Mr. X Emerges From Hiding <br>And Learns To Stay Mum <br>In Era of President Trump
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
At Fairway, I’m standing in the checkout line behind a lady with a walker. Congressman Jerry Nadler walks by carrying a basket of groceries. The old lady recognizes him and yells out: “When are you going to get rid of Trump?”
Mr. Nadler, whom I’m sure is constantly accosted by his constituents on the Upper West Side, answers back with a smile: “We’re working on it.”
I usually keep my mouth shut when it comes to these UWS moments; there’s just no way you win. But, uncharacteristically, I ask the lady: “How do you think he should do this?”
“Impeach him,” she exclaims.
“Just impeach him?” I ask. “What’s the crime?”
“Humph,” she explains, as she gives me her back.
I’ve been getting a lot of “humphs” in my neighborhood over the past few months, as I walk with the army of people sporting campaign buttons that now read: “NOT MY PRESIDENT.”
The tirades I now hear are mostly on Facebook. It didn’t exist when I wrote my first Mr. X column for this newspaper. Back then, I was trying to explain the intolerance I encountered being a George W. Bush conservative, while living in one of the most liberal districts in the country. Those now seem like the halcyon days.
If you doubt me, here’s a simple test: I dare you to admit in public that you voted for Donald J. Trump. Just see what happens.
Right after the election, there was a stunned silence on Facebook and everywhere else. I think my neighbors were in a state of shock, or denial, or both. I was respectful, I did not gloat. I even felt some empathy because I seriously thought I’d be the depressed guy on Wednesday, November 9. But getting on the subway that morning reminded me of the weekend after the Kennedy assassination. It looked like someone had died.
That didn’t last long. The anger began to grow and has now solidified into something that even has a name: “The Resistance,” like one of those dystopian movies that millennials flock to see. The Resistance comes out in all sorts of really productive ways.
We were coming up on the elevator of our apartment building one night with a lady carrying a bouquet of flowers. My wife offered the most innocuous, apolitical comment.
“Those are lovely.” Mrs. X said.
“Thank you.” The lady replied and added, “I will only buy blue flowers now.”
I wanted to say: “So all those flower growers harvesting red roses are screwed?” But my wife shot me an eye. She guessed what was coming and wanted me to hold back, especially where we live. I obliged and kept my mouth shut. I’ve learned to listen to my wife.
One week after the inauguration, I was subjected to a flurry of pictures of proud Facebook friends marching with thousands of women protesting the swearing in of our new president. Never mind that one of the organizers of the event appears to have direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and is an advocate of Sharia Law.
I’m not sure any of these women marching would be happy living in a country that followed these precepts. But never mind, it appears that everyone felt wonderful demonstrating their displeasure together.
One friend even posted a video of her children marching out of their elementary school near St. John the Divine. It was a class event. When I was that age, they brought a TV into the classroom and we watched the inauguration. Oddly, it didn’t matter if the president was a Democrat or a Republican. He was our new president. Talk about sounding like Gramps.
I don’t bother reading the editorial page of the New York Times because I get the opinions on the front page. Here are just some of the headlines over a recent weekend: “For $200,000, a Chance To Whisper in Trump’s Ear” (sounds like the Clinton Foundation, which really did pay for play, but this article was just about the cost for a Mar-a-Lago membership); “President Struggles to Fill Jobs When Total Loyalty Is a Must” ( as if every president doesn’t want the same thing); and “Familiar Targets Face Elimination in Trump Budget,” which goes after Public Broadcasting while spending more to defend the nation (common sense to me).
And, of course, we recently observed “Not My President’s Day.” I encountered crowds carrying signs, wearing buttons, and in a great mood. Again, I remember growing up in the 1950s when our next door neighbors voted for the other party, yet we were all respectful of each other, and we accepted the result of a democratic decision.
My favorite item of the week – the Dalton parents that canceled a school outing because it was at the Trump rink. I wonder if any of these parents remember why his name is on it. The rink was closed for several seasons because the City couldn’t figure out how to fix it, yet kept spending millions of dollars trying. Trump, like all of us, got fed up with the whole thing.
Unlike the rest of us, he actually did something about it. He said he would fix it for less and he’d do it on time. He actually got it done early and he paid for it. And for that, the Dalton parents could not abide sending their kids to a rink with his name on it. Absolutely brilliant. But that’s the era we live in. And that’s my neighborhood.