Delicate Don meets Nervous Nancy

By Reade Brower | Jun 13, 2019

In a perfect world, nicknames endear one person to another or a generation. The best nicknames are generic, like big league ball players A-Rod or Big Papi. Other nicknames are descriptive like Shorty or Lefty, while others are short cuts to names, like Jim or Timmy.

My father, a Richard changed to Dick in his youth, hated nicknames and wanted names for his children that wouldn’t be shortened or changed. No Christys or Missys or Bobbys in our household. What my dad did not realize is nicknames often come from the jungle, when not assigned; for me, “toe jam” stuck like glue all through high school ― the “girls” who thought it was gross, fondly shortened it to “toe.” Is it a wonder I didn’t get any dates in high school?

Other nicknames, the best kind, are meant to endear. When walking the Appalachian Trail, I met “gold dust” and “hungry harry”; every trail nickname was thought out and charming. With boots too small, and a walking partner needing to average 15 to 20 miles through Vermont mountain ranges, both big toe nails turned black early on the trail. “Toe Jam” was at least, in this case, endearing and embraceable, and a topic for conversation.

A couple of columns back, I wrote about our president and his mean-spirited nicknames, wondering why he hadn’t coined one for his arch rival, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Like a fan who jinxes a no-hitter by calling one of their sons in the eighth inning, I did it to Nancy.

After tweeting he was thinking of one for her, “nervous Nancy” appeared. Derogatory nicknames are what the president specializes in, but he has yet to be pegged with one himself; like “tricky Dick,” perhaps one will eventually stick to our Teflon president (who boasted on the campaign trail that he could shoot someone on a New York City street and get away with it).

How does “Delicate Don” sound? “Delicate Don” can certainly give it, but sure can’t take it. When you’re the president, taking criticism and being diplomatic should be high on the qualifications list. Trump’s defenders call him a fighter, someone who will take the critics head-on; some see it differently.

“Delicate Don” fits our president to a tee; like most bullies, he is a baby, needing to win at all costs, with appearance more important than reality. His good is more important than common good and these behavioral traits lead America down a one-way path that will dead-end; our next president will need to reverse direction and build new roads with street names that honor people, not denigrate them.

Being labeled a Trump-hater is unfair criticism. I don’t hate the person, just what he stands for. It continues to confuse and baffle when Trump supporters think his policies (results) justify the means. The simply analogy is parenting; early on, when kids are small, you can keep them in line with threats and beatings. You can shame them with nicknames like “cry-baby” and, with absolute power and authority, make them behave and follow your rules. Most parents reject that method, understanding the means do not always justify the ends. It is usually those children who grow up to be angry adults who bully their children and spouses, and the world around them.

It’s not a good strategy. A better path is one based on working with your children, teaching them to be good humans and showing, by example, what that means. It’s not about proving you are smarter than everyone or that winning at all costs is what matters.

Society is better when people work together to find the end because that is when “buy-in” happens. It becomes less about “us versus them,” more about “we.”

The issue with President Trump is not about policy; policy can be argued and discussed with reasonable men and women finding common ground. The problem is decorum; important because society is in this for the long run; life is a marathon, not a sprint.

Trump’s lack of support for climate change is symbolic of his presidency and of who he is as a person. Denying science plays to his base and to corporate greed but that makes for a deadly combination, and puts future generations at risk, all for the sake of appearing strong in the moment.

I went to a sweet graduation at the Watershed School in Camden this past weekend and it was apparent that love was at the crux of their learning. Tears flowed as seniors spoke, and their world views filled the room with hope.

There are two kinds of crying. One is emotional and fills your soul. The other is mean and meant to bruise your ego and keep you under control using fear.

2020 will be the time for us to choose our path; will we go with “Delicate Don” or will we choose a path with a man or woman who will lead with love, not fear?

“Truth-tellers are not always palatable. There is a preference for candy bars.” ― Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)

Reade Brower is the owner of these newspapers.




Comments (8)
Posted by: Eric Schrader | Jun 14, 2019 19:35

Oh Ron, if you were sharp as a tack, you'd know who made the word bloviating famous.

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jun 14, 2019 17:54

Oh, Eric.  You shouldn't use words that you can't define.  Bloviating?  Sounds like you must have graduated from trump "university."


How about this:


[ truhm-puh-ree ]

noun, plural trump·er·ies.
something without use or value; rubbish; trash; worthless stuff.
nonsense; twaddle: His usual conversation is pure trumpery.
Archaic. worthless finery.
of little or no value; trifling, worthless; rubbishy; trashy.
falsehood, trickery, nonsense, rubbish, malarky, trash

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Jun 14, 2019 14:31

Hey Ron "cut n paste"", I need a good nap after reading your 1st sentence. Nobody reads your bloviating.

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jun 14, 2019 07:15

"At this point, the only reason left to support this president, is that he reflects your hateful heart;  he shares your contempt of people of color, your hostility toward outsiders, your toxic misogyny, your ignorant bigotry, your feeling of supremacy.
Good people don't defend a bad man."
-John Pavlovitz


The “core” problem is that “we have a president without shame who is backed by a party without spine that is supported by a network called Fox News without integrity.  Fasten your seatbelt.” -Thomas Friedman


" It must be misery to awaken to another day of being Donald Trump. He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life. His historical ignorance deprives him of the satisfaction of working in a house where much magnificent history has been made. His childlike ignorance — preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion — concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory."  -George Will

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jun 14, 2019 05:14

"A Muslim, a Jew, a Christian and an Atheist all walk into a coffee shop...…..and they talk, laugh, drink coffee and become good friends.  

It's no joke. It's what happens when you're not a bigot."

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jun 14, 2019 05:10

Am some tired of the proliferation of hurt and hate spread by those without hope or love for their fellow man. Saw this yesterday:  

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Jun 14, 2019 04:06

2020 will be the time for us to choose our path; will we go with “Delicate Don” or will we choose a path with a man or woman who will lead with love, not fear? And who might that be Reade? Breadline Bernie, Cory “Spartacus”, Elizabeth “my mammy said I had high cheekbones”, Kamala “I did inhale”, Kristen “Ms. Flip-flop”, Pete, “America's Mayor”, Beto “ I ate dirt”, and the grand daddy of them all, Joe “never had an original thought” Biden, aka “the sheriff of the stimulus package”. I voted for Bill Clinton in his second term not because I loved his personality; it was a pure pocketbook play. The economy was doing very well. He was working with Newt and Kasich getting some good things done, so why “rock the boat”. As James Carville famously said, “It's the economy, stupid”. Nothing else really matters if you can't find a job to support your family. Now, with record low unemployment for nearly all categories, virtually no inflation, rising wages for the lower income levels faster than any category, record low mortgage rates, numbers on food stamps and other government programs dropping dramatically, criminal justice reform with the second chance program and last, but not least, the world will think twice about messing with the United States after Obama's 8 year apology tour. I'll take a flawed personality anytime versus any of the 23+ “candidates” that will turn back the historic economic progress made in just 2 ½ years and turn us into Obama's “ perpetual 1% growth” world. By the way, Nancy has always had a moniker for her, aka “Stretch” Pelosi.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jun 13, 2019 09:57

As a youngster there seemed to always be a time when bullies got their nose bloodied by someone who had enough. It will come; sooner or later. ;)

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