Office.  He could have asked reporters if they had asked the same questions of Bill Clinton when he was accused of raping Juanita Broaddrick and sexually harassing Paula Jones.  Trump could also have assured reporters that he would never leave a woman to drown in a river, another subject they showed little interest in when it came to Senator Edward Kennedy.  That would have put the media on the defensive.

As for the attempts to smear the president as a racist, all he had to do was to raise the subject of all the race-baiting in the Obama era.  Remember how Obama kept insinuating that the police were racist?  Remember how when a black man was shot by a white person, Obama implied that it was racist, but he never showed sympathy for white victims of black crimes?  Does the media remember how close the Clintons were to J. William Fulbright, who was a racist?  Did they ask Democratic senators if they disavowed praise of Robert Byrd?

As for attempts to smear the president as a fool, all Trump had to do was get some intensive coaching about a subject, any subject (nuclear policy, Medicare, trade, anything) and go out and talk about it authoritatively.

As any good fiction writer will tell you, having a character in a story say, "I am smart!" or "I am good!" is not convincing.  The way to convince readers a character is smart, or good, or something else is to show it by his actions and the way he talks.

It's disappointing that the president doesn't have the imagination and the self-awareness to realize that his defensive "I'm not a crook"-like statements do the liberal media's bidding and hold him up as a defensive object of ridicule.  I would expect more from a genius, especially a stable one like President Trump.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.

When Richard Nixon said, "I am not a crook," what did most people think?

That he was a crook, of course.

Any time a politician says, "I am not X," it automatically causes many people to think he is in fact X.  After all, if a politician feels the need to talk about it, maybe there's some truth to it.

Fast-forward some 45 years later.  Donald Trump, when asked about wife-abusing former aide Rob Porter, said, "I'm totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind."

The problem is that no one had even asked Trump whether he was for or against domestic violence.  No one had even accused him of being in favor of domestic violence.  It is true that the media have done a steady drip of stories about Rob Porter in a continuing effort to make Trump appear insensitive to women, but no one had even inferred that Donald Trump likes to beat up women.

Trump, coming out to deny a charge that hasn't even been made, creates doubt in people's minds about him.

He's done this before.  Remember after the marches in Virginia, when the media tried to paint Trump as a racist?  Trump, unasked again, volunteered that not only was he not a racist, but in fact, he was "the least racist person you have ever interviewed.  That I can tell you."

So President Trump has looked into the minds and hearts of billions of people, and he knows that he has more virtue than any of them?  His statement, meant to reassure the public, sounds like an Onion parody.

Then there was his statement that he is a "stable genius."  The exact quote was:

Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart....  I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius ... and a very stable genius at that!

That led to a string of parodies and memes like this:

Someone who is a genius does not have to say he is a genius.  The fact that Trump added "stable" thrilled the liberal media to no end.  They have been insinuating for months that Trump is mentally unstable; getting Trump so defensive that he has to volunteer that he is "stable" is a tremendous gift for the left.

What, then, could Trump have done?  In response to the canard that he tolerates abuse of women in the White House, Trump could easily have brought up comparisons to the Bill Clinton White House.  He could assure reporters that no interns are being molested in the Oval Office.  He could have asked reporters if they had asked the same questions of Bill Clinton when he was accused of raping Juanita Broaddrick and sexually harassing Paula Jones.  Trump could also have assured reporters that he would never leave a woman to drown in a river, another subject they showed little interest in when it came to Senator Edward Kennedy.  That would have put the media on the defensive.

As for the attempts to smear the president as a racist, all he had to do was to raise the subject of all the race-baiting in the Obama era.  Remember how Obama kept insinuating that the police were racist?  Remember how when a black man was shot by a white person, Obama implied that it was racist, but he never showed sympathy for white victims of black crimes?  Does the media remember how close the Clintons were to J. William Fulbright, who was a racist?  Did they ask Democratic senators if they disavowed praise of Robert Byrd?

As for attempts to smear the president as a fool, all Trump had to do was get some intensive coaching about a subject, any subject (nuclear policy, Medicare, trade, anything) and go out and talk about it authoritatively.

As any good fiction writer will tell you, having a character in a story say, "I am smart!" or "I am good!" is not convincing.  The way to convince readers a character is smart, or good, or something else is to show it by his actions and the way he talks.

It's disappointing that the president doesn't have the imagination and the self-awareness to realize that his defensive "I'm not a crook"-like statements do the liberal media's bidding and hold him up as a defensive object of ridicule.  I would expect more from a genius, especially a stable one like President Trump.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.