First Impressions

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First Impressions

What’s in a first impression? Sometimes nothing. Sometimes everything. We have senses that we don’t often credit—and often ignore—sometimes to our detriment. Have you ever had that “first impulse” that said you ought to do something, and having chosen not to act, discovered the impulse was correct? I know I have on multiple occasions. But in life, we don’t get do-overs; we don’t get a chance to act on our first impression once we have ignored it.

When we meet a new employer, for example, we only get that one chance at a first impression. Sometimes it is such a negative experience, that it falls apart right there. But sometimes, hopefully more often than not, we get hired and get a chance to grow and progress past that first impression. People who we think of as overbearing, loud or even obnoxious, we may, through long exposure to them, come to learn that they are, in fact, good people. So sometimes that first impression is not the totality of the person.

In this country, we have established that everyone is equal under the law (or rather, they are supposed to be), up to and including Presidents. But for most of the American people, we never get to meet a President in person, much less become exposed to him on a daily and an on-going basis, and so, our first impression may be the only one that we have to work with. And I have to say, as far as President Trump goes, so far, so NOT good.

This is behavior that one should not tolerate in their children, much less from one who holds the most powerful office in the United States,

Debuting with a press conference that more closely resembled a child’s temper-tantrum than an address aimed at the People of the United States, Mr. Trump created a very bad first impression. He continued to denigrate the intelligence community, who serve and protect this country just as much as the front-line soldiers, sailors, and marines do. And he castigated CNN and their reporter for being “fake news.” It may be that he was angered by a report of a dossier the Russians were alleged to have about Trump, but he didn’t mention it, so there is no way to know for sure what got him to use the “fake news” label.

Some people would describe this behavior as unseemly and unbecoming of a President of the United States. And they would be correct. This is behavior that one should not tolerate in their children, much less from one who holds the most powerful office in the United States, and some would say the world. But when they say that Mr. Trump’s behavior was unlike a President’s, I disagree. I can find no stronger mirror of his behavior than that of the Watergate Nixon. And we had all better pray that Mr. Trump can manage to overcome this first impression.

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About the Author
Ken Klemm

Ken Klemm

Ken Klemm is a veteran of the United States Navy. He is an alcoholic writer, which may be redundant. After a 30 year journey through the bottle, he attained sobriety with the help of the West Los Angeles VA, where he also returned to writing thanks to a Creative Writing class facilitated by Leilani Squire. He currently resides in Oregon.

2 Comments on “First Impressions”

  1. Ken Klemm

    Thank you Leilani, and to Justine as well. I like the changes and adjustments. Sometimes one word works better than another, even though they may essentially be saying the same thing. The collaborative process for me has been enriching, and makes me a better writer. It would be nice if Mr. Trump would be as accepting of corrections, but my first impression is that he does not accept “no” very well.
    I was born in 1966, so I wasn’t very old for Watergate, my knowledge comes from reading and TV after that period. I agree, that it may prove worth while to look into that era.
    One thing that gives me hope and pride, is the people standing up to protest. They are defending the Constitution and the spirit of America just as those of us who served in the military did and continue to do.

  2. Leilani Squire

    You state your case without venting or screaming (as the young woman in the photograph is doing), which I find refreshing (especially in the political atmosphere of the day). But that is what makes your perspective so endearing, Ken, how you see things, and how you write your perspective in a way that draws me in, as opposed to repelling me with ideology, etc.

    A special thank you goes out to Justine, our webmaster. I appreciate the hyperlink to the news article about Trump’s castigation of the CNN reporter; there is enough fake news going around like a virulent and dangerous virus, so it’s good to have a reliable source to verify one’s writing, and one’s reading. I especially appreciate the hyperlink about Watergate. I was a young woman when Watergate happened (yes, I’m dating myself but that’s okay), and to be honest, it’s taken me years to understand what happened, and I’m not sure I really do understand it all. But what is important to me, is what is happening now and how history may be repeating itself. I will study Watergate again. There is something there for me to understand. And I wonder, if I understand what happened then, will that help me understand what is happening now?

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